SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — The United States confirmed promise however no capacity to complete in its pandemic-delayed World Cup qualifying opener, drawing 0-0 at El Salvador on Thursday evening in the kind of Central American stadium that repeatedly has stymied the Americans.
Both groups created few possibilities earlier than a boisterious but well mannered sellout crowd of about 30,000 that began filling Monumental Estadio Cuscatlán, Central America’s largest, about 8 1/2 hours earlier than kickoff.
“We got to get better, we got to get more connected as a team and finish our chances,” U.S. coach Greg Berhalter stated.
Trying to rebound from its failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the U.S. remained winless in sixth straight highway qualifiers courting to 2016 (two losses, 4 attracts).
“We can make a lot of excuses about the game, but at the end of the day there’s some positives to take away,” midfielder Tyler Adams stated. “We got a clean sheet. We didn’t give up a goal. We’ll take the point and we’ve got to focus on the next game.”
Qualifying was delayed a 12 months by the pandemic, and a compacted schedule has groups within the last spherical of North and Central America and the Caribbean enjoying 14 matches in seven months.
“There was too much individual play, not enough switching the field,” Berhalter stated. “Looking at everything, we’ll take it and move on.”
The U.S. performs subsequent on Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee, towards Canada, which opened with a 1-1 draw towards visiting Honduras, then is at Honduras on Sept. 8.
Three of the eight nations in regional finals qualify for subsequent 12 months’s match in Qatar and fourth place advances to a playoff. But there hardly ever are straightforward video games for the U.S. in Central America.
Riot police with helmets and shields have been in entrance of the stands. Fans, most carrying blue house jerseys, have been separated from the sector by yellow chain-link fencing. Many held up the lights on their cellphones, as if it have been a rock live performance.
Fireworks began throughout El Salvador’s nationwide anthem and stored exploding for the primary 5 minutes.
“We didn’t silence the fireworks, but we silenced the crowd,” Berhalter stated.
Miles Robinson had the most effective likelihood within the first half, placing an open header over the crossbar within the ninth minute from Gio Reyna’s free kick.
Eriq Zavaleta’s header from Marvin Monterroza’s nook kick was stopped by diving U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner within the 57th. Weston McKennie couldn’t get his head solidly on Reyna’s cross within the 73rd, then crossed to Kellyn Acosta for a header that was punched away by diving Mario González within the 76th.
McKennie and DeAndre Yedlin got yellow playing cards for fouls within the second half. A second yellow in one other recreation would trigger a one-game suspension.
It had been 1,424 days because the 2-1 loss at Trinidad and Tobago ended the Americans’ streak of seven straight World Cup appearances. Yedlin was the one holdover within the U.S. lineup from that evening.
Coaching his first qualifier, Berhalter didn’t have star attacker Christian Pulisic (regaining health after testing optimistic for COVID-19) and goalkeeper Zack Steffen (again spasms), who remained in Nashville. Turner, who made his worldwide debut in January, was in purpose.
The U.S. lineup averaged 23 years, 282 days, the fourth-youngest in a qualifier within the fashionable period. It included 9 gamers making their qualifying debuts, all however Yedlin and central defender Tim Ream, who was on the bench in Couva.
They have been joined by Robinson in central protection, left again Sergiño Dest, Adams, McKennie, Brenden Aaronson, Reyna and Konrad de La Fuente in midfield, and Josh Sargent heading the assault.
El Salvador was led by coach Hugo Pérez, who had 73 appearances for the U.S. from 1984-94 and scored in a 1-0 qualifying win over El Salvador in 1989. He recruited nephew Joshua Pérez, a teammate of Pulisic and Adams on the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, who had three objectives within the first two rounds of qualifying.
Also on El Salvador is Álex Roldan, a brother and Seattle Sounders teammate of U.S. midfielder Cristian Roldan. Sitting within the stands, their mom wore an El Salvador jersey and their father a U.S.A. shirt.
The U.S. is ranked tenth, its highest since 2006, after profitable the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup, and El Salvador is sixty fourth. Los Cuscatlecos have reached simply two World Cups, in 1970 and 1982, and the U.S. has 18 wins, six attracts and one loss within the matchup, which incorporates an 18-game unbeaten streak (15 victories). The U.S. had received the newest assembly 6-0 in an exhibition in December.
Notes: In different video games, Mexico beat visiting Jamaica 2-1 on Henry Martin’s 89th minute purpose. Alexis Vega scored for El Tri within the fiftieth, and Shamar Nicholson tied it within the sixty fifth. Canada got here from behind in Toronto on a 66th-minute purpose by Cyle Larin. Alexander López put the guests forward with a penalty kick within the fortieth minute after Tajon Buchanan fouled Andy Najar. Panama was held to a 0-0 draw by visiting Costa Rica. … CBS broadcast its preliminary U.S. qualifier and had its commentators name the sport from a New York studio moderately than on website, although it did have a sideline reporter within the stadium.