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Global Jul 18, 2017

USMNT faces El Salvador Wednesday in CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal

(Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Men’s National Team continues its quest for a sixth confederation championship when it takes on El Salvador on Wednesday, July 19 in the Quarterfinals of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Coverage from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia begins at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; 0/0) Bill Hamid (D.C. United; 3/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 115/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 42/1), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 42/2), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas; 4/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 12/0), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 3/1), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC/CAN; 2/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna, MEX; 9/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 51/5)

MIDFIELDERS (8):Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 11/1), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX; 8/2), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 133/17), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX; 20/3), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 10/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 17/1), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union; 4/0), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 34/6)

FORWARDS (4):Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 25/3),Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 104/37), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 134/56), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 19/4)

With Panama defeating Martinique 3-0 in Saturday’s first Group B matchup, the USA entered its encounter with Nicaragua knowing it needed a three-goal win in order to guarantee top spot in the group. Alejandro Bedoya assisted on goals from Joe Corona (37′) and Kelyn Rowe (56′) to give the USA a 2-0 edge. Things were made tougher when both Dom Dwyer and Corona had second-half penalty kicks saved by goalkeeper Justo Lorente, but the U.S. stuck with it and bagged the necessary third goal when Graham Zusi’s free kick picked out Matt Miazga for a diving header in the 88th minute.

With the victory, the USA won its CONCACAF Gold Cup group for the 13th time in 14 tournaments, setting up Wednesday’s clash against El Salvador in the process.

Per the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament Regulations, participant teams are permitted to make up to six roster changes within 24 hours of their final Group Stage match. U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena took full advantage of the rule , bringing in four players with more than 100 caps – Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard – as well as midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who has appeared in each of the seven U.S. matches this year prior to the current camp. Additionally, newly eligible U.S. goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez was also called in and is in the midst of his first MNT camp since having his one-time change of association request granted by FIFA earlier this month.

“The players we’re bringing now give us a little bit more experience, so I think it’s a good mix with the group we had here already,” Arena said about the changes.

“Group play was an opportunity for a lot of players to get a chance … Now as we enter the knockout phase of the tournament we’ve got to be ready to play each and every game – win and go on, lose and go home – so bringing in some experienced players, players with some quality I think is just going to make our team better.”

The six players replaced goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Sean Johnson, midfielders Alejandro Bedoya, Cristian Roldan and Kelyn Rowe and forward Dom Dwyer. Having utilized 22 of 23 available players during the Group Stage, Arena praised the contributions of the six that departed, saying, “All of these decisions were difficult, because all of the players did well. They are players that we’re obviously going to continue to keep an eye on and continue to have them in the program.”

Altidore, Bradley, Dempsey, Howard and Nagbe combine for 503 caps, 111 international goals, 10 trips to the FIFA World Cup and 11 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments.

Dempsey (134 -3rd), Bradley (133 – tied 4th) and Howard (115 – 8th) are all well within the USA’s Top 10 all-time cap winners list, while Altidore, the most recent inductee to the U.S. MNT’s “100 Cap Club”, sits 13th all-time with 104.

Dempsey (56) and Altidore (37) also sit second and third respectively on the USA’s goal scoring list, with Dempsey just one goal behind Landon Donovan for the MNT’s all-time lead.

Experience Added to U.S. MNT Gold Cup Roster
Player Overall Caps/Goals Gold Cup Caps/Goals Gold Cup Tournaments
Jozy Altidore 104/37 7/2 2
Michael Bradley 133/17 17/3 3
Clint Dempsey 134/56 21/12 4
Tim Howard 115/39^ 10/6^ 2
Darlington Nagbe 17/1 0/0 0
^ Second number denotes clean sheets

Saturday’s win also extended the USA’s current unbeaten to 11 matches, all occurring since Bruce Arena returned as National Team coach last November. With a 6-0-5 record, the current 11-game unbeaten streak is tied for the longest at the beginning of a U.S. MNT head coaching tenure, equaling the mark set by Bob Bradley, who led the U.S. to a 10-0-1 record during his first 11 games in charge in 2007.

Setting out to test his full roster at the tournament, Arena handed starts to goalkeeper Bill Hamid and defender Matt Miazga in Saturday’s 3-0 win against Nicaragua. With those appearances, the U.S. saw 22 of the 23 players on the Group Stage roster start a match in the Gold Cup.

Only four players appeared in all three Group Stage matches: Juan Agudelo, Alejandro Bedoya, Dax McCarty and Jordan Morris.

CONCACAF has implemented a few changes for this year’s Knockout Round. If Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches are tied at the end of 90 minutes, the games will bypass the normal 30 minutes of extra time and move straight to penalty kicks. Extra time will only be played in the Final if teams are tied at the end of 90 minutes. In that case, teams will also be allowed a fourth substitution to be used during the additional 30 minutes. These changes mirror those that were implemented during last summer’s Copa America Centenario.

U.S. MNT players have long used the confederation championship as an extended audition for a place at the FIFA World Cup. Dating back to 1993, 18 players with 10 or less caps have made the jump from the most recent Gold Cup roster onto a FIFA World Cup roster (see table below). Most recently, current MNT center back Matt Besler utilized the USA’s run to the 2013 championship to make his way onto the 2014 roster in Brazil.

1993 Gold Cup/1994 World Cup Brad Friedel, Cle Kooiman, Roy Wegerle
1998 Gold Cup/1998 World Cup Frankie Hejduk, Juergen Sommer
2002 Gold Cup/2002 World Cup DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Pablo Mastroeni
2005 Gold Cup/2006 World Cup Jimmy Conrad, Clint Dempsey, Marcus Hahnemann, Oguchi Onyewu
2009 Gold Cup/2010 World Cup Clarence Goodson, Stuart Holden
2013 Gold Cup/2014 World Cup Matt Besler, Mix Diskerud, Nick Rimando, Chris Wondolowski

Held every two years, the Gold Cup is the regional championship for CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football. Along with lifting a trophy and earning supremacy in the confederation, the winner of the Gold Cup earns a place in the CONCACAF Cup, a one-game playoff that determines the region’s representative at the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup. Should the same team win both in 2017 and 2019, they will automatically earn a place in the tournament.

Placed in Group B, the U.S. opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Panama on July 8 in Nashville and defeated Martinique 3-2 on July 12 in Tampa. The team concludes the Group Stage with its first-ever meeting against Nicaragua on July 15 in Cleveland. The top two teams in each of the three groups automatically advance to the Quarterfinals and will be joined there by the two best third-place finishers.

The United States has won five editions of the tournament, beginning with the inaugural 1991 Gold Cup when the team defeated Mexico 2-0 in the Semifinal before downing Honduras on penalty kicks in the Championship. Current U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena is one of two managers to win the tournament twice, lead the side to its second and third titles in 2002 and 2005 respectively and the team followed those up with wins in 2007 and 2013. In 13 editions of the tournament, the U.S. has played in the Final nine times and has advanced to the Semifinal on 12 occasions.

The regular European-based contingent for the MNT is in the midst of a much-needed break between now and the World Cup next summer. Having completed their club seasons in May, the group went straight into camp for the World Cup Qualifiers in June. After a 14-day camp preparing for the rigors of altitude, the U.S. emerged with four points from two games including a huge draw away to Mexico. Now two weeks into holidays, they begin to return to preseason shortly with the hopes of earning regular playing time for the upcoming campaign.


  • The U.S. is in the midst of 11-match unbeaten streak, going 6-0-5 since Bruce Arena returned as head coach.
  • The current streak is tied for the best start to a U.S. MNT head coaching tenure, equaling the 10-0-1 stretch the team went on to start Bob Bradley’s time on the job in 2007.
  • Arena handed starts to 22 of 23 players during the Group Stage.
  • With the six roster additions of Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Darlington Nagbe and Jesse Gonzalez, the average cap number more than doubled, moving from 16.2 at the start of the tournament to 34.8 heading into the Quarterfinal.
  • With 56, Clint Dempsey sits just one back of Landon Donovan for the U.S. MNT’s all-time goal scoring lead.
  • Dempsey’s 12 all-time Gold Cup goals also rank him second behind Donovan, who tallied 18 in the competition.
  • Goalkeeper Bill Hamid earned his Gold Cup debut in Saturday’s 3-0 win vs. Nicaragua, making two saves to keep his second clean sheet in three international matches.
  • Joe Corona tallied his third international goal against Nicaragua and first since scoring in the USA’s 5-1 Gold Cup Quarterfinal win vs. El Salvador on July 21, 2013.
  • Matt Miazga’s 88th minute header vs. Nicaragua clinched top spot in the group and also stood as the 21-year-old defender’s first international goal.
  • Both Miazga and Nagbe will celebrate their birthdays on Wednesday. Miazga turns 22, while Nagbe turns 27.
  • While the two players share the same anniversary of life, they also made their U.S. MNT debuts, literally at the same time, entering as 64th minute substitutes during the USA’s 6-1 World Cup Qualifying win vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 13, 2015 in St. Louis.
  • The U.S. has seen its seven goals tallied by six different players, more than any team in the tournament.
  • Goals have come from Jordan Morris (2), Joe Corona, Dom Dwyer, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Miazga and Kelyn Rowe.
  • With the roster additions, eight players were part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup team: Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard and Graham Zusi.
  • A majority of the roster comes from Major League Soccer, with 17 players representing 11 clubs.
  • Six players come from clubs outside of M.L.S., with four from Mexico and two from England.
  • Twelve players have previously been part of a Gold Cup roster: Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Joe Corona, Clint Dempsey, Omar Gonzalez, Bill Hamid, Tim Howard, Eric Lichaj, Gyasi Zardes, Graham Zusi
  • Bedoya also has the most CONCACAF Gold Cup experience, earning 13 appearances during four different confederation tournaments (including 2017).
  • Guzan was one of two U.S. players to play every minute of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and was awarded the tournament’s Golden Glove as best goalkeeper.
  • Six players were on the U.S. MNT’s last Gold Cup-winning side in 2013: Bedoya, Besler, Joe Corona, Gonzalez, Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson.
  • Five players have registered goals in the Gold Cup: Corona, Gonzalez and Morris (2 each), Dwyer and Gyasi Zardes.
  • Two U.S. players come into the match on caution watch. Justin Morrow was shown a yellow card on July 12 vs. Martinique and Joe Corona while Joe Corona was cautioned on Saturday vs. Nicaragua.
  • Ten players are also alumni of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Acosta, Agudelo, Arriola, Corona, Jesse Gonzalez, Hamid, Miazga, Morris, Rowe and Zardes.


  • Beginning with the inaugural title in 1991, the U.S. has lifted the Gold Cup on five occasions. Current MNT head coach Bruce Arena guided the side to the 2002 and 2005 championships, while the team also went on to win in 2007 and 2015.
  • Arena is one of only two managers to win the Gold Cup twice. Bora Milutinovic led the U.S. to the 1991 title before managing Mexico to championship in 1996.
  • The USA has more wins in the CONCACAF Gold Cup than any other nation, going 53-8-9 all-time.
  • The U.S. has gone an impressive 32-1-4 during the Group Stage.
  • With a 16-1-4 record in the Gold Cup, Arena is also the winningest head coach all-time in the competition.
  • The U.S. manager holds a 10-0-2 mark in the Group Stage and is 14-0-4 vs. CONCACAF opposition.
  • The MNT has advanced to the Final on nine occasions: 1991, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
  • The USA has made it to the Semifinals in 12 out of 13 tournaments, missing out only in 2000.


  • The MNT is 16-1-5 all-time vs. El Salvador and 13-0-2 on U.S. soil.
  • The USA is a perfect 5-0-0 against El Salvador in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and has twice faced Los Cuscatlecos in the Quarterfinals, winning 4-0 in 2002 and 5-1 in 2013.
  • The U.S. is in the midst of a 12-match, 25-year unbeaten streak against the Central American nation
  • The USA suffered its lone loss to Los Cuscatlecos in a 2-0 friendly defeat on Feb. 19, 1992 in San Salvador.
  • Joe Corona and Matt Besler both played in the USA’s 5-1 victory against El Salvador on July 21, 2013, with Corona tallying the eventual game-winner in the 29th minute.
  • Bruce Arena managed a 5-0-0 record against El Salvador during his previous tenure as head coach.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Oscar Arroyo (Alianza FC); Derby Carrillo (Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja/ISL); Benji Villalobos (CD Aguila)

DEFENDERS (6): Alexander Larin (Alianza FC); Ivan Mancia (Alianza FC); Ruben Marroquin (Alianza FC); Milton Molina (AD Isidro Metapan); Henry Romero (Alianza FC); Bryan Tamacas (Santa Tecla FC)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Efrain Burgos (Reno 1868 FC/USA); Darwin Ceren (San Jose Earthquakes/USA); Oscar Ceren (Alianza FC); Roberto Dominguez (Santa Tecla FC); Andres Flores (New York Cosmos/USA); Victor Garcia (CD Aguila); Gerson Mayen (Santa Tecla FC); Richard Menjivar (New York Cosmos/USA); Narciso Orellana (Alianza FC); Denis Pineda (CD Santa Clara/POR)

FORWARDS (4): Harold Alas (Santa Tecla FC); Nelson Bonilla (CD Nacional/POR); Irvin Herrera (New York Cosmos/USA); Rodolfo Zelaya (Alianza FC)


  • Coached by former Colombia manager Eduardo Lara, El Salvador bounced back from a 3-1 defeat to Mexico in their tournament opener to defeat Curaçao 2-0 in their second match.
  • In Sunday’s group finale vs. Jamaica, they took the lead through Nelson Bonilla in the 15th minute, only to see Darren Mattocks’ 64th minute penalty kick force a 1-1 draw.
  • Nelson Bonilla has tallied twice in the tournament, with Gerson Mayen and Rodolfo Zelaya also finding the back of the net.
  • El Salvador is 8-15-8 all-time in CONCACAF Gold Cup play. The team has never won more than one match at any individual tournament.
  • Wednesday’s match marks El Salvador’s fifth appearance in the Gold Cup Quarterfinals, though Los Cuscatlecos have never advanced further.
  • The El Salvador roster features 15 domestic-based players, five based in the USA and one in Iceland.
  • San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Darwin Cerén leads the U.S. based contingent, while midfielders Andres Flores and Richard Menvijar, as well as forward Irvin Herrera all come from the NASL’s New York Cosmos. Midfielder Efrain Burgos also plays for USL side Reno 1868 FC.
  • Midfielder Gerson Mayen spent parts of four seasons with former MLS club Chivas USA from 2008-2011.
  • Four El Salvador players come into the match on caution watch: Darwin Cerén, Alexander Larín, Iván Mancia and Narciso Orellana.

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