On a day when England qualified and the U.S. won 0-1 over Trinidad & Tobago perhaps the most telling World Cup qualifying result was El Salvador’s win over Costa Rica.
The result created space at the top of the hexagonal for the U.S. and Mexico all but guaranteeing them qualification. The U.S. needs just two points from two games to guarantee qualification now; the U.S. could even advance without scoring any points, according to U.S. Soccer.
Landon Donovan fends off Trinidad and Tobago’s Trent Noel (AP Photo).
The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan played creator (as usual) for the deciding goal over T&T concluded by Ricardo Clark’s questioning riposte, but otherwise the U.S. offered largely fairly tepid stuff and required a Tim Howard stoppage time save to preserve the narrow road win.
No player ratings from me despite requests (I’m sitting at a desk in Torrance watching the game for crying out loud), but here’s the starting U.S. XI: Tim Howard; Jonathan Spector, Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), Jonathan Bornstein; Clint Dempsey (Stuart Holden, 82), Ricardo Clark, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan; Charlie Davies (Brian Ching, 77), Jozy Altidore (Benny Feilhaber, 63).