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July 21, 2013

US defeats El Salvador 5-1 in Gold Cup quarters

(Continued)

BALTIMORE —

"Collectively, they're a very good team," El Salvador coach Agustin Castillo said through a translator. "They almost play by memory. They can find the spaces. It almost seems like every time they pass the ball into a space it's going to nobody, then somebody appears and actually meets the ball. Good work, good movement."

And good enough to claim a fifth Gold Cup.

"They're going through a very good time," Castillo said. "They're the best team I've seen in this tournament. They are a candidate to win it all."

Goodson put the U.S. ahead in the 21st minute by converting a crossing pass from Donovan, who gained possession near the end line within 15 feet of the net. It was Goodson's fifth career goal, the second in the Gold Cup.

Minutes later, U.S. goalkeeper Nick Rimando kicked aside a straight-on shot by Lester Blanco Pineda and batted away the subsequent rebound at the right corner of the net.

In the 29th minute, Corona gained possession at the top of the penalty area and used his right foot to line a shot into the left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.

That drained much of the enthusiasm from the strong contingent of blue-and-white clad El Salvador fans.

The U.S. continued to dominate, and it took several strong saves by Dagoberto Portillo to keep El Salvador within striking distance.

Momentum shifted in the 39th minute, when El Salvador's Rodolfo Zelaya was fouled by DaMarcus Beasley and converted the penalty kick to make it 2-1.

It was perhaps the lone flaw in an otherwise lopsided match.

"The difference today was scoring early goals," Donovan said. "Even though they got a questionable goal back, we still kept going and our effort was really good. Obviously, to score five goals is a bonus."

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Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

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