The United States will face Costa Rica in the semifinals after defeating El Salvador 2-0 last night in Philadelphia.
Changes to the United States roster
The United States started four of its six new additions to the team against El Salvador. Following success in the group stage (Group B), the United States were able to exchange six players for the remainder of the tournament. The veteran additions to the team included:
- Toronto FC striker Jozi Altidore, defensive midfielder and captain Michael Bradley
- Portland Timbers attacking midfielder Darlington Nagbe
- Seattle Sounders and often United States captain Clint Dempsey
- and lastly, goalkeepers Jesse Gonzalez and the notorious Tim Howard
Those who left the Gold Cup roster included:
- Alejandro Bedoya, due to the impending birth of his child in the upcoming weeks
- Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, allowing him to debut for his new club Atlanta United on Friday
- and also Sean Johnson, who then returned to New York City FC
A tasteful quarterfinal
A strong performance from the United States’ defensive players sees off a more-than-touchy El Salvador team. First-half goals from defenders Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj secured victory for the U.S.
The United States looked dangerous from set pieces throughout the entire match. In the 41st minute, the first goal was delivered from set piece specialist Michael Bradley to the head of Omar Gonzalez.
Then right before the half, Clint Dempsey assisted Eric Lichaj for his first U.S. senior team goal.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) July 20, 2017
Things got weird halfway through the second half of the match. On a set piece, El Salvador’s Henry Romero seemed to twist Jozi Altidore’s nipple. Just moments later, Romero bit the United States attacker on the shoulder. Romero received only a yellow card for his dirty play.
— Dylan (@atlasculture) July 20, 2017
Jozi Altidore’s reaction to the events that transpired between him and Romero was quite amusing.
Up next for the U.S.
A Panama own goal saw Costa Rica win Wednesday nights other quarterfinal match 1-0. The U.S. and Costa Rica will play on Saturday, July 22nd at 10 p.m. ET in Dallas, Texas.