Five Things to Know About El Salvador

The USMNT finishes the summer international window at El Salvador in its second match of its 2022-2023 Concacaf Nations League series on Tuesday, June 14 (7 p.m. ET on FS1, Univision and TUDN); Presented by BioSteel
Michael Lewis

The U.S. Men’s National Team will try to complete its June international unbeaten as it visits first-place El Salvador in San Salvador in its second Concacaf Nations League match on Tuesday, June 14 at 10 p.m. ET (FS1, Univision, TUDN).

Buoyed by Jesús Ferreira's four goals, the USA (1-0-0, 3 points) recorded a 5-0 win over Grenada (0-2-1, 1) in its Nations League A Group D opener in Austin, Texas on June 10.

With a win, the USMNT can take the Group D lead and book its place in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup. El Salvador (1-0-1, 4) are atop the standings on the strength of a 3-1 home victory over Grenada on June 4 and a 2-2 draw at the Caribbean side on June 7.



El Salvador has participated in two World Cups – in 1970 and 1982. The squad finished last – 16th and 24th, respectively, in both competitions.

Los Cuscatlecos have participated in eight consecutive Concacaf Gold Cups, reaching the quarterfinals in 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2021.

They finished third in Copa Centroamericana six times, most recently in 2017 and also captured the Central American and Caribbean Games championship in 2002.

El Salvador is one of four sides that were promoted to Nations League A after finishing atop their group in League B play during the inaugural 2019-20 edition of the competition.



The USA enters the match with a 11-1-6 record against El Salvador, dating back to a 2-1 win in San Salvador on Sept. 21, 1977. The USA are also unbeaten in their last 17 games against their Central American foes. Their lone loss was a 2-0 road setback in a friendly on Feb. 19, 1992. The USMNT is 2-1-3 in El Salvador.



Most recently, the teams played to a scoreless draw  to open 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying in San Salvador on Sept. 2, 2001. In the return leg earlier this year, the USA utilized Antonee Robinson’s 52nd minute strike to earn a 1-0 win at Field in Columbus, Ohio on Jan. 27.




After finishing seventh (2-8-4, 10) in the Concacaf Octagonal for FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifying, El Salvador has competed in two friendlies and two Concacaf Nations League matches.

They lost at home to Guatemala, 4-0, on April 24 and bounced back with a 3-2 comeback home win over Panama on May 1. El Salvador spotted Panama a 2-0 lead before bouncing back behind goals by Bryan Tamacas (34th minute), Cristian Gil (55th minute) and Jairo Henriquez (65th minute).

In CNL action against Grenada this month, Los Cuscatlecos recorded a 1-0-1 record. On June 4, they secured a 3-1 home win as Nelson Bonilla tallied twice (second and 43rd minutes) and Arthur Paterson scored an own goal for the visitors in the 55th minute.

The team twice came back during its 2-2 draw at Grenada on June 7.  Six minutes after surrendering the opening goal, Alexander Larín’s 35th minute penalty kick put things level going into halftime. Grenada looked like they may earn an historic win after Jamal Charles’ 54th minute strike, but El Salvador’s Cristian Gil dashed those hopes with a late 88th minute equalizer.



Hugo Pérez should be a name quite familiar to soccer fans as the former USMNT midfielder helped the United States qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy and played for the U.S. at World Cup ‘94.

Today, he is directing the country of his birth. After emigrating with his family to the Los Angeles area as a nine-year-old, Pérez gained U.S. citizenship years later. Considered one of the best attacking players of his era, Perez scored 13 goals in 73 international matches.

Perhaps his most memorable goal came against El Salvador. In a game that was moved to Tegucigalpa, Honduras because of crowd violence during a previous qualifier in El Salvador, Perez scored the lone goal in the 62nd minute to boost the USA to a 1-0 win on Sept. 17, 1989, and a big step toward qualifying for its first World Cup in 40 years.



He earned many honors during his playing days. The attacker was the 1991 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the year and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2008.

Pérez served as U.S. Under-14 and U-15 coach from 2012-14 before becoming an assistant coach with El Salvador from 2015-16, taking the reins as the U-23 coach and later the full national side earlier this year.



Head coach Hugo Pérez called in 27 players for his three-game CNL series. Sixteen players compete domestically, four for FAS and three apiece for Aguila and Alianza.

Midfielder Darwin Cerén, 32, is the most experienced player with 86 caps, followed by 29-year-old defender Alexander Larín, with 74.

Forward Nelson Bonilla is the leading scorer on the squad with 17 international goals. The rest of the team has combined for 24 tallies.

Six players perform in the U.S. - goalkeeper Tomas Romero (Los Angeles FC) and Cerén (Houston Dynamo) in MLS and defender Ronaldo Rodriguez (FC Tulsa), midfielder Eric Calvillo (El Paso Locomotive) and forwards Joaquin Rivas (FC Tulsa) and Roberto Molina (Las Vegas Lights) in the USL Championship.


GOALKEEPERS (3): Kevin Carabantes (FAS; 6/0), Mario González (Alianza; 24/0), Tomas Romero (Los Angeles FC/USA; 2/0)

DEFENDERS (10): Erick Cabalceta (San Carlos/CRC; 0/0); Elvis Claros (Jocoro; 1/0), Lizandro Claros (Aguila; 2/0), Rudy Clavel (FAS; 0/0), Roberto Domínguez (Chalatenango; 53/1), Alexander Larin (Comunicaiones/GUA; 74/4), Kevin Menjivar (Once Deportivo; 0/0), Ronaldo Rodriguez (FC Tulsa/USA; 23/0), Bryan Tamacas (Alianza; 52/1), Eduardo Vigil (Firpo; 7/0)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Eric Calvillo (El Paso Locomotive/USA; 7/0), Darwin Cerén (Houston Dynamo/USA; 86/5), Jairo Henríquez (Aguila; 30/3), Enrico Hernández (Vitesse/NED; 12/1), Bryan Landaverde (FAS; 10/0), Christian Martinez Mena (San Carlos/CRC; 10/0), Kevin Melara (Aguila; 1/0), Narciso Orellana (Alianza; 51/1), Denis Pineda (Chalatenango; 30/3)

FORWARDS (5): Nelson Bonilla (Port FC/THA; 53/17), Cristian Gil (Metapan; 5/1), Roberto Molina (Las Vegas Lights/USA; 4/0), Kevin Reyes (FAS; 7/0), Joaquín Rivas (FC Tulsa/USA; 29/4)

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