USMNT vs. El Salvador: Odds, Time, TV, Live Stream, for World Cup Qualifying

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2022

U.S. men's national team forward Christian Pulisic, center, practices with teammates in Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, ahead of Thursday's World Cup qualifying match against El Salvador. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
Paul Vernon/Associated Press

The United States men's national team starts the final stretch of Concacaf FIFA World Cup qualifying Thursday night against El Salvador.

The Americans enter the first of two final three-game sets in great shape in the eight-team table. They are one point behind first-place Canada, whom they are set to play in Hamilton, Ontario, on Sunday.

Gregg Berhalter's side opens up the international window in a town he his more than familiar with. Berhalter was the manager of the Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer before he took over the USMNT.

Thursday's contest will be the second World Cup qualifying match of this cycle inside Lower.com Field, which was opened up last year.

The USMNT will be at close to full strength for the clash with El Salvador. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen is the only main contributor who will not be available because of a back injury. Steffen's absence is not a major deal, however, because Matt Turner has been pushing the Manchester City man for the No. 1 shirt throughout the qualifying cycle.

El Salvador comes into Columbus in need of three points to drag itself out of seventh place. The Central American nation needs to be near perfect in the final six games of the Octagonal round to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.


USMNT vs. El Salvador Info

Date: Thursday, January 27

Start Time: 7 p.m. ET 


Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app


Match Odds

Moneyline: USMNT -500 (bet $500 to win $100); El Salvador +1100 (bet $100 to win $1,100); draw +550

Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (-120)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.



The USMNT should breeze through the contest in cold conditions in Ohio.

The Americans are looking ahead to a massive clash with Canada on Sunday that became a more winnable game after Alphonso Davies was ruled out.

Berhalter's team can't completely look past El Salvador, but if it gets one or two goals before the hour mark, the USMNT boss could rest some of his key players with Canada and Honduras on the horizon.

Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams are all available and should form the midfield spine for the Americans.

Pulisic's play in the final third will be massive for the team to get an early goal, while McKennie and Adams are tasked with shutting down any opportunities El Salvador may get in the midfield. The Chelsea man will be asked to feature in a chance-creating role behind Ricardo Pepi, who recently completed a move to Augsburg in the Bundesliga.

Pepi has been the United States' breakout star of World Cup qualifying, and he should get another chance to lead the forward line.

Jordan Morris, Gyasi Zardes and Jesus Ferreira are among the options Berhalter can turn to to either finish off the game or rescue three points. The Americans will hope the latter scenario does not pop up so that they can rest a few key figures in the final third of the contest.

The USMNT drew with El Salvador in its World Cup qualifying opener on September 2. That was viewed as an OK result since the squad picked up a point on the road. A win is the only acceptable result for Thursday's match after the Americans took seven points from their three-game set in November.

There should not be much of a drop off, if at all, from Steffen to Turner in net. Turner could start all three games in this window with Steffen out because of a back injury.

Berhalter's biggest concern comes in defense, where Walker Zimmerman and Miles Robinson will likely pair at center back. John Brooks was once again left off the USMNT roster because of his poor form at Wolfsburg, but that opens up a chance for Zimmerman and Robinson to lock down the No. 1 center back partnership.

An American victory will keep them on pace with Canada ahead of Sunday's showdown in Hamilton. Canada plays Honduras, Mexico visits Jamaica and Costa Rica plays host to Panama on Thursday.


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