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Jordan Morris Saves USMNT From Getting Concacaf’d in the mud in El Salvador

usmnt mud

SAN SALVADOR – Well that was a muddy mess. The United States Men’s National Team finished their June international window on Tuesday night with a second Concacaf Nations League match. They played at El Salvador at the Estadio Cuscatlán, on a very poor field drenched in mud.

Jordan Morris Saves USMNT From Getting Concacaf’d in the mud

This game was a mess even by the standards of a U.S. game in Central America. It was hard to string passes together. Players had trouble with their footing and controlling the ball. As a result, the ball pinged from one end of the pitch to the other.

Yunus Musah had the first good chance in the 24th minute. He got a shot from the middle of the box off a corner but it was saved. Haji Wright missed a shot eight minutes later in transition, shooting wide from a tough angle.

El Salvador scored on their first shot on goal in the 35th minute. Alexander Larín lobbed in a shot from the side of the box. The shot caught goalkeeper Ethan Horvath off guard as it passed by him on the near post. Despite the middle of the six yard box being mostly mud, his reaction showed his disappointment in himself.  The half ended 1-0.

The second half turned in a typical Concacaf bar fight, frustrating the Yanks. Jesús Ferreira and Musah had chances, which were few and far between. Both teams received red cards in the final 20. Substitute Paul Arriola left his feet for a shin-on-shin tackle with force on Larín in the Salvadorian box. The call appeared to be harsh to the FS1 broadcast team. Then Ronald Rodríguez was sent off for DOGSO, taking down Musah on a through ball that would have led to a breakaway. Musah took a moment to get up, drenched in mud.

On the ensuing free kick, Musah went for goal with the shot saved and deflected off the post. With no VAR, the USMNT had shouts for a PK. In the 89th minute, substitute Jordan Morris had a header go off the outstretched arm of a defender. Nothing was called.

Morris would avenge this however moments later. On another cross into the box, Luca de la Torre found Morris for a header into the bottom corner. It was his first national team goals since his recent ACL injuries. The Americans pushed for a winner but the match ended 1-1.

Three Key Takeaways:

The pitch: This might be the worst pitch I’ve seen the USMNT ever play on. It looked bad in warm ups. Ninety minutes and a bunch of rain later, it looked like a cow pasture. The U.S. wore their all white kits and several players looked like they’d just finished a Tough Mudder race. Concacaf and FIFA have to do something about the quality of playing surfaces. Someone could have gotten hurt.

The officiating: It’s Concacaf. I do not expect much. The ref lost control of the game and got card happy. No VAR in Nations League hurts this competition. César Arturo Ramos would have benefited from a second look on more than one call.

Get check growth: This young USMNT squad got a result out of this bar fight. They grew into the game. They got down and dirty to match the opponent and find a way to get a result. This game helped them become more prepared for the World Cup.

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