United States triumphs over El Salvador! • Latino Sports

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United States triumphs over El Salvador!




Tampa, FL – Just when it appeared the United States were heading to their own funeral in front of 21,737 with a 1-1 tie against El Salvador, Sacha Kljestan saved the U.S. from further embarrassment with his go-ahead goal in the second minute of stoppage time. For at least one night, there was ecstasy at the Raymond James Stadium because a football team not named the Tampa Bay Bucs won at the stadium.

In a game where the U.S. outshot El Salvador 18-3, dominated them defensively and was aggressively  able to push the ball at will, a tie would have been not been sufficient. The U.S. has yet to earn the pass to lose in friendly matches like Brazil, Italy, and Spain have. Let’s be honest, a loss in a friendly match is just as bad as a loss in the World Cup because the consequences are the same. Anytime the U.S. loses, more soccer fans lose interest in American Soccer and Major League Soccer..

This was a game that the U.S. should have scored at least 3 goals missed opportunities was what hindered the U.S. If the U.S. wants to be taken seriously, they have to capitalize on their opportunities more effectively. In a game where El Salvador played horrendously, the U.S. shouldn’t have allowed El Salvador to take the lead after Rudis Corrales scored a magnificent goal in the 59th minute.

After being humiliated by Honduras 3-1 in January, I was pleased that the U.S. came out fighting and demonstrated passion. I was also impressed by Coach Bob Bradley’s strategy of playing man to man which would transition to a double team once El Salvador would enter U.S. territory. By playing aggressively, the U.S. was able to create turnovers in there favor and advance the ball so they could have an opportunity to attack El Salvador’s goalkeeper, Miguel Montes. This eventually proved to be effective when Brian Ching tied the game in the 75th minute and Sacha Kljestan scored the game winner.

The U.S. will next travel to Amsterdam where they will take on the third-ranked Netherlands at Amsterdam Arena on March 3 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The match will be televised live on ESPN2 and Galavision.


Match: U.S. vs. El Salvador
Date: Feb. 24, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 21,737
Weather: 56 degrees, rain

Scoring Summary: 1   2   F
USA                        0   2   2
SLV                         0   1   1

SLV – Rudis Corrales                       59th minute
USA – Brian Ching (Heath Pearce)     75
USA – Sacha Kljestan (Brian Ching)   90+2

Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for Latino Sports (www.latinosports.com). Send Cesar a question or comment for potential use in a future column at [email protected] 


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