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US U-23s vs. El Salvador Highlights
   March 26, 2012 (9:20 PM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post

So that just happened.  The US failed to qualify for the Olympics with a 3-3 draw to El Salvador tonight.  Here are the highlights.  Try to keep things relatively calm in the comments.

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Matt Benson

Matt likes soccer. He likes sleeping in. He is also amused easily. That is pretty much it.

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Categories: Highlights, US U-23 National Team

39 Responses to “US U-23s vs. El Salvador Highlights”

  1. Davis says:

    Well that’s humiliating…

  2. mitch says:

    Sean Johnson is the most valuable player of this game as he instigated justice. with the talent and experience we had on the field I was astonished to see how disinterested the US team was. After the opening goal we looked confused and began to hesitate every chance we got. We continuously gave possession back to el Salvador with lazy and predictable passing. there was no possession with purpose, no killer instinct, and for large portions of the game no heart. Freddy should have been pushed central after the first half, and gyau should have been inserted on the wing. I felt it was quite obvious given freddys tendencies and our lack of pace to stretch their defense outside of brek. The team lacked cohesion and Morale appeared to be very low. Freddy, brek and boyd showed their quality, confidence and strength. If that team couldn’t beat el Salvador with their backs against the wall, i’m content not seeing them qualify. The bar needs to be higher than a nail biter against little el Salvador and being outclassed on a football pitch by Canadiens

  3. Shaun says:

    Well said Mitch. I think the coach needs to go. To have all that talent with no results is quite frankly a disgrace.

  4. Andy says:

    Blow me hard…

  5. Trent Hill says:

    Wow, my heart is broken. My DVR stopped with like 1.5 minutes left, so I assumed we held on. Just to make sure…I checked here. And we drew. Damn.

  6. mitch says:

    Thanks Shaun, though im sure you too have more frustations than were voiced.

    Trent: the same thing happened to me. I record all programming i’m interested in and watch it later, usually 30 to 45 min. minus the commercials. was forced to do this because of the abundant commercials during NFL/NBA. When I went to see what the general post game reaction was to our suspicion-inducing win and subsequent qualification, I was shell shocked. For a split second I entertained the possibility of it being a mistake, the first headline on google reading 3-3 and the US crashing out of qualification. I did not extend the recording as there was no possibility of over time. i’m telling ya man, this dvr technology has let me down too many times.

  7. Kyle says:

    and what leaague do all the el salvadorians play in? their own country. it must be better than the MLS

  8. Kyle says:

    oh yea and whats with all the Perry Kitchen hype before this tournament? He is terrible IMO from what I say.

  9. Ian says:

    Just curious, from the guys who saw the game was there a reason a 5th minute of added time was allowed? The ball was at midfield more than 5 seconds after the 4 minutes posted. Was there a stoppage that would explain the additional added time? Thanks and this sucks.

  10. Howie says:

    the match ends whenever the referee says it does. He doesn’t have to govern himself by what was posted.

  11. Trent Hill says:

    As Brian Sciaretta pointed out: Know who else isn’t going to the Olympics? Italy, Germany, France, Holland, Argentina–so we’re in good company.

    And remember, Olympic soccer is, especially in qualifying, youth soccer. That means inconsistency, emotional performances (good and bad), and strange results.

    Let’s keep this in perspective. I’m not saying Porter should or should not be fired, just asking people to remember these are young kids.

    Now I’m looking forward to the next US friendly. Want to see Dempsey and Donovan play together, finally. I’m excited to see if Boyd can be integrated into a 4-4-2 next to Altidore and whether Mix, Corona, Adu, or Gyau have spots at the national team table. Wooten too.

  12. Trent Hill says:

    Howie hits the nail on the head. He could’ve let it go on another 5 minutes if he felt that was appropriate. More than any other sport, refs in soccer have discretion.

  13. Juan Vincente de la Burro says:


    Oh, well…

    Let’s just fire Thomas Rongen again and move along then, eh?

  14. Trent Hill says:

    I can appreciate the excitement about 4-3-3, but I really don’t think it’s the formation for US teams. I like 4-4-2 (and I know I’m alone there) for our teams.

  15. Kyle says:

    Can’t believe how little Joe Gyau saw the field 🙁 definitely a question on my mind for Porter

  16. Manny says:

    Any body see how happy Boyd was when Corona scored the “winning goal”?? Feel sorry for the guys who gave it their all… That being said Porter must go. We are in a point in our history where we expect better of our team and when those expectations aren’t met people should get sacked. There’s no excuse for us to not qualify, it doesn’t matter if this is our “youth” team. With the squad we had we should of easily have beaten any team in this tournament with the exception of Mexico. For the second time in my life I’m embarrassed to be a US fan(with the US letting a two zero lead go against Mexico in the gold cup final being my first)

  17. Evan says:

    Take notice that one Salvadoran player is actually American, and he’s not professional: Richard Menjivar, Cal State Bakersfield (previously Evansville):

  18. Jonathan says:

    It’s as if 5 people busted hump and cared and the others were riding coat tails. We should never lose to El Salvador at any level, now less than ever with are youth talent pool increasingly becoming more legitimate.

    You can argue about whether El Salvador should have even been “in” the game, and rightly so but if you look only at last night’s game in a vaccuum, we did more than enough to win and Bill Hamid blew it; he should have trapped the ball or at the very least knocked that long range effort away. But he did neither, much like with infielders in baseball, he didn’t make a play on the ball, he let that ball play him.

    I feel worse for Adu, he played quite through out the qualifying, Shea, Boyd, and possibly Corona/Mix will see senior team action most likely, but Adu will have a tall task in breaking into that CAM roster spot with the likes of Dempsey, Donovan, Klesjtan, Shea, D. Williams, etc. it’s a long list. Well here’s looking to Scotland in Jacksonville.


  19. Jonathan says:

    Correction** Sorry Sean Johnson played keeper, my bad, don’t know why I thought Bill Hamid. Oh wait I do, it’s because he’s getting the next chance between the posts for sure, at least he should.


  20. LaMichael says:

    Yeah all three goals would have been delt with much better by a howard or guzan or hahnemann or hamid or a lawn chair.

    but the us did miss one or two chances to add to the lead

  21. Steve Trittschuh says:

    No excuses. Porter needs to go. Up 3-2 and poor defending (and poor goalkeeping).

    I’m a bit afraid of who the national team players in the next generation will be.

  22. Award says:

    From this current team the 4 or 5 players that will go on to having US senior call-ups during this WC cycle will probably be: Adu, Shea, Boyd, Gyau, Agudelo and at least one of the goalies. I forsee most of these players getting over looked. Same thing happened in 2004. The next U-20 team is very talented and will probably represent the future of the U.S. senior team at the 2018 WC. Sucks that we lost, but this team never clicked, and never looked like a unit in this tournament. Well on to WC qualifying. Form this cycle of U-23 players at l;east Jurgen has identified who will go on to the USMNT during this cycle. These are all of the u-23 players I forsee getting call-ups the next two years leading up to the WC.
    GK: Both
    Defense: Chandler
    Midfield: Gatt, D. Williams, Morales, Shea, Adu, Gyau
    FWDS: Boyd, Agudelo, Wooten
    Good thing Klinsmann and the USMNT has defense covered. And we don’t have to rely on Opara, Valentin, Sarkodie in this next WC cycle.
    Looking FWD to the May camp and friendlies where I think that Boyd, Adu, Shea, Gatt, and Wooten will surely be called in along with Chandler and D.Wiliams.

  23. Bird says:

    To anyone that watched the match…..that punch to Boyd’s face in the 2nd half seemed worthy of a red-card and was also in the box which would make it a penalty as well. The ball doesnt need to be in the box for a penalty to be called, as long as a player fouls an opposing player while in the box the ref can give a penalty…..Was there any punishment for this player or did it go unnoticed by the referee crew?

  24. Award says:

    I said form the beginning that Adu should have been the CAM. Corona dissapeared for large stretches of the game aginst both Canada and El Salvador. Don’t like the call not to call in some younger players either. Anthony Brooks could have definitely played CB for this team, and I think Luis Gil would have been a great addition as well.
    Cna’t fault the players commitment last night. Especially Adu, Shea, and Boyd. I think Porter still has a bright future, but it seems he was still to wet behind the ears for international soccer. Looking FWD to WC qualifying and then U-20 CONCACAF WC qualifying tournament.

  25. Award says:

    I don’t undrestand how this team didn’t have chemistry, and looked so ungrossly unprepared for this tournament when they have been meeting for four months straight for every month. Canada and El Salvador put there team together two weeks before the tournament started. Boggles my nind. Not only that the coaching staff looked like a parent that had just started coaching soccer.

  26. Jake says:

    I just can’t help but feel as US soccer fans we are holding our teams to standard that they have not earned yet. It feels humiliating to lose to Canada and El Salvador because on paper we have a team that is much more talented than these opponents. But until that talent performs at a level that is expected, it is worthless to speculate how well any of teams should do. US teams need to get over this notion that we are “superior” to all other concacaf teams (other than Mexico). Every qualifying tournament is going to be a battle against teams who have nothing to lose and are going to play their hearts out. Until we do the same, these results are going to continue. Desire and heart are the two most underrated qualities in all sports. Our players need to evaluate why they are there and what they are really trying to accomplish.

  27. Jaime says:

    All I can say is that this one really hurts… I personally was looking forward to the watching this team in the Summer Olympics. I thought the team played well but I think our goalkeeping let us down throughout the tournament. Both Goalkeepers looked nervous and overwhelmed. I think not having Morales and Gatt really hurt. Moving forward we should have some agreement with the teams to release all of our players for any qualifier because I feel strongly that had we had all of our under 23 players we would definitely be playing in the summer.

  28. john says:

    If you watched the El Salvadorian goalkeeper he was out on every corner into the box and punched it away through a large crowd. All five of the goals we gave up have to weigh heavily on the goalkeepers. If the ball is in or even just outside the 6 yard box they should come and get it. Decent keeping and we could have shut out Canada and El Salvador.

  29. Gregory says:

    Porter should be fired just to set the example that the USA is suppose to Qualify. Even if were not that elite we should pretend we are.

    Not playing Sheanon Williams was arrogant by Porter, Williams has more MLS starts then Opara and Sarkodie combined. Also note Williams was the only defender with MLS Playoff experience. Porter disrespected the MLS in one of its few times the league can be showcased.

  30. Trent Hill says:

    I can agree the goalkeeping was tragic. Pretty sad for a nation that has long been known for exporting the best goalkeepers in the world.

    Good news: None of these goalkeepers will be starters for awhile. Our depth chart shouldn’t include Hamid/Johnson yet. We’ve got Howard, Guzan, Friedel, Yelldell, and plenty of others in front of them.

  31. Hector says:

    After the 1st U.S goal i immediately lost hope for the Salvadorian team, stating the fact that im a US American/Salvadorian. I strongly support my birth country but i really wanted the underdog to take the W. U.S had a very strong team with size and speed added to the advantage and with that i still dont know how they lost and managed to give up the lead so late in the game. Salvador was playing strong and never gave up with odds against them in every way possible specifically size and speed but with much technique to fill the missing gaps. They should fire the US coach and bring in someone who can utilize their strong players and make a positive outcome in any situation. I am very pleased with how exciting the game was, i was at the edge of my seat the whole time even wanting to punch the heck out of my tv, so with that said i give my support to the Salvadorian team but at the same time US needds to “GET IT TOGETHER”.
    Very good game and everyone seemed well mannedred disregarding the elbow to the face to the american forward. IDK whats up with that!!

    ps. even the goal keepers had a size advantege…they need new ONES!! & El Salvador need BIGGER FASTER players.

  32. Matt says:

    Only thing is can say is ;as a former goalie. It has happened to all of us, but it is shame it happened in a game of this importance.

  33. mitch says:

    Trent, the US is not known for producing the best goalkeepers in the world. Not by a long shot. Brad friedel and Tim Howard, perhaps Kasey Keller at his best… Some would call them world class keepers, as I would. Tony meola was nowhere near among the worlds best, not for any extended period of time. The us has never produced a goalie that any qualified individual would deem to be the best the world has to offer. Just ah… Just saying.

  34. Kipper says:

    Things really didn’t click last night.
    Our defense was horrid. Beat consistently, terrible outlet passes, poor touch, weak in the air.
    Most of the blame should easily be laid upon the keepers. Hamid was embarrassing. Injury.. yeah right.. more like bruised ego. Cost us both the Canada & El Salvador games. Not that we played well anyway.
    Bright spots? Maybe Shea Adu Gyau Corona & Boyd although none were consistently good. I thought Jeffery & Mix were really good first game then weaker.
    Awful in order: keepers, Villafana,Sarkodie,Opara, Kitchen, Okugo,Valentin…all awful really.
    Worried that Porter didn’t use subs/ plan for less minutes & keeping players fresh/ didn’t take any of the backs out when they were outplayed all night.
    Oh well…they looked great before those last two games.

  35. Howie says:

    We’re probably three years away from even having another U-23 camp/organization, so I don’t know if Porter even needs to be fired. Nowak left for Philadelphia in June 2009, and the position wasn’t officially filled until Porter was appointed last October.

    I would be surprised if Porter was still at Akron at that point. This will hurt his stock some, but he’ll probably have an MLS job by then.

  36. William says:


    Thanks for saying it. Porter wasn’t the entire problem and there isn’t another u23 game for another 3 1/2 years, so no he doesn’t need to be fired.

    Porter is a young intelligent coach that had slim pickens on the back line. He WILL have a MLS job and will do a fantastic job.

  37. Trent Hill says:

    “Trent, the US is not known for producing the best goalkeepers in the world. Not by a long shot. Brad friedel and Tim Howard, perhaps Kasey Keller at his best… Some would call them world class keepers, as I would. Tony meola was nowhere near among the worlds best, not for any extended period of time. The us has never produced a goalie that any qualified individual would deem to be the best the world has to offer. Just ah… Just saying.”

    Howard, Friedel, and Guzan are just our top three keepers right now. They’re starting at Everton and Tottenham and back-up at Aston Villa. Our 4th string is arguably David Yelldell, the backup at Bayern Leverkusen.

    I’m not saying we produce world class goalkeepers everytime, but the US’ main soccer export is goalkeepers.

  38. USA says:

    This is my analysis after four months of training camps. Our forwards and general pool of players.

    Boyd seems to be more of the lone striker. Agudelo moves better without the ball than Boyd. Taylor is your wild card. Different from the other fowards. Fast, and skillful. Kind of a tool box IMO or your team joker. Porter didn’t know what to do with his wild card. Bunbry is no different from Boyd IMO. Shea was the originator of Boyds goal. If Shea didn’t make that run there is not much Boyd or Bunbury could do. Someone needs to serve them the ball to be effective and if they are that limited I rather just stay with Jozzy.

    I wold have use this line up:

    Agudelo Taylor

    Shea Corona Mix Adu

    Villafana ? ? Gatt
    ? ?

  39. justin says:

    Soccer, she’s a cruel mistress.

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