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USMNT facing El Salvador in Concacaf Nations League group stage

CHICAGO – The U.S. Men’s National Team will close out the four match June international window on Tuesday with a visit to El Salvador for its second group match of the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League. Kickoff from Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador is set for 10 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FS1, Univision and TUDN.

The USA has defeated Morocco (3-0 W), drawn Uruguay (0-0 D), and routed Grenada (5-0 W) during the past two weeks, outscoring its opponents 8-0. After Tuesday, the U.S. will play two friendlies in Europe during the September window as the last preparation games before the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Either a win or draw against El Salvador would push the USA to the top of Nations League A, Group D after two matches. A win would also see the USMNT clinch a spot in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup by guaranteeing a top-two group finish.

USMNT ROSTER BY POSITION – JUNE TRAINING CAMP

GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 7/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 10/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 18/0)

DEFENDERS (9): George Bello (Arminia Bielefeld/GER; 7/0), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 26/1), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 10/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 26/3), Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes/FRA; 4/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 28/2), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 2/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami; 74/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 31/3)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (LAFC; 52/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 29/1), Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED; 10/0), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 34/9), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 18/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 32/0), Malik Tillman (Bayern Munich/GER; 2/0)

FORWARDS (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG; 21/6), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas; 46/10), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 12/7), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 47/10), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 50/21), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 24/3), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor/TUR; 2/1)

USA SCHEDULE – JUNE INTERNATIONAL WINDOW

Date

Opponent

Venue

Result/Time (ET)

TV Info

Wednesday, June 1

vs. Morocco

TQL Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio

3-0 W

Sunday, June 5

vs. Uruguay

Children’s Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kan.

0-0 D

Friday, June 10

vs. Grenada – Concacaf Nations League

Q2 Stadium; Austin, Texas

5-0 W

Tuesday, June 14

At El Salvador – Concacaf Nations League

Estadio Cuscatlan; San Salvador, El Salvador

10 p.m. ET

FS1, Univision, TUDN

USA OPENS NATIONS LEAGUE TITLE DEFENSE WITH 5-0 ROUT OF GRENADA

On Friday, the U.S. opened defense of its CNL title with a 5-0 rout of Grenada in Austin, Texas. The 21-year Jesus Ferreira scored one before the break and added a second-half hat trick, while his FC Dallas teammate Paul Arriola also scored in the second half to cap the USMNTs final home game before the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Ferreiras four goals tied a USMNT record for most goals in a game, the fifth time the mark has been achieved and the first since Landon Donovan scored four against Cuba in 2003. Arriola became the 26th USMNT player to reach double-digit goals with his 10th. The win extended the USMNTs unbeaten streak on home soil to 26 straight games, tying the teams record set from 2013-2015.

ABOUT THE CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE

Created to maximize the quality, quantity and frequency of competitive matches for all of Concacaf’s 41 Member Associations, the 2022-23 CNL Group Stage will continue to be played in a three League format (League A, League B and League C). League A consists of 12 national teams divided in four groups; League B features 16 teams split into four groups; and League C has 13 teams in four groups.

Each League plays home and away round-robin matches during the FIFA international dates of June 2022 and March 2023. The winners of the League A groups will advance to the Concacaf Nations League Finals in June 2023, which will consist of semifinals, a third place match, and championship match. The League A and B teams which finish last in their groups will be relegated to the lower league, while the group winners in Leagues B and C will be promoted to the higher league for the next edition of the CNL tournament.

Grenada, Curaçao, Martinique and Suriname won their respective groups in League B in 2019/21 and were promoted to League A this year. The U.S. was drawn to Group D.

2022/23 LEAGUE A:

Group A: Mexico, Jamaica, Suriname
Group B: Costa Rica, Panama, Martinique
Group C: Canada, Honduras, Curaçao
Group D: USA, El Salvador, Grenada

Additionally, the tournament will again serve as qualification for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, with the top two finishers in each League A groups, as well as the group winners in League B qualifying directly for next summer’s confederation championship. Twelve other teams will have an opportunity to qualify for the tournament via the Gold Cup Prelims.

RECAPPING THE USMNT’S RUN TO THE 2021 CNL TROPHY

The inaugural Concacaf Nations League had the USA, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago pre-seeded into League A by virtue of advancing to the Hexagonal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage. There they were joined by the top six seeds following the 68-match, one-off qualifying phase in which the 34 teams were ranked 1-34 based on points earned, goal differential and additional tie-breaker criteria.

The U.S. was drawn to Group A with Canada and Cuba and advanced to the CNL Finals by winning the group on goal differential over Canada after both nations finished with nine points.

2019-21 Concacaf Nations League Results

Date

Opponent

Result

Goal Scorers

Venue

Oct. 11, 2019*

vs. Cuba

7-0 W

McKennie (3), Morris, Sargent, Pulisic, OG

Audi Field;
Washington, D.C.

Oct. 15, 2019*

at Canada

0-2 L

BMO Field;
Toronto, Canada

Nov. 15, 2019*

vs. Canada

4-1 W

Zardes (2), Morris, Long

Exploria Stadium;

Orlando, Fla.

Nov. 19, 2019*

at Cuba

4-0 W

Sargent (2), Morris (2)

Truman Bodden Stadium;
George Town, Cayman Islands

June 3, 2021^

vs. Honduras

1-0 W

Pefok

Empower Field at Mile High; Denver, Colo.

June 6, 2021^

Vs. Mexico

3-2 W (AET)

Reyna, McKennie, Pulisic

Empower Field at Mile High; Denver, Colo.

*-Denotes Group Stage / Denotes Semifinals/Finals

The 2020 CNL Finals were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and re-scheduled for June 2021 in Denver, Colorado. On June 3, the USA defeated Honduras 1-0 in the semifinals on an 89th-minute diving header from second-half substitute Jordan Pefok.

Four days later, the USMNT lifted the inaugural CNL trophy after twice coming from behind to defeat rival Mexico 3-2 in overtime. Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie each brought the USA back level during regulation, before Christian Pulisic drew and converted the game-winning penalty kick in 114th minute. The drama was far from over as substitute goalkeeper Ethan Horvath saved Andrés Guardado’s penalty kick deep into stoppage time of the second half of extra time.

STRONG START TO SUMMER

USA 3-0 MOROCCO

The USMNT kicked off the June international window with a convincing 3-0 shutout victory against African powerhouse Morocco. Some skillful play from forward Christian Pulisic teed up forward Brenden Aaronson for the opening goal, while forward Tim Weah ripped a shot from distance to put the USA up 2-0 before the break. Debutant forward Haji Wright finished the scoring with a second-half penalty to put the game away and secure the USA’s first win vs. Morocco after three losses in its first three games against the Atlas Lions.

USA 0-0 URUGUAY

Four days later, the USMNT extended its home unbeaten streak to 25 games with a scoreless draw against 13th-ranked Uruguay. While the USA had the better of possession and was aggressive on offense, three key defensive plays were critical in preserving the draw: a goal line clearance from right back DeAndre Yedlin, a point-blank save by goalkeeper Sean Johnson on the goalmouth and a sliding block from center back Walker Zimmerman inside the box. The draw against fellow World Cup participant Uruguay brought the all-time series record between the nations to 2-2-4.

USA ROSTER NOTES:

  • The roster is composed of 16 players from Europe and 10 players from Major League Soccer.  
  • Fourteen players featured during the teams run to the 2019-21 CNL title, with Matt Turner, Sean Johnson and Yunus Musah also available as substitutes for select games.
  • Against Grenada, Jesús Ferreira became the fifth player in USMNT history to score four goals in a match. At 21 years, 168 days he is also the sixth youngest USMNT player to record a hat trick, taking his USMNT scoring tally to seven goals in 12 matches. Ferreira follows Christian Pulisic in collecting the team’s second hat trick of 2022 and the 21st in team history.
  • Ferriera is now tied with forward Jordan Morris and midfielder Weston McKennie for most CNL goals among USMNT players. Morris and McKennie tied for the inaugural League A lead with four goals each.
  • Ferreira and defender Aaron Long are the only players to start all three matches in June. Antonee Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, McKennie, Arriola, Luca de la Torre and Brenden Aaronson have also appeared in all three.
  • Three different players have served as team captain during the window: Christian Pulisic vs Morocco Tyler Adams vs Uruguay, and Weston McKennie vs Grenada.
  • Robinson is the only player to appear all nine USMNT matches in 2022, starting eight games.
  • McKennie is the only player to have appeared in all seven previous Concacaf Nations League matches.
  • The USMNT has posted shutouts in three straight games. Under Berhalter, the team went four matches without conceding in  2019 (June 18-30) and most recently from July 18-Sept 3, 2021 when they posted five straight clean sheets.
  • The two international friendlies included a number of players returning to the USMNT after spells away.
  • McKennie returned to the starting XI against Uruguay for the first time since the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win against Honduras on Feb. 2, 2022. He suffered a broken foot while with Juventus in a 1-1 draw against Villarreal on Feb. 22 in the UEFA Champions League. He made his first substitute appearance for the USA against Morocco, snapping his streak of 31 consecutive starts – the longest since Eddie Pope made 82 consecutive starts from 1996-2006 – and seventh-longest in team history. 
  • Like McKennie, winger Brenden Aaronson and goalkeeper Matt Turner also missed the March qualifiers due to injury. Aaronsons 26th-minute goal against Morocco was the sixth of his international career and first since the 4-1 World Cup qualifying win at Honduras on Sept. 8, 2021. Turner made eight saves against Morocco to keep his 12th career clean sheet in 17 games. He now sits in sole possession of sixth on the USMNTs all-time shutout list, eight back of Brad Guzan (20 shutouts in 64 caps). 
  • Defender Aaron Long earned his first start against Morocco since the 2-1 win at Northern Ireland on March 28, 2021. After recovering from a ruptured Achilles suffered in May 2021, Long returned to the team during the March international window, making two substitute appearances in the 0-0 draw at Mexico and 5-1 win against Panama.
  • Defender Cameron Carter-Vickers earned his first cap since June 1, 2019 vs. Jamaica when he replaced Walker Zimmerman at the start of the second half against Morocco.
  • Sean Johnson earned his 10th cap – and first since Feb. 2, 2020 against Costa Rica – when he started against Uruguay, becoming the 14th goalkeeper in USMNT history to reach double-digit appearances. Playing the full 90 minutes for the fifth time, Johnson made three saves to keep the fifth clean sheet of his international career. The veteran goalkeeper has conceded just one goal while playing for the USA. 
  • Three players made their USMNT debut during this June window, all as second half substitutes against Morocco on June 1: defender Joe Scally, midfielder Malik Tillman and forward Haji Wright. Scally was called into the USAs November training camp, and Wright was previously called to a camp in May 2019, but neither had seen action until last week. Tillman earned his first cap after being approved by FIFA for a change of association from Germany on May 31.
  • In total, 56 players have now made their first appearance for the U.S. during head coach Gregg Berthalters 52 matches in charge.
  • With his goal against Morocco, Haji Wright became the 56th player to score in his first cap.
  • Christian Pulisic earned his 50th appearance for the USMNT on Sunday. With 21 goals and 10 assists, Pulisic leads all USMNT players with 31 goal contributions in 50 caps, besting Landon Donovans 15 goals and 10 assists at the half-century mark. Pulisic (23 years, 260 days) is also the seventh-youngest player to hit 50 appearances for the USMNT. 
  • Veteran defender DeAndre Yedlin is the most capped player with 74th international appearances, moving past Hugo Pérez into sole possession of 32nd on the USMNTs all-time caps list.

WORLD CUP BOUND

The U.S. successfully completed the gauntlet of Concacaf qualifying in March, clinching its berth to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on the final matchday. In what promises to be one of the toughest groups in the tournament, the USMNT was drawn into Group B alongside the final UEFA play-off winner (one of Ukraine or Wales; to be determined on June 5), 2020 European Championship runner-up England, and IR Iran.

The USA will have six preparation matches before heading to Qatar in November – these four during the June international window plus two additional friendlies in September. The trio of June matches on U.S. soil represent the USMNTs final home games before the World Cup, with the June 10 match vs. Grenada in Austin serving as the teams final send-off before Qatar 2022.

AGING NICELY

The USMNT was by far the youngest team to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, garnering valuable experience going through the rigors of World Cup qualifying. Through 14 qualifiers, the teams average age of players that appeared was 24.07. The next closest was Ecuador, whose average age of all players during their 18 qualifying matches came in at 25.81.

From the available data for the qualified teams, the USMNT played the 10 youngest lineups worldwide during the recently concluded cycle, with all 14 lineups falling in the 22 youngest Starting XIs in the world during qualifiers dating back to October 2020. After its successful qualifying campaign, each match is another opportunity for the young USMNT player pool to gain experience against top-flight competition.

USA-EL SALVADOR

  • Currently on a 19-game unbeaten streak against El Salvador, the USMNT holds an 19-1-6 edge in the series while outscoring Los Cuscatlecos 61-15 overall.
  • The U.S. has a 2-1-4 mark in games in El Salvador, including draws in its last two meetings at Estadio Cuscatlán during World Cup Qualifying: a scoreless draw on Sept. 2, 2022, and 2-2 draw in March 2009 on late goals from Jozy Altidore and Frankie Hejduk. The USA’s only loss in El Salvador was a 2-0 defeat in a friendly on Feb. 19, 1992.
  • The teams last met on January 27, 2022 in a World Cup Qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, when the USA rode an Antonee Robinson goal to a 1-0 shutout victory, raising its all-time record vs El Salvador in WCQ to 6-0-4. The teams have not met in the CNL.
  • 18 players were in the USA camp for the game in Columbus: nine started, three entered as substitutes, five were unused subs and DeAndre Yedlin was not on the gameday roster:
  • Starters vs El Salvador on Jan. 27: Matt Turner; Sergiño Dest, Walker Zimmerman, Chris Richards, Antonee RobinsonTyler AdamsWeston McKennieYunus Musah (Kellyn Acosta, 89); Tim Weah (Jordan Morris, 73), Jesús Ferreira (Gyasi Zardes, 72), Christian Pulisic (capt.) (Brenden Aaronson, 65)
  • Unused Substitutes: Sean JohnsonPaul Arriola, Miles Robinson, Cristian Roldan, Mark McKenzie, Luca de la Torre, Ricardo Pepi, Reggie Cannon
  • The teams kicked off final round qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Sept. 2 with a hard-fought 0-0 draw in front of a sellout crowd of 29,000 at Estadio Cuscatlán.
  • In that match, the USMNT tied a modern-era record with 12 players making their World Cup qualifying debut, facing a very physical El Salvador team in a game where both sides struggled to establish rhythm:
  • The 12: Brendan Aaronson, Tyler Adams, Konrad de la Fuente, Sergino Dest, Weston McKennie, Jordan Pefok, Gio Reyna, Antonee Robinson, Miles Robinson, Cristian Roldan, Josh Sargent and Matt Turner.
  • With a win on Tuesday, the USA would clinch its spot in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.
  • El Salvador is coached by former USMNT star midfielder and National Soccer Hall of Famer Hugo Pérez. Pérez scored a critical goal for the USA vs. El Salvador during its qualifying campaign for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the USAs first appearance on soccers biggest stage in 40 years. He also played for the USA at the 1994 World Cup, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008, having scored 13 goals in 73 senior team games.

EL SALVADOR ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Mario Gonzalez (Alianza FC), Kevin Carabantes (CD Fas), Tomas Romero (Las Vegas Lights/USA)

DEFENDERS (11): Linzandro Claros (CD Aguila), Elvis Claros (Jocoro FC), Bryan Tamacas (Alianza FC), Kevin Menjivar (J.J. Deportivo), Alexander Larin (Comunicaciones), Kevin Melara (CD Aguila), Roberto Dominguez (AD Chalatenango), Erick Cabalceta (AD San Carlos), Ronald Rodriguez (FC Tulsa/USA), Rudy Clavel (CD Fas), Eduardo Vigil (LA Firpo)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Narciso Orellana (Alianza FC) Christian Martinez (AD San Carlos), Bryan Lanaverde (CF Fas), Darwin Ceren (Houston Dynamo/USA), Enrico Duenas (Vitesse/NED), Eric Calvillo (El Paso Locomotive/USA)

FORWARDS (7): Cristian Gil (Isidro Metapan), Nelson Bonilla (Port FC), Jairo Henriquez (CD Aguila), Kevin Reyes (CD Fas), Roberto Molina (Las Vegas Lights/USA), Joaquin Rivas (FC Tulsa/USA), Dennis Pineda (AD Chalatenango)

IN FOCUS: EL SALVADOR

  • El Salvador’s rich soccer history includes qualification for the 1970 and 1982 FIFA World Cups. The team lost all three group matches in both tournaments.
  • They have advanced to the Concacaf final round in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2010 and 2022 World Cup qualifying tournaments.
  • The team was promoted to the 2022/23 CNL League A after winning the 2019-21 CNL League B, Group B with a 5-1-0 record:
  • Sept. 7, 2019: W 3-0 vs Saint Lucia
  • Sept. 10, 2019: L 0-1 at Dominican Republic
  • Oct. 12, 2019: W 2-0 at Montserrat
  • Oct. 15, 2019: W 2-0 at Saint Lucia
  • Nov. 16, 2019: W 1-0 vs Montserrat
  • Nov. 19, 2019: W 2-0 vs Dominican Republic
  • In addition to promotion for this year’s CNL, the group win also qualified El Salvador for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup for the 12th time in their history.
  • The team won two group matches for the first time – defeating Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 each – and finished second in Group A behind Mexico to advance to the knockout stage. In the Quarterfinals, El Salvador nearly came back from a 3-0 deficit to invitee Qatar but finished 3-2 down at the final whistle.
  • El Salvador finished 7th in the recent World Cup Qualifying final round standings with a 2-8-4 (10 points) record.
  • As for the current CNL, El Salvador defeated Grenada 3-1 on June 4 behind two goals from Nelson Bonilla and an own goal. The teams met again three days later, with El Salvador twice coming back with Alexander Larin drawing level 1-1 on a penalty kick, and Cristian Gil finding the equalizer in the 88th minute to draw 2-2.
  • Twenty of the 27 players play domestically, while six play in the United States; Enrico Duenas was born in the Netherlands to a Salvadoran father and chose to play with El Salvador, making his debut against the USA on Sept. 2, 2021. He plays for Eredivisie club Vitesse.
  • Eric Calvillo was a member of the U.S. U-17 National Team at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, playing alongside current USMNT players Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre and Hajji Wright. He filed a switch in 2021 to join El Salvador’s U-23 side ahead of Olympic Qualifying. The California-native has played for the NY Cosmos and San Jose Earthquakes. He made his senior-team debut last September against Guatemala.
  • Darwin Ceren has appeared in more than 160 matches in MLS since 2015. Now in his fifth season with the Houston Dynamo, he started with Orlando City before moving to the San Jose Earthquakes.
  • Goalkeeper Tomas Romero was born in New Jersey and began his career with the Philadelphia Union Academy and later helped Georgetown win the 2019 NCAA College Cup. A member of El Salvador’s U-17 and U-23 squads, LAFC traded for his rights last year, and Romero appeared in 28 matches for the MLS side. He has been on loan to partner club Las Vegas Lights this year.