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'Best soccer' may be ahead for veteran USA squad

'Best soccer' may be ahead for veteran USA squad

United States of America beat El Salvador 2-0 in last night's Gold Cup quarter-final.

Romero's bite on Altidore appears to have caused the bigger ripple after he told reporters post-match: 'My girl's mad at me. She's like 'Only I can bite you.

Lichaj atoned for a almost costly slip on a third-minute counter attack that gifted a loose back pass to Salvadoran forward Rodolfo Zelaya, but Tim Howard rushed off his line to collect. Lichaj also got burned by Denis Pineda in the 52nd, but the winger fizzled his shot wide. In a game where absurd and nasty fouls - biting and nipple twisting - by the losers were all too apparent, a few good moments stood out for Coach Bruce Arena's side.

It wasn't pretty, but the USMNT defeated El Salvador on a steamy summer night in Philly 2-0 behind first half goals from Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj.

"I was a bit shocked", Gonzalez said.

"There should have been a player sent off tonight", Arena said.

The amusing side of El Salvador's tactics was observed by Altidore after the game. In all, this Cup has been a positive for Lichaj as he works to make the Russian Federation 2018 squad, but an error like the one that nearly led to a goal on Wednesday is one too many for a player the States will want to count on next summer.




With the crisis averted, the USA rebounded well and appeared to strike first in the 17th minute, as Gyasi Zardes broke free into the left side of the box unmarked and placed a shot past the keeper into the net.

The Yanks were fortunate, at times lucky, on a night when five first-team regulars returned to the starting lineup, only to yield an overall performance as sloppy and inauspicious as any of the team's prior three matches. What was shown during the replays of both incidents would be hard to believe if you didn't see it firsthand.

The U.S. will face off with a highly touted Costa Rica side on Saturday in Arlington, Texas, with a spot in the Gold Cup Final at stake. Lichaj left his pass back to Howard short, and Dennis Pineda raced in on goal, but Howard was off his line quickly with a strong hand to save his defender's blushes.

The first 10 minutes seemed to be mostly El Salvador as they had multiple chances on goal and quite honestly should've converted at least a couple chances.

"Personally it wasn't the best of games for myself, but we ended up winning and getting a clean sheet is always good as a defender".

"CONCACAF never ceases to amaze me", said Altidore.

The ex-Sunderland striker subsequently joked that defender Henry Romero's underhand tactics had even offended his girlfriend. "I shouldn't be saying, 'These things happen, ' but they do".

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