Tue | May 30, 2023

Late winner for Americans

Published:Friday | February 26, 2010 | 12:00 AM

TAMPA, Florida (AP):

Sacha Kljestan scored in the second minute of stoppage time to give the United States a 2-1 win over 71st-ranked El Salvador in an international friendly on Wednesday.

Rudis Corrales opened the scoring for El Salvador in the 59th-minute after US right back Brad Evans made an errant header deep in US territory that appeared intended for goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

Second-half substitute Brian Ching equalised in the 75th minute when he collected a long cross from Heath Pearce that El Salvador keeper Miguel Montes misplayed.

Kljestan intercepted an errant pass, exchanged the ball with Ching and scored from six metres.

Ching, Kljestan and Pearce were among only a handful of regular US players on the night's team who appear to have a decent chance of being selected for the World Cup squad. Ching was on the 2006 squad but didn't play in a match.

All but one of the US players on Wednesday were from the domestic Major League Soccer, which appears to be on the verge of its first strike. The Americans again badly missed their Europe-based starters, who also weren't used in the 3-1 loss to Honduras on January 23.

For next Wednesday's friendly against the third-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam, the No. 14 US line-up should more closely resemble the team that helped the Americans qualify for their sixth straight World Cup. That is the last match before US coach Bob Bradley selects his 23-man World Cup squad.

Players will gather in mid-May and have warm-ups against the Czech Republic (May 25) and Turkey (May 29 at Philadelphia) before leaving for South Africa. Coming off a first-round elimination at the 2006 World Cup, they open the tournament on June 12 against England, play Slovenia six days later and close the first round on June 23 against Algeria.