CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinals: USA vs El Salvador

2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinals
United States vs El Salvador
Sunday, July 21, 2013, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, Univision
M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore, Maryland
All Odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Betting Line: USA -2 +115 / El Salvador +2 -145
Total: over 3 -125 / under 3 -105
Three Way Line: El Salvador +950 / USA -500 / Draw +475
(All three wagers include regulation and stoppage time only, not extra time or shootout)

The US Soccer team takes on El Salvador as a heavy favorite in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfianls Sunday in Baltimore.
The US Soccer team takes on El Salvador as a heavy favorite in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfianls Sunday in Baltimore.

The USA soccer team has won 8 straight games, something they have never done before in their history. The United States is looking to win their fifth CONCACAF  Gold Cup as they take on El Salvador in the quarterfinals Sunday in Baltimore. The winner will face either Honduras or Costa Rica in Wednesday’s semifinals at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Panama and Mexico advanced to the semifinals yesterday.

USA is the only unbeaten and untied team left in the tournament. The Stars and Stripes won group C with wins over Belize 6-1, Cuba 4-1, and 1-0 Tuesday night against Costa Rica on a goal from Brek Shea at the 81st minute.

El Salvador finished third in group B with 4 points. Los Guanacos led Trinidad & Tobago 2-1 but surrendered a late goal to settle for the draw and a point. They then lost 1-0 to Honduras but El Salvador would advance to the quarters with a 1-0 win over Haiti Monday night.

The United States has dominated El Salvador leading the series 15-1-5. The only win for El Salvador came in 1992. The United States won the last meeting in a friendly in 2010 2-1. USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann created controversy after a   4-2 loss to Belgium in a friendly when he said he would rather lose to teams like Belgium because you learn more than playing El Salvador for the 100th time It wasn’t meant to be a slight against El Salvador specifically but more a commentary on Central American teams tendency to try and keep the USA in the middle of the field and hope for a draw or a fluke goal  to steal a win.

Klinsmann’s squad is battling some injuries to key players.  Defender Oguchi Onyewu (ankle) and attacker Herculez Gomez (knee) were both left off the roster for the Knockout round.  Forward Jack McInerney and defender Corey Ashe were also left off the roster. Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Eddie Johnson, and Alan Gordon will replace them.

However, Klinsmann’s 3-4-2 attack still has a ton of firepower. Striker Chris Wondolowski has 5 goals in the tournament including a hat trick in the Belize game. The great Landon Donovan has 53 goals and 51 assists in his career for the national team. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando allowed one goal in each of the blowout wins over Belize and Cuba. He rested in the Costa Rica game as the United States had already advanced to the knockout round. Sean Johnson kept a clean sheet in that game, but Rimando will start.

El Salvador is coached by Agustin Castillo. His squad doesn’t have the same injury problems as the US team but El Salvador also doesn’t have the depth as the US either. Forward Rodolfo Zelaya has scored all three goals for El Salvador so far in the tournament.  Winger Osael Romero is a good set-up man for Zelaya. Goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo has allowed 3 goals so far in the tournament.

While this game is in Baltimore, the sell-out crowd of 71,000 will likely be about 60-40 for El Salvador due to the large number of Salvadorans who live in the Washington, DC-Baltimore area. Still the United States simply has too much and should win easily to advance to the semifinals.

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