US v. El Salvador in World Cup qualifying match

El Salvador continues its quest to qualify for the 2010 World Cup soccer championships in South Africa in a match against the US team Saturday night at Cuscatlan stadium in San Salvador. The ESPN web site has a preview:

Are the Blues the weakest team in the Hexagonal? Probably. Are the Americans heavy favorites to triumph against El Salvador this Saturday? Without question. But that doesn't mean the proceedings at the Estadio Cuscatlán will be straightforward. True, the Americans own a 2-0-1 record against the Cuscatlecos in World Cup qualifiers played outside the U.S., and they're 2-1-2 all-time in San Salvador. But despite these marks, the Americans know a difficult night -- similar to their 1-0 win at Guatemala in the semifinal round -- awaits them. After all, we're talking about a venue where the behavior of the fans in last month's 2-2 draw with Trinidad & Tobago led FIFA to impose over $25,000 in fines to the El Salvadoran Football Federation.

"The crowd's going to be noisy, and no one really knows what the field conditions are going to be like," said defender Frankie Hejduk, who played in the Americans' 2-0 win in San Salvador back in 2004. "It's going to be tough; it's going to be physical with lots of fouls, in typical World Cup qualifying fashion."

Fans in the US can watch the game on ESPN2 at 9:00 PM, Eastern time on Saturday night.

The Sports Illustrated website has an article on the Salvadoran team titled
El Salvador's World Cup march is sullied by unsavory accusations which is less than flattering for the team in blue.


jaykay said…
I watched the Panama game on TV and I was shocked at what happened. I have never, ever seen such an unruly crowd. There must have been hundreds of very drunk fans who pissed into plastic bags to throw at opposing players. I don't think I saw bottles being thrown but I thought the goalie was hit by a battery or a rock. There is one sideline that is close to a very bad area where the cops in riot gear would venture, holding up big plastic shields to prevent Panamanian players throwing the ball in from getting hit by the urine bags. With so many being thrown, the shields didn't do much and the cops were covered as well. I think it is bizarre that El Salvador is allowed to host any games - or games with fans in attendance. I look forward to the reaction of the American team (who I respect for their fairness, honesty and for not diving all the time) when they get pelted by the piss bags.
Anonymous said…
ha ha ha!!!
yup, that's salvadoran culture for you. love it or hate it, once the national team plays salvadorans have an attitude of "yeah we suck, but we don't give a f*ck and it's us against the world b*tch". it can be sad, i think the mentality and behavior is funny. but that's what soccer for a problematic, poverty ridden country, means.
Anonymous said…
The Panama/El Sal game "disturbances" were blown way, way out of proportion. Panama was also a bit petulant because they lost.
I was at the Panama v El Salvador game, I sat by the Panama fan section. I've heard all the stories about people launching urine bags from the vietnam section, but I didn't see any of that. They were throwing food, drinks, and garbage, and I never saw a Panamanian player get hit. It only happened a few times, when Panama was inbounding the ball, because there are only a few places where the players are close enough to hit. This is not to excuse their behaviour at all. They were also throwing plastic water bags at Panamanian fans (including Roberto Duran, which was not a wise move......), but that didn't happen much. There was a verbal arguement when about 2000 Salvadorans taunted a Panamanian woman who yelled at them; she complained to the UMO police who did exactly zero to help her, and she left the stands, crying.
But all of this was relatively minor, especially compared to European or South American football riots. There were no fights, and no one was hurt or killed.
Anonymous said…
Ahora los gringos sufrirán una derrota estila ofensiva Tet en su “Vietnam”
Salvi_Alchemist said…
Hooliganism is always rampant. All the accusations were blown way out of proportion. Not to excuse any of those who did it, but please, I hate when people act like down here this si unique. You didn't have the entire stadium chanting racial slurs, which imo is way worse.

Viva La Selecta! I know we can win.
Unknown said…

I don't think for a minute you watched the game.

If you've never seen "such an unruly crowd" you haven't been a fan for very long. That's quite a hyperbolic and ridiculous comment.

As far as the "shields"'s a normal occurrence in almost every country south of Mexico. Sad, but hardly unique to El Salvador. Watch soccer more often.
Carlos X. said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carlos X. said…
• Various players have called on fans to "behave" themselves.
• The game is now officially sold-out.
• El Salvador has not scored a single goal against a U.S. team since 1997. And, ES even lost THAT game!
• Among the many things political in light of the change in power, many are questioning whether Funes can do better than sportscaster Saca in improving El Salvador's sporting chances.
• The U.S. team arrived yesterday. Local news showed their plane landing at Comalapa airport and pointed out that the U.S. players were not required to go through customs or immigration -- their bus went right on the tarmac and took them straight to their ritzy hotel in West San Salvador.
• The game will definitely register the largest Salvadoran impact on TWITTER since the election (La Prensa Grafica is reporting will be netcasting its play by play)
• is predicting the U.S. to take it, 3-1.
• For the Romero quote file: "También como nota de alegría, pues no olvidemos los fanáticos, que están felices con la inauguración del campeonato mundial de fútbol en esta semana." 6/4/78 Sermon!
Anonymous said…
People see El Salvador as a weak link but i mean come on now!!! they're poor and they have no moeny going for the training for the soccer players! BUT GUESS WHAT!?!?!?! we almost beat United States and i am happy and proud of the ES team because US had an advantage of height and we still were wining 2-0 until the second half time. SO THIS GOES FOR ALL THOSE THAT SAID ES WAS GOING TO LOSE!!! THE ONLY REASON WE TIED WAS BECAUSE ES PLAYERS WERE GETTING TIRED AND RESTLESS!!! IN MY HEART THEY WON!!!!
Anonymous said…
I actually watched the entire game on TV and maybe you didn't catch as much of what happened being in the stands being inundated by the rain but there were dozens and dozens of bags being thrown - in fact, the ground around the Panamanian goalie was littered with broken plastic bags. And if these were actually water, then terrific. The fans were trying to rinse the goalie and opposing players with fresh water. Good for the fans!
Despite all the terrible things that happened at that game, I was really pleased that the fans behaved themselves at the US game. It probably helped that they were never losing and people were in shock at being up for most of the game. Also, I heard that there were very stern warnings of potential penalties if the fans got out of control. Still, there were riot cops holding up shields to protect the corner kicks towards the end of the game.
Carmen, you are right. I don't watch much football in lower tier leagues "south of the border" but this was a World Cup Qualifyer. I don't think you see this stuff going on at games involving poorer Asian or African countries. I would rather hope that the fans here would rise to the level of other countries rather than us accepting this the norm.
FROM jaykay
Unknown said…
Thanks for proving me right "Jay". You obviously don't know much about the sport on any "tier".

Your comment, or "fake shock" about riot cops proves how clueless you are. I said riot cops with shields are used south of Mexico and that would include Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and the rest of S. America. Ever heard of those "lower tier" "leagues"?

Maybe you should start watching them instead of watching the crap Asian and African "leagues".

By the way, it's spelled qualifiers, not "qualifyers". Get a clue.