U.S. MNT Clinches Group B Title With 4-0 Win Against El Salvador
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (June 12, 2007) — The U.S. Men’s National Team completed a clean sweep of Group B play in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, defeating El Salvador 4-0 on Tuesday evening at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The United States will remain in Boston and play their quarterfinal match on Saturday (June 16) at 4 p.m. ET against either Guadeloupe (Group A third-place) or the third-place finisher in Group C (which will be settled on Wednesday evening).
The U.S. was led on the night by DaMarcus Beasley with two goals, and Landon Donovan and Taylor Twellman with one goal each. Donovan’s goal gives him 87 career points with the USA, extending the record he set on Saturday against Trinidad & Tobago. The Gold Cup goal was Donovan's ninth all-time, tying him with Eric Wynalda for the USA's all-time tournament lead.
“A good win for us,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “It’s especially nice, that when the game opened up in the second half, to see some of the soccer that we put together. That’s a nice reward for the hard work early in the match. In tournaments like this, the beginning of the tournament always starts with games that are pretty tight, and we knew that right away against Guatemala. So today we had a good chance to finish on a different note. Certainly we know going into the knockout stage that things will tighten up again. We look forward to it.”
The first U.S. goal came courtesy of some offensive pressure down the left flank from Beasley and Donovan, who worked an excellent combination that saw Beasley fouled just outside the area in the 32nd minute. The U.S. earned a corner kick on the ensuing free kick, with Donovan placing the ball into the area. Pressure from Michael Bradley saw it pop out to the edge of the box for Beasley to neatly place through traffic from 16 yards into the lower right corner of the goal. The slow shot fooled El Salvadoran goalkeeper Miguel Montes, who dove to his left but couldn’t keep the perfectly-placed shot out of the goal.
“I just kind of threw my foot at it and it went in,” said Beasley in describing his first goal. “I think the turning point of the game was Landon’s penalty kick. That really threw them on their heels. They threw a lot at us in the first 15 minutes of the second half, but after that we were in control. It was important to get the first goal. We knew El Salvador was going to be very compact and difficult to break down. Teams know us now and know what the USA brings. We are happy with the results from the first three games, but we know it is going to be tough the rest of the way.”
The USA went ahead 2-0 at the end of the half with Landon Donovan finishing off a second penalty kick attempt in a strange sequence in the fourth minute of stoppage time. On the goal, Donovan rifled his shot down the middle with Montes leaning to his left. That strike came after Montes originally made the save on Donovan, but the U.S. forward put away his own rebound, only to have Mexican referee Benito Archundia point to the spot for a retake after calling for player encroachment in the area.
The penalty for the USA was set-up by the ever-active Donovan, who sprayed a breakaway pass into the run of Benny Feilhaber, whose cross from the edge of the penalty area struck the extended left hand of El Salvadoran Alfredo Pacheco a yard inside the area.
After being involved in both goals for the U.S., including scoring the 31st international goal of his career, Donovan was substituted at the beginning of the second half for Taylor Twellman, who immediately got into the action.
Twellman scored his sixth international goal on a clinical breakaway charge led by Beasley, who won a ball in his own half of the field and immediately pushed forward with numbers. With Brian Ching and Clint Dempsey joining in on the break, Beasley slid an easy ball to the center of the field for Ching, who in turn slotted a ball forward to Twellman, who expertly controlled the pass with one touch and then powered his shot through Montes.
In the 89th minute, the same four players streaked forward on another fastbreak, this time Ching collecting a ball in his own half and circling forward on a 40-yard run before sliding a pass to the center of the field for Dempsey. The former New England Revolution star then sliced another square ball into the area for Beasley, who timed his onside run perfectly in front of his mark and easily deposited his 15th international goal past the helpless Montes.
The USA line-up featured the return of Pablo Mastroeni to the USA midfield after a three-game suspension that spanned almost a year following his World Cup red card against Italy. Michael Bradley and Feilhaber lined up beside the U.S. veteran in the midfield for the U.S., with Feilhaber being the only U.S. player to start all three opening round matches of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The victory improved the USA’s incredible all-time record in opening round Gold Cup action to 21-0-1. The U.S. will now await the Wednesday results from the wide-open Group C, where Panama (four points) is in control of a tightly contested quagmire that also features Honduras (3 points), Mexico (3 points) and Cuba (1 point).
The 12-team Gold Cup tournament runs through June 24 where the final is slated for Soldier Field in Chicago. Immediately following the Gold Cup, the USA will participate in the 2007 Copa America, the regional championship of South America. The 12-team tournament will run from June 26 to July 15 in nine cities across Venezuela. The U.S. will open Group C play against Argentina on June 28, before facing Paraguay on July 2 and Colombia on July 5.
Date Match-up Venue Time / TV
June 16 Quarterfinal ^ Gillette Stadium (
June 21 Semifinal ^* Soldier Field (
June 24 Final ^* Soldier Field (
July 7/8 Quarterfinals #*
July 10/11 Semifinals #*
July 14 Final #*
^ CONCACAF Gold Cup
* If necessary
Match-up: USA vs. El Salvador
Date: June 12, 2007
Competition: CONCACAF Gold Cup
Venue: Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, Mass.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 65 degrees, cloudy
1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
El Salvador 0 0 0
USA – DaMarcus Beasley (unassisted) 34th minute
USA – Landon Donovan (penalty kick) 49+.
USA – Taylor Twellman (Brian Ching) 73.
USA – DaMarcus Beasley (Clint Dempsey) 89.
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 17-Jonathan Spector (15-Frank Simek, 81), Oguchi Onyewu, 16-Michael Parkhurst, 13-Jonathan Bornstein; 6-Michael Bradley (11-Brian Ching, 64), 4-Pablo Mastroeni, 5-Benny Feilhaber; 10-Landon Donovan (20-Taylor Twellman, 46), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 8-Clint Dempsey
Subs not used: 12-Jay DeMerit, 18-Kasey Keller, 19-Ricardo Clark, 21-Justin Mapp
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
SLV: 25-Miguel Montes, 2-Leonel Guevara (15-Manuel Salazar, 46), 5-Jose Henriquez, 12-Ramiro Carballo (13- Julio Martinez, 46), 14-Ramon Sanchez, 17-Dennis Alas, 18-Alexander Escobar, 19 Alfredo Pacheco, 23-Jose Martinez, 9-Juan Campos (16-Cesar Lario, 77), 11-Ronald Cerritos
Subs not used: 4-Vicente Melgar, 6-Jose Torres, 8-Carlos Menvijar, 22-Dagoberto Gamero
Head Coach: Carlos de los Cobos
Shots 10 5
Shots on Goal 9 0
Saves 0 4
Corner Kicks 3 1
Fouls 15 11
Offside 3 9
USA – Michael Bradley (caution) 10th minute
SLV – Leonel Guevara (caution) 19.
SLV – Juan Campos (caution) 29.
USA – Pablo Mastroeni (caution) 46+.
SLV – Ronald Cerritos (caution) HT
USA – Oguchi Onyewu (caution) 56.
Referee: Benito Archundia (MEX)
1st Asst.: Jose Luis Camargo (MEX)
2nd Asst.: Alejandro Azofeifa (CRC)
Fourth Official: Javier Jauregui (ANT)
Sierra Mist Man of the Match: DaMarcus Beasley