Three of the four games during this June window have gone quite well for the USMNT.
First, Cincinnati hosted a solid 3-0 friendly win over World Cup-bound Morocco. Then, there was a 0-0 friendly draw with quality South American side Uruguay in Kansas City.
After that game, the mentality change slightly. Friendlies finished, and competitive games loomed on the calendar. The first of those competitive games was a decent, workman like performance in the Nations League opener. The U.S. dispatched Grenada, 5-0, in Austin. Now comes the most challenging game of the summer. The U.S. takes a trip down to Central America for a competitive Nations League fixture against El Salvador.
USMNT road struggles
The argument can be made that the Uruguay game was the toughest game of the window for the US. After all, Uruguay is the 13th-ranked country in the world. Plus, some of its players apply their trade in the European club game. However, that was just a friendly. Moreover, it was in front of a home crowd.
This game against El Salvador is tougher beyond the sense that it is a competitive game. It is a road game where the U.S., historically, struggles to get results. The last American win in El Salvador came in a World Cup Qualifier all the way back in October of 2004. That year, Brian McBride and Eddie Johnson each scored to earn three points for the US on the way to Germany 2006. In fact, wins on the road have been something of a challenge for the USA for several years now.
During the current cycle, November 2017 to present, the U.S. posted a record of just two wins, seven losses and six draws in true road games. In the previous cycle, from September 2014 to October 2017, the USMNT road struggles persist with a record of 6-7-4.
The best teams in the world are able to go into hostile environments and get results. If the U.S. wants to become one of those teams, this trip to El Salvador would be the perfect time to start.
El Salvador proved to be a tough out for the U.S. during the most recent World Cup Qualifying campaign. The two games between the two sides yielded a scoreless draw in San Salvador before a 1-0 win in Columbus. That did not prevent the Salvadorians from being pretty poor overall.
El Salvador finished seventh in the eight-team qualifying group with just 10 points from 14 games. However, they decided to stick with former US international Hugo Perez as their manager. He provides a level of stability lacking in El Salvador for quite some time. Allegations of match fixing and consequent suspensions and fines transpired.
Their roster features six players based at U.S. clubs. Goalkeeper Tomas Romero represents LAFC, and Darwin Ceren plays for Houston Dynamo. The other four players all play in the USL Championship. They are Ronald Rodriguez (FC Tulsa), Eric Calvillo (El Paso Locomotive), Roberto Molina (Las Vegas Lights) and Joaquin Rivas (FC Tulsa).
El Salvador leads CONCACAF Nations League Group D. However, it has two games to its resume, while the U.S. has just one.
- Tuesday, June 14, 2022
- Estadio Cuscatlan
- San Salvador, El Salvador
- 10pm ET
- FS1, Univision, TUDN
- USA leads 19-0-6
- Thursday, January 27, 2022
- Lower.com Field
- Columbus, Ohio
- USA 1-0 El Salvador
Current FIFA Ranking
- USA: 15
- El Salvador: 74
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