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U.S. Men's National Team Prepares to Meet El Salvador in 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying


CRUNCH TIME: With four games remaining and only three points separating the top four teams in the group, the match against El Salvador represents a huge opportunity to gain three points and move closer towards qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  Kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium is set for 6 p.m. MT, live on ESPN Classic and TeleFutura. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and via twitter at www.twitter.com/ussoccer. 

QUICK HITS

  • Of the 23 players in camp, the U.S. will dress 18 with a maximum of three substitutions. Conor Casey has not yet reported to Utah following surgery to remove wisdom teeth.
  • Oguchi Onyewu is suspended for the game against El Salvador, having picked up his second yellow card of the competition on Aug. 12 against Mexico. His previous booking came all the way back against Barbados on June 15, 2008, the first game of the team’s quest to qualify for South Africa.
  • The United States is 13-1-5 all-time versus El Salvador, with 43 goals scored and 12 surrendered. The only loss came Feb. 19, 1992, in a friendly in San Salvador. Current Men's National Team assistant coach Mike Sorber played 90 minutes in that game.  The U.S. holds an unbeaten 4-0-3 record in World Cup qualifying.
  • At home against El Salvador, the U.S. is 10-0-2 dating back to 1977.  In the latest five meetings on home soil, the U.S. has recorded five consecutive shutout victories with 14 goals scored. 
  • Three players on the U.S. roster have scored against El Salvador – Jozy Altidore, Brian Ching, and Landon Donovan. Altidore scored in the most recent meeting between the two teams, netting the first of two goals that helped the U.S. erase a 2-0 deficit and earn a point on March 28 in San Salvador.
  • A total of eight U.S. players on the current roster took the field that day: Altidore (1), Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), Michael Bradley, Brian Ching, Clint Dempsey, Donovan, Brad Guzan, José Francisco Torres [starters in bold].
  • All 20 players who were on the roster for last month's game against Mexico return to the fold, with four additional players added to the mix. Kyle Beckerman, Robbie Rogers and Clarence Goodson are back for the first time since helping the U.S. in a run to the final of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Forward Robbie Findley gets his first call-up to the national team since earning his first cap against Switzerland in October of 2007.
  • Twenty of the 23 players in camp have participated in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Beckerman, Findley, Chad Marshall and Rogers are the only players without an appearance in this World Cup cycle.
  • Bradley, Bocanegra, Dempsey and Donovan have started 11 out of 14 qualifiers this cycle. Donovan has the most minutes in qualifying (980), with Bocanegra (970) and Bradley (965) close behind.
  • Tim Howard, who earned the Golden Glove award in South Africa as the tournament’s best goalkeeper, was suspended the last time the USA met El Salvador. Howard was booked in the opening Final Round game against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, and served his suspension during the game in San Salvador. Brad Guzan deputized for Howard.
  • Dempsey, honored with the Bronze Ball as the third best player in the Confederations Cup, tallied three times in South Africa, including goals against Spain and Brazil. Dempsey recorded two game-winning goals in World Cup qualifying last year – against Barbados on June 15 in Carson, Calif., and in the 1-0 win on Sept. 6 in Cuba.  Bradley has a pair of game-winners to his credit as well, including both goals in the 2-0 win against Mexico on Feb. 11 in Columbus.
  • Casey leads MLS with 11 goals in 16 games. Donovan and Findley are not far behind, both posting 10 goals in the race to win the Budweiser Golden Boot.
  • Stuart Holden made his World Cup qualifying debut when he came on as a sub in the game at Estadio Azteca. Holden became the 40th player used by Bob Bradley in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
  • This is the USA’s second appearance in Utah, and also the second World Cup qualifier. In the previous visit, a Donovan pair and a spectacular performance from Kasey Keller paced the U.S. to a 3-0 win against Costa Rica on June 4, 2005, in front of 40,586 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium. (It is the team’s first visit to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy).

ROSTER BREAKDOWN

Average Age: 25.7                           Average Caps: 27.8

Most Caps: 116 (Landon Donovan)     Least Caps: 1 (Robbie Findley)                    

Oldest: 31 (Brian Ching)                   Youngest: 19 (Jozy Altidore)

Play professionally in: USA (10), England (6), Germany (2), France (2), Denmark (1), Italy (1), Mexico (1), Norway (1)

PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Nine U.S. players are carrying cautions into the El Salvador match, meaning their next yellow card will trigger a one-game suspension: Altidore, Bocanegra, Casey, Steve Cherundolo, Ricardo Clark, Jay DeMerit, Dempsey, Donovan, and Benny Feilhaber. Following the match at Rio Tinto Stadium, the next game for the U.S. is Sept. 9 against Trinidad & Tobago.

MARCH MADNESS:
Last time the U.S. met El Salvador the two sides fought to a spirited 2-2 draw on Matchday 2 of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. In front of a frenetic crowd at San Salvador's Estadio Cuscatlan, the home side jumped out to an early lead behind a 15th minute goal from Eliseo Quintanilla. The goal, which sent the home crowd into raptures, was El Salvador's first against the United States since former D.C. United striker Raul Diaz Arce netted for his country in a 4-2 loss on Nov. 16, 1997. Cristian Castillo managed to double El Salvador's lead in the 72nd minute before the U.S. charged to a memorable comeback. Substitute Jozy Altidore scored in the 79th minute after turning in a Frankie Hejduk cross before Hejduk himself leveled the score with a rare goal in the 86th minute. The draw gave the U.S. a valuable point on the road and also marked the first time that the team had faced and erased a two-goal deficit on the road. The USA’s previous two-goal comeback came Oct. 8, 1995 at RFK Stadium, when the U.S. spotted Saudi Arabia three goals in 29 minutes until a four-goal rally culminated in a goal by Roy Lassiter to lift the U.S. to a stunning 4-3 victory.

LD SET FOR ONE MORE RECORD: Landon Donovan holds numerous records for the U.S. Men's National Team, and on Saturday he could set another. With 31 career appearances in World Cup qualifying, Donovan is tied at the top of the U.S. list with former teammates and national team standouts Kasey Keller, Eddie Pope, and Claudio Reyna. Should Donovan make an appearance in Saturday's game, he will move into sole possession of the record.

World Cup Qualifying All-Time Appearances

Name                            Apps.                Era

1. Kasey Keller              31                     1990-2007
    Eddie Pope               31                     1996-2006
    Claudio Reyna           31                     1994-2006
    Landon Donovan        31                     2000-
5. Cobi Jones                30                     1992-2004
    Earnie Stewart           30                     1990-2004
7. Jeff Agoos                 26                     1988-2003
    DaMarcus Beasley      26                      2001-
9. Brian McBride            25                     1993-2006

GAME NO. 19 ON THE WORLD TOUR: Wednesday’s match represents the 19th international for the U.S. team in 2009, and the 18th game in official competition, which is already the most ever in a calendar year (the previous record was 16 in 2005). The U.S. holds a record of 10-6-2 through the first seven months of the year, scoring 34 goals, surrendering 27, and earning seven shutouts with three different goalkeepers. There have been four games against teams in the top 10 in the world (Spain, Brazil twice, and Italy), the first erasure of a two-goal deficit to earn at least a point in 13 years (against El Salvador in March), a come-from-behind win at home (against Honduras) and consecutive appearances in international tournament finals.

BRADLEY HITS THE HALF CENTURY MARK: Since January of 2007 it has been the charge of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to achieve the most important goal of any soccer playing nation: qualification for the FIFA World Cup. With 50 games under his belt, seeing 85 different players at least once and the process of reaching South Africa in 2010 in full swing, a review of the body of work during the past two years points to the U.S. clearly heading in the right direction. Bradley’s 31 victories in 50 games outdistances his predecessor Bruce Arena, who had collected 25 victories at this point in his tenure.  Since the start of the four-year cycle, the U.S. has: 

  • produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup
  • won six straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row in 2008, a new team record (June 15-Oct. 15)
  • won the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
  • won by the largest margin of victory in U.S. World Cup qualifying history (8-0 vs. Barbados on June 15, 2008)
  • won back-to-back games in Europe for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 @ Switzerland and March 26, 2008 @ Poland)
  • won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008 @ Poland)
  • played seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2)
  • played matches on four continents
  • posted 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup

THE BRADLEY BREAKDOWN

Record
All-Time: 31-14-5
Qualifying: 10-3-1
Gold Cup: 10-1-1
Goals For: 95
Goals Against: 56
Shutouts: 21

Record vs. …
CONCACAF: 21-4-4, 57 GF, 25 GA
CONMEBOL: 1-6-1, 9 GF, 19 GA
UEFA: 6-4-0, 15 GF, 10 GA
AFC: 1-0-0, 4 GF, 1 GA
CAF: 2-0-0, 4 GF, 0 GA

Record when …
Leading at half: 20-2-2
Losing at half: 2-4-1
Tied at half: 9-8-2

DOING THE MATH: While a lot of variables still remain to determine which three teams will represent CONCACAF at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, consider these facts for the U.S. heading into these two upcoming games: 

  • In the previous two World Cup cycles, the third place team qualified for the World Cup with 16 points in 2005, and 17 points in 2002.
  • The U.S. finished in third place during the 2002 cycle, qualifying on MatchDay 9 with a 2-1 victory on Oct. 7, 2001, against Jamaica.  In the 2006 cycle, the U.S. booked their ticket in the seventh game of the 10-match round-robin, earning a comprehensive 2-0 win against Mexico on Sept. 3, 2005, in Columbus.
  • There is only one scenario in which the U.S. could qualify for South Africa following the next two games: two U.S. victories and two losses for Mexico.

STARTING ANEW: Before losing to Mexico in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, the U.S. had gone 58 games without losing to a CONCACAF opponent on home soil. On Saturday against El Salvador, Bob Bradley's team will try to start another streak but first here's a look back at the 58-game unbeaten run stretching more than eight years:

2001:  1-0-0; 2 GF, 1 GA
2002:  7-0-1; 19 GF, 0 GA (8 clean sheets)
2003:  5-0-1; 16 GF, 2 GA (5)
2004:  5-0-2; 17 GF, 2 GA (5)
2005:  10-0-2; 22 GF, 4 GA (9)
2006:  1-0-2; 5 GF, 1 GA (2)
2007:  7-0-1; 15 GF, 3 GA (4)
2008:  4-0-1; 21 GF, 3 GA (3)
2009:  7-0-1; 19 GF, 5 GA (5)
Total: 47-0-11; 136 GF, 21 GA (41 clean sheets)

During the run the U.S. played El Salvador three times. The teams met in an international friendly on Nov. 17, 2002, in Washington, D.C., with Ben Olsen and Sasha Victorine getting goals in a 2-0 win for the U.S. Nearly two years later the teams would meet again, this time in a World Cup qualifier in Foxborough, Mass. The outcome was the same with Brian Ching and Landon Donovan tallying for the United States in a 2-0 victory. In 2007, the teams met in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, DaMarcus Beasley netting a pair with Landon Donovan and Taylor Twellman adding to the 4-0 rout at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: With his goal on March 28 in El Salvador, Frankie Hejduk became the 14th different U.S. player to score in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Hejduk joins Carlos Bocanegra (2) and Oguchi Onyewu (1) as the other defenders to score in qualifying. Jozy Altidore leads all scorers (5), with Michael Bradley (4), Brian Ching (4) Clint Dempsey (4), and Landon Donovan (4) just behind him. Charlie Davies (2) and DaMarcus Beasley (2) have also registered multiple goals. Also on the score sheet with one goal each are Freddy Adu, Kenny Cooper, Eddie Johnson and Eddie Lewis, who made his goal count as the game-winner on June 22, 2008, against Barbados.

CONCACAF RACE TIGHT HEADING INTO THE HOME STRETCH: CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is reaching the business end of proceedings with just four games left to go in the final round hexagonal. The picture could be much clearer after this double fixture date as teams vie to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack. The pick of Matchday 7 sees Mexico traveling to Estadio Saprissa to take on group leaders Costa Rica. Mexico are coming off the back of a big win against the U.S. while Costa Rica suffered a heavy defeat to Honduras on Aug. 12 in San Pedro Sula. Speaking of Honduras, they will put their undefeated 7-0-0 home record in 2010 World Cup qualifying on the line against Trinidad & Tobago on the same night. The following Wednesday, El Salvador hosts Costa Rica while Honduras travels to Estadio Azteca to meet Mexico. 

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

Costa Rica

6

4

2

0

9

9

0

12

Honduras

6

3

2

1

10

6

4

10

United States

6

3

2

1

11

8

3

10

Mexico

6

3

3

0

8

0

-1

9

El Salvador

6

1

3

2

6

8

-2

5

Trinidad & Tobago

6

1

3

2

7

11

-4

5

 

Matchday 7 – Sept. 5, 2009
Costa Rica vs. Mexico
United States vs. El Salvador
Honduras vs. Trinidad & Tobago

Matchday 8 – Sept. 9, 2009
Trinidad & Tobago vs. United States
El Salvador vs. Costa Rica
Mexico vs. Honduras

BY THE NUMBERS: U.S. IN WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
0 – Losses at home in qualifying under Bob Bradley
3 – Players on this roster without an appearance in World Cup qualifying (Findley, Rogers, Beckerman)
5 – Goals by Jozy Altidore in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying, good for the team lead
8 – Total clean sheets kept by Tim Howard and Brad Guzan out of 13 games
11 - Goals for Landon Donovan in World Cup qualifying history, the USA's all-time leader
40 – Players with at least one appearance in 2010 World Cup qualifying

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Keep up with all U.S. Men’s National Team news (in short form, of course) by following at www.twitter.com/ussoccer.

BE OFFICIAL WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING: What’s the next best thing to being at a game surrounded by your fellow screaming fans? Watching a game at an Official U.S. Soccer Bar surrounded by your fellow screaming fans! Bars across the U.S. are becoming the destination spots to gather and watch your U.S. teams in an atmosphere that is loud and rowdy. Head to an Official U.S. Soccer Bar this weekend and be sure to return their this upcoming Wednesday to see the U.S. take on Trinidad & Tobago.

U.S. SOCCER ON FACEBOOK: U.S. Soccer is offering a new way to follow its teams with the “Official U.S. Soccer Page” on Facebook. Visit the page to post videos, interact with other fans and follow the latest news from all U.S. Soccer teams. The new Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook is the best place to keep with your favorite teams and make your voice heard in the U.S. Soccer community.

IN FOCUS: EL SALVADOR

EL SALVADOR FACT FILE
Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol
Founded: 1935 (Joined FIFA in 1938)
Head Coach: Carlos de los Cobos (México)
Best World Cup Finish: First Round, 1970 and 1982
Best CONCACAF Gold Cup Finish: Quarterfinals, two times (2003 most recent)
Caps Leader: Luis Guevara Mora (89)
Top Scorer: Jorge González (41)
Key Players: Cristian Castillo, Eliseo Quintanilla, Ramon Sanchez

ROAD RESULT REQUIRED: El Salvador entered the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying as the group's long shot, having not appeared in this stage of World Cup qualifying in more than a decade. Six games into the “Hexagonal,” the squad of head coach Carlos de los Cobos still has a shot of qualifying for the World Cup, but they'll need a massive result at Rio Tinto Stadium to help their cause. While a loss would not mathematically eliminate El Salvador from contention, another defeat on the road - where they are already winless in three games this round - would almost surely provide them with too big a mountain to climb in order to reach South Africa. Nonetheless, anything is possible in World Cup qualifying, and El Salvador would gladly take a similar draw to the one they played out with the United States in late March earlier this year.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: With the game against the U.S., El Salvador faces its second consecutive game on the road in World Cup qualifying (something the MNT will have to contend with next month when they travel to Honduras). El Salvador's fortunes on the road in World Cup qualifying have been vastly different from their results at home. Through the course of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying, El Salvador is 1-4-1, with their only win coming in the semifinal round against Suriname. At home, Los Cuscatlecos are 4-1-2 with the highlight coming in a memorable win against Mexico this past June.

CALLING 'EM IN: Carlos de los Cobos has called on 24 players for the upcoming double fixture date, with a few names who will be familiar to U.S. fans. The roster features three players from MLS in Alfredo Pacheco of the Red Bulls, and Ramón Sanchez and Arturo Álvarez of the San Jose Earthquakes. Álvarez is a former U.S. Youth National Team player, having made an appearance for the U.S. as recently as 2007 with the U-23 MNT. He recently received approval to change associations under new FIFA rules, and made his El Salvador debut in the last game against Trinidad & Tobago. The roster also features Eliseo Quintanilla and Christian Castillo, who both scored against the United States the last time the two teams met. Quintanilla has an impressive six goals in World Cup qualifying, tying him for third overall in CONCACAF. El Salvador's Rudi Corrales leads all scorers in the region with seven goals in World Cup qualifying, though six of those goals came in a first round mauling of Anguilla.

El Salvador Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Miguel Montes (C.D. Águila), Dagoberto Portillo (FAS)
DEFENDERS (9): Alex Escobar (Metapán), Ramón Flores (FAS), Marvin González (FAS), Mardoqueo Henríquez (FAS), Luis Miguel Hernández (C.D. Águila), Alfredo Pacheco (New York Red Bulls), Manuel Salazar (Firpo), Víctor Turcios (Firpo), Deris Ariel Umanzor (C.D. Águila)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Denis Alas (Firpo), Arturo Álvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Cristian Castillo (León), Salvador Coreas (Municipal Limeño), Juan Carlos Moscoso (FAS), Eliseo Quintanilla (Ermis Aradippou), Osael Romero (Vista Hermosa), Ramón Sánchez (San Jose Earthquakes)
FORWARDS (3): Rudis Corrales (C.D. Águila), William Reyes (FAS), Rodolfo Zelaya (León) 

LAST TIME…

On the field for USA in World Cup qualifying

Aug. 12, 2009 – Estadio Azteca, Mexico City – FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Final Round, Matchday 6
Mexico             2          Israel Castro 19, Miguel Sabah 82
USA                 1          Charlie Davies 9 

MEX: 1-Guillermo Ochoa; 5-Ricardo Osorio, 3-Carlos Salcido, 2-Jonny Magallón, 16-Efraín Juárez; 17-Giovani dos Santos, 8-Israel Castro, 6-Gerardo Torrado (capt.), 18-Andrés Guardado (7-Nery Castillo, 71); 10-Cuauhtémoc Blanco (11-Carlos Vela, 56), 9-Guillermo Franco (14-Miguel Sabah, 79)
Subs not used: 4-Aarón Galindo, 12-José de Jesús Corona, 15-José Antonio Castro, 13-Oscar Rojas
Head Coach: Javier Aguirre

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 15-Jay DeMerit, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.); 8-Clint Dempsey, 13 -Ricardo Clark (7-Stuart Holden, 58), 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Landon Donovan; 9-Charlie Davies (17-Jozy Altidore, 76), 11-Brian Ching (16-Benny Feilhaber, 58)
Subs not used: 18-Brad Guzan, 2-Jonathan Spector, 12-Jonathan Bornstein, 14-Jose Francisco Torres
Head Coach: Bob Bradley 
 

On the field for El Salvador in World Cup qualifying

Aug. 12, 2009 – Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad .– 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Final Round, Matchday 6
Trinidad & Tobago       1          Cornell Glen 7
El Salvador                  0           

TRI: 1-Clayton Ince; 16-Silvio Spann, 3-Radanfah Abu Bakr, 6-Dennis Lawrence, 5-Keston Williams; 11-Carlos Edwards, 2-Clyde Leon (7-Chris Birchall, 62), 8-Trent Noel, 12-Keon Daniel (17-Dwight Yorke, 71); 13-Cornell Glen (9-Jason Scotland, 83), 15-Kenwyne Jones
Subs not used: 4-Marvin Andrews, 10-Hayden Tinto, 14-Kerry Baptiste, 18-Marvin Phillip
Head Coach: Russell Latapy 

SLV: 1-Miguel Montes; 5-Luis Hernanez, 3-Marvin Gonzalez, 12-Manuel Salazar; 4-Ramon Flores (14-William Reyes, 66), 8-Osael Romero (6-Arturo Alvarez, 46), 7-Ramon Sanchez (capt.), 17-Christian Castillo, 13-Deris Umanzor; 10-Eliseo Quintanilla, 11-Rodolfo Zelaya (9-Rudis Corrales, 83)
Subs not used: 2-Alexander Escobar, 15-Alfredo Pacheco, 16-Dennis Alas, 18-Benji Villalobos
Head Coach: Carlos de los Cobos 

On the field for USA vs. El Salvador in World Cup qualifying

March 28, 2009 – Estadio Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador – 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Final Round, Matchday 2
El Salvador      2          Eliseo Quintanilla 15, Cristian Castillo 72
USA                 2          Jozy Altidore 77, Frankie Hejduk 86 

SLV: 18-Miguel Montes (1-Juan Jose Gomez, 75), 12-Manuel Salazar, 3-Marvin González, 2-Mardoqueo Henríquez, 15-Alfredo Pacheco, 6-Julio Martínez, 7-Ramon Sánchez, 17-Cristian Castillo, 8-Osael Romero, 10-Eliseo Quintanilla (4-Dennis Alas, 82), 11-Rodolfo Zelaya (16-Carlos Ayala, 80)
Subs not used: 5-Luis Hernandez, 13-Deris Umanazor, 14-William Torres, 9-Rudis Corrales
Head Coach: Carlos de los Cobos 

USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 14-Danny Califf, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 15-Heath Pearce (9-Jozy Altidore, 61); 16-Sacha Kljestan (6-José Francisco Torres, 72), 12-Michael Bradley (13-Maurice Edu, 90+5), 10-Landon Donovan, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 11-Brian Ching, 8-Clint Dempsey
Subs not used: 1-Marcus Hahnemann, 5-Jay DeMerit, 4-Pablo Mastroeni, 17-Jonathan Spector
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

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