MIAMI, FL FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - What seemed at least unexpected at the beginning of the year came to fruition on a Wednesday night in the greater Miami-South Florida-Region as a youthful, talented, and promising USMNT team took on El Salvador.
What nobody really expected to be a match of wits between Gregg Berhalter and his iPad and Carlos de los Cobos and his mullet, turned into a blowout before the half hour mark. If you just want to go say nice things about Gregg Berhalter in the comments and not watch the gifs of goals below, here’s what happened in sum:
all of my favorite american soccer children are scoring— J. Sam Jones Has A Newsletter For MLS (@J_SamJones) December 10, 2020
Here is the lineup graphic that the USMNT Twitter account gave us.
!— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) December 9, 2020
Here’s YOUR #USMNT Starting XI for tonight’s match vs. .
: 7:30pm ET on ESPNews, UniMás and TUDN#USAvSLV
Don’t worry, the team didn’t line up the players in numerical order in a straight line down the field. It was a 4-3-3.
Through the first quarter hour El Salvador did what anyone facing Sam Vines would do - sit in a low block and try to stay compact. The US had some promising looks with interplay on the right as Brenden Aaronson did Brenden Aaronson things, but in the end it was a play down the left orchestrated by the best Mueller to compose a piece of beautiful music since Wenzel Müller penned Harlekin auf dem Parade Beth oder Nach dem Schlimmen folgt das Gute and Chris Mueller set up a goal for Paul Arrola.
Man on a MISSION!— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) December 10, 2020
In his first start since returning from ACL surgery, @PaulArriola gives the an early lead!#USAvSLV pic.twitter.com/hmOBhDTeyL
Mueller would follow that up with a Der schwarze See oder Der Blasebalgmacher und der Geist of his own in the 20th minute thanks to an assist from Jackson Yueill as the game began to resemble another USMNT result against a Central American team.
POISE! Debutant @cmueller1662 puts home his first of the night!#USAvSLV pic.twitter.com/W4k0U9U748— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) December 10, 2020
That sense of deja vu continued as Sebastian Lletget chipped Henry Hernandez to make the game 3-0 and it no longer became necessary for me to fill space with attempts at humor based on obscure Austrian composers.
Da Boy fires home his second goal in as many #USMNT matches!— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) December 10, 2020
Nice one, @SLletget!#USAvSLV pic.twitter.com/H6H4RHpem6
It started getting ridiculous and Chris Mueller got his second goal of the game on a diving header on a ball served up from Julian Araujo.
As promised, here's @cmueller1662's second of the night!#USAvSLV pic.twitter.com/KXdb2InK8M— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) December 10, 2020
It started getting out of hand when Ayo Akinola got the 5th goal of the game before the 30th minute.
AYO MAKES IT FIVE-O.— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) December 10, 2020
Anyone else having as much fun as we are?#USAvSLV pic.twitter.com/inh2oT7YA0
In case you began wondering...
I'm Paul Carr now:— Happy Yul, extra horse for me please! (@AekprrAcdeellnv) December 10, 2020
USMNT Biggest Win:
United States 8–0 Barbados
(Carson, California, U.S.; June 15, 2008)
In the 38th minute the mullet guy subbed in two players sensing the need for something different seven minutes before the half. I’m sure that if Tata Martino was manager instead of Berhalter the game would have been 1776-0 after 45, but as it was the teams went into the break with the USA up cinco-nil.
The Stars and Blobs subbed on Marco Farfan for Sam Vines to start the half seeking to stymie the threat that El Salvador wasn’t posing on the left.
Then Brenden Aaronson scored because of what bad MLS defenders would call bad defending.
Capping off a great year, @AaronsonBrenden opens his #USMNT account!#USAvSLV pic.twitter.com/s30awtNqAV— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) December 10, 2020
Seeking to score like 8 more goals in the last 30 minutes, Berhalter went to the bench and brought in Sebastian Soto for Paul Arriola. In the 69th minute Sebastian Lletget made way for Kellyn Acosta and just before the 75th Djordje Mihailovic and Kyle Duncan entered the fray for Ayo Akinola and Araujo respectively. Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman swapped spots on the bench in the 83rd minute as the game wound down. Sadly, nobody else scored so the 8-0 mark set by the legendary 2008 USMNT would stand.
In the end, we can clearly say, without a doubt, that unless the United States fractures into four countries (Parley, North Parley, Bodegadiscourseville, and the United Confederation of Louie Gohmert’s tooth) that the USMNT has the depth to win the next four World Cups at least. At this point I’d say that both are equally possible.