The United States men’s national team looks set to begin the final step towards the 2022 World Cup as Gregg Berhalter’s side host El Salvador in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday in a game the team is expected to win. win.
Six other fixtures remain, including three from this international period, with key points to capture. The US is second in the qualifying group, with Canada just over one point in first place, and both Mexico and Panama just one point behind the US. Only the top three secure an automatic landing to Qatar 2022, while fourth place will play an intercontinental play-in against a team from Oceania.
Rivals El Salvador, meanwhile, are seventh with just six points from eight games, and a loss in Columbus would almost see them out as they are unable to claim a win to close out qualifying. A competitive performance, possibly even enough to lead to a draw, is the realistic expectation for the Cuscatlecos.
The USMNT roster called up by Berhalter for these three games is almost full strength. A prominent name is Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, a player who is having a hard time with his time and form with the Blues. But the United States will be looking for Premier League stars to provide a spark.
“Obviously this year has been up and down,” Pulisic said at his pre-match press conference about his current situation at Chelsea, admitting life has been tough. is right now. “
“Mentally it affected me at times, but I’m always very excited to be wearing the national team shirt and enjoying playing with these boys and just enjoying football in general.”
El Salvador has beaten the United States just once in 25 attempts and has never qualified for a World Cup, but a 0-0 draw in the El Salvador game will make US fans nervous. settle.
World Cup 2022 Qualifiers CONCACAF
|Location||nation||Game||The point||Target difference|
* = The top three teams get direct access to Qatar 2022, while fourth place will advance to an intercontinental playoff against a country from Oceania.
How to watch USMNT vs. El Salvador
- Day: Thursday, January 27
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- Channel: ESPN2
- Spanish TV: UniMas, TUDN
- Streaming online: fuboTV ESPN+ (authenticated user)
Thursday’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match between the United States and El Salvador from Lower.com Field will be broadcast on ESPN2 (English) and TUDN and UniMas (Spanish) in the United States.
Team USMNT and El Salvador news and expected lineups
The only name missing from the US roster for this international break is the winger Gio Reyna who couldn’t get rid of a nasty hamstring injury. Otherwise, the roster is filled with top US talent with the likes of Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adamsand Sergino Dest all available and ready to go.
Matt Turnerwho is rumored just a week before being set to move to Arsenal, is expected to start targeting, with Zack Steffen still returned to the UK to deal with a reported issue back. Miles Robinson is a key to start at centre-back, but it is unclear who will team up with the Atlanta United man. Walker Zimmerman is a possibility, like Mark McKenzie.
Yunus Musahwho scored for Valencia against Atletico Madrid in his final game, could be the one to join Adams and McKennie in a three-man midfield. Ricardo Pepi expected to lead the US attack, supported by Pulisic and one of the Brenden Aaronson or Timothy Weah. Or, Berhalter could sacrifice Musah to get both Aaronson and Weah into a 4-2-3-1 formation.
USMNT’s expected starting lineup (4-3-3, right to left): Turner (GK) – Dest, Zimmerman, M. Robinson, A. Robinson – Adams, McKennie, Musah – Pulisic, Pepi, Aaronson.
In the 0-0 draw between the two teams in the opposite game, El Salvador coach Hugo Perez chose to clog the midfield and make life difficult for the Americans, who hold only 49% of the time. possession despite the talent gap. Perez is likely to do it again, using a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, but it could face problems along the back line.
Center back Ronald Rodriguezwho recently signed with FC Tulsa of the USL Championship and excelled the last time these teams met, was unable to secure a visa and Eriq Zavaleta reported to have a toe infection. Eduardo Vigil and Roberto Dominguez will be next in line to replace them.
There are options in midfield, with Narciso Orellana and Marvin Monterroza both eye-points after the start in the final meeting, although can be replaced with Darwin Ceren. Positive COVID-19 test set to hold Christian Martinez outside.
On the wings, 20 years old Enrico Duenaswho is from Dutch club Vitesse, has appeared in every World Cup qualifier, and Alex Roldan – brother of American tennis player Christian Roldan – plays on the opposite flank. Joaquin Rivas are always at the top, but failed to score in World Cup qualifying after a three-goal performance in the Gold Cup last summer.
El Salvador’s expected starting lineup (4-4-2, left to right): Gonzalez (GK) – Larin, Vigil, Dominguez, Tamacas – Duenas, Monterroza, Ceren, Roldan – J. Henriquez, Rivas.
Odds USMNT vs. El Salvador, choose and predict
Odds by DraftKings
Pick: USA wins and under 2.5 goals (+140)
Guess: USA 2-0 El Salvador
- Cash flow: USA -500 / Draw +500 / El Salvador +1200
- Spread (Asia Handicap): US -1.5 (-130) / El Salvador +1.5 (+110)
- Total goals is O/U 2.5: Above -110 / Below -115
- Both teams scored: Yes +200 / No -280