Wednesday’s soccer news starts in the Concacaf Nations League. Grenada and El Salvador drew 2-2 in league A group D at Grenada’s Kirani James Athletics Stadium. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong opened the scoring for Grenada in the 29th minute. A 35th minute penalty converted by El Salvador’s Alexander Larin leveled the score. Jamal Ray Charles returned the Grenada lead in the 54th with Cristian Gil equalizing for El Salvador in the 88th minute. El Salvador leads group D with four points from two games.
— Concacaf Nations League (@CNationsLeague) June 8, 2022
The USMNT opens its group schedule against Grenada on Friday (10pm ET – ESPN+). What we’ve seen from Grenada so far is a team that improved on what they showed over the opening 90 minutes in the Nations League. There was an improvement in every category, with Grenada obviously learning something from that 3-1 loss at El Salvador.
While it’s not fair to the situation to use that as an indicator of what might happen against a significantly tougher opponent, part of the point of the Nations League is making games count. Grenada played five times in 2022, losing their two World Cup qualifiers and all three games at the Gold Cup. They didn’t play from their July 20 Gold Cup exit until a friendly against Charlotte FC on February 1, 2022. A draw against Gibraltar on March 23 ended that losing streak, but they lost their next friendly 1-0 against Andorra.
For Grenada, the home draw with El Salvador suggests a team that is figuring things out. With a team predominately made up of domestic and lower division players from the United States and England, that isn’t easy. Pushing El Salvador to the limit and still taking away a point is a step.
Moving to the USMNT’s competition in World Cup group B and another late equalizer, England drew 1-1 with Germany at Allianz Arena. Falling behind to a Jonas Hofmann goal in the 50th, England’s Harry Kane converted an 88th minute penalty. England’s next game in the UEFA Nations League is home to Italy on Saturday at Wolverhampton’s Molineux Stadium.
“I think it was important to show the mentality, Kane said. “Going behind we showed good character to then get back into the game and get a result. We were playing against a very good Germany side. It shows where we are. We’ve still got improvements to make, but the World Cup will be here before we know it so we’ve got to keep doing well.”
ESPN’s Dan Hajducky profiles USMNT defender Walker Zimmerman. MLSsoccer’s Matthew Doyle looks at the USMNT after their two friendlies. SI’s Avi Creditor works through World Cup group B. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff asks USMNT players about being the change.
THURSDAY’S SOCCER TV
Cup of Nations qualifying on beIN Sport: Burundi vs Cameroon at 9am, Ethiopia vs Egypt at 12pm, and Morocco vs South Africa at 3pm. Fox Deportes has the Saudi Arabia vs Venezuela friendly at 1pm. UEFA Nations League on FS1: Portugal vs Czech Republic at 2:45pm. Concacaf Nations League on TUDN: Panama vs Martinique at 8pm and Canada vs Curacao at 10:30pm ET.
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