Well, it has been a little while since we did an update of current Chivas USA players involved in international duty. Our companion article, yesterday's Once a Goat from Rachna, had the details on the Gold Cup exploits of four former Chivas USA players. But don't forget, there's an active Goat also representing his country at the Gold Cup right now: defender Steve Purdy.
Purdy is with El Salvador at the tournament, and he started la selecta's opener in group play July 8 against Trinidad & Tobago, where the sides battled to a 2-2 draw. The game was back and forth, as T&T took an early lead before El Salvador came back to tie at 1-1, then the Central Americans took the lead, before the Caribbean team evened it up. Although I'm not sure Purdy can be blamed for either goal, he was furiously sprinting back, trying to recover on both goals, and that may have made a sour impression in the mind of El Salvador coach Agustin Castillo.
In the Salvadoreans next match, against Honduras July 12, Purdy did not feature, as El Salvador lost 1-0 to their rivals, courtesy of a second half stoppage-time golazo by Jorge Claros.
In the Group B finale, El Salvador then played Haiti, getting a controversial 1-0 win (the refereeing in this one wasn't exactly top notch). Purdy again did not feature, but El Salvador won an absolute must-win game, finishing 3rd in the group, and getting one of the at-large slots to advance to the knockout stages.
That knockout stage begins tomorrow, when El Salvador face the United States in Baltimore (1 pm PT, Fox). Based on the results in the tournament, the United States look like the top seed, and that would make El Salvador the weakest team remaining. In addition, the game is being played in the U.S., just like the rest of the tournament.
But there is a massive Salvadorean population in the Baltimore area, causing many U.S. soccer pundits to declare El Salvador will have home field advantage in the stadium. Additionally, in knockout games, one never knows what will happen.
Will Purdy see time against his other country? We'll have to wait and see. Either way, Sunday is a massive day for El Salvador's team - can they continue their run in the continental championship, or will their road end against the Americans?
What do you think? Leave a comment below!