The US plays El Salvador this Wednesday at 7pm Eastern Time. The game will be available on ESPN Classic and Galavision. This game will not feature many of the potential US World Cup squad, however, there are many bubble battlers who are looking to sneak onto the World Cup roster. The game should be interesting from that point of view. In addition the US is heavily favored and the bookmakers are expecting the US to win by 3 to 4 goals.
This is close to a full strength El Salvador team, but some players are missing. For instance they are not bringing Eliseo Quintanilla. El Salvador is a decent team in CONCACAF and should put up a stiff challenge for the US. The Soccer Power Index (SPI) lists them as 64th in the World, while the US is listed as 16th in the World. The SPI also suggests that El Salvador neither concedes nor scores many goals.
I think that the bookmakers have this one wrong. I see the final score line being 2-1 USA, but I could even see El Salvador winning. I think that the US will have a difficult time breaking down a well organized El Salvador defense, and that El Salvador will score on a fast counter-attack against a makeshift US backline. The rosters are listed below:
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (5): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (4): Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
EL SALVADOR ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): Miguel Montes (Aguila), Dagoberto Portillo (F.A.S.)
DEFENDERS (7): Dennis Alas (Firpo), Alexander Escobar (Metapan), Marvin Gonzalez (F.A.S.), Mardo Henriquez (F.A.S.), Alfredo Pacheco (F.A.S.), Manuel Salazar (Firpo), Deris Umanzor (Aguila)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Edgar Alvarez (San Jacinto College), Ramon Flores (F.A.S.), Josue Odir Flores (Metapan), Shawn Martin (Aguila), Juan Carlos Moscoso (F.A.S.), Osael Romero (Chivas USA), Ramon Sanchez (San Jose Earthquakes)
FORWARDS (3): Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Rudis Corrales (Aguila), Andres Flores (Metapan)