The U.S. Men’s National Team is inches away from securing its sixth consecutive World Cup bid. In a come from behind victory (the team’s second straight in a home qualifier), the United States beat El Salvador 2-1 in Salt Lake City on Saturday off two assists from star striker Landon Donovan.
After El Salvador scored early, Clint Dempsey equalized in the 41st minute on a header made possible by Donovan. Four minutes later, Jozy Altidore did the same. With four saves, including a key stop in the 87th minute, American keeper Tim Howard helped preserve the win, which vaulted the U.S. into a first place tie with Honduras in regional qualifying.
Mexico and Costa Rica are tied for third and fourth place, each one point behind the leaders. Only the top three teams from the North/Central America and Caribbean group qualify. The fourth place team earns a play off berth against the South American fifth place qualifier.
“We’ve got three more tough games, but if we continue to get points we’re going to be all right,” said Dempsey, referring to upcoming matches against Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday, Honduras on Oct. 10, and Costa Rica on Oct. 14 (at home).