USA vs. El Salvador, 2013 Gold Cup: Match predictions

USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately for El Salvador, the crowd doesn't get to play.

A sell-out crowd of 71,000 will be on hand when the United States play El Salvador in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, but M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore won't be much of a home-field advantage for the Americans. Salvadorans will pack the stands and create a sea of blue and white.

But only 22 players get to play and the U.S.' 11 is better than El Salvador's 11.

Ryan: El Salvador may take a page from Costa Rica's book and try to pack men behind the ball in a high line, but the addition of Eddie Johnson should make the U.S. better equipped to handle it, while Matt Besler will provide the help necessary at the back to handle Rodolfo Zelaya. 2-1 U.S.

Kevin: I'm not happy with Cuba for making us play this more difficult quarterfinal, but El Salvador are nothing special and we should still be able to beat them. Since we've had a couple of derpily conceded goals in this tournament, I'll say 2-1 win.

Zach: El Salvador will probably give the US their best test of the Gold Cup so far, or at least as much as Costa Rica did. While El Salvador weren't particularly impressive in the group of paper, the defense was good and if not for some bad luck, they would have drawn Honduras. That said, they weren't scoring many goals and they'll have to do that if they have any hope of an upset. The US, especially with some reinforcements, should be able to deal with them and win 2-0. The wild card though is the crowd, there's a strong Salvadorian community in the Baltimore area so it's not likely to be a pro-US crowd.

Phillip: As we head into the blue hell that is Estadio Cuscatlan on Sunday, there will be a battle on the field. The boys in red, white, and blue will need to keep their focus for the entire match. If they switch off for one moment and El Salvador grab a goal, the home crowd will get into the match and cause a lot of problems for the USMNT. I still think USA win this match 2-1. Wait. What? This match is in Baltimore? Someone told me 50,000 Salvadorans were going to be there? Okay. We'll still win 2-1.

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