I’m no expert on the El Salvador National Team. Okay, I’m not sure I could have named 3 players prior to yesterday. But I did spend some time asking Salvadoran fans, and media about the team. I thought I’d share a few bits of information that I gathered:
The El Salvador team is trying to build their program. They have a very young team, with two regular players that are 29 (Umanzor and Montes), but the rest of the team being made up primarily of players under the age of 25. Many of El Salvador’s fans believe that the team is on the right track, and will ultimately build a team that can be competitive in the CONCACAF region by the next Olympic Qualifying round.
The El Salvador team plays a 4-5-1, and here is their projected starting lineup:
GK: Miguel Montes (Aguila)
DF: Deris Umanzor (Aguila), Manuel Salazar (L.A. Firpo), Jose Mardoqueo Henriquez (F.A.S.), Marvin Gonzalez (F.A.S.)
MF: Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Christian Castillo (Leon – Mexico), Eliseo Quintanilla (Ermis Aradippou – Cyprus), Osael Romero (V. Hermosa), Ramon Sanchez (San Jose Earthquakes)
FWD: Rodolfo Zelaya (Leon – Mexico)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
The addition of Arturo Alvarez is considered to be a good addition to the team, as he brings a piece that was lacking: an attacking minded midfielder who can take the ball at the opponents one-on-one and has a real goal-scoring mentality.
Eliseo Quintanello is the playmaker and was a big key to the teams draw with the USMNT in San Salvador earlier this year. He scored the match’s opening goal, and causes some anxious moments for the US defense.
Rodolfo Zelaya is an exciting young striker that is only 21, but is playing with Leon in Mexico. He will be expected to score goals for this team in the years to come.
Cristian Castillo is a player also currently on loan to Leon in Mexico, but had become an important player with Alianze FC in San Salvador. He’s another player to watch, and he was the scorer of the 2nd goal in the initial meeting with the USMNT.
The New York Red Bulls defender, Alfredo Pacheco is El Salvador’s former captain, but he is often left out of the starting XI recently. However, he could see the field in place of Umanzor.
CRIME STRIKES EL SALVADOR IN PROVO
Unfortunately, the El Salvador National Team had an experience with crime in their hotel rooms in Provo. The team has been staying at the Provo Marriot and apparently several players had property and cash stolen from their rooms. According to a report from someone close to the situation, five of the players most affected by this were players that play abroad (the team has six players playing abroad – Alvarez, Pacheco, Sanchez, Quintanilla, Zelaya, and Castillo). They spent this morning talking to detectives instead of preparing for tonight’s match.