Auston Trusty and the United States U20 team booked a spot in the World Cup in South Korea and advanced to the final of the CONCACAF U20 Championships with a 2-1 win over El Salvador on Friday night.
Trusty made his first appearance of the tournament with a rare start at left back in a game the U.S. only needed a result from to seal both a berth in the World Cup and a spot in the final.
University of Maryland midfielder Eryk Williamson set up a goal and delivered the eventual game-winner with a screamer from 25 yards out in the 25th minute. El Salvador pulled a goal back in the 35th minute when Marvin Marquez converted Josue Rivera's cross from the left wing, but that would be as close as they’d get on a night they ended with nine men on the field.
Emmanuel Sabbi opened the scoring for the U.S. in the 18th minute with a clinical finish in front of goal after some slick passing from Williamson and Luca de la Torre. Both goals were the first of the tournament for Sabbi and Williamson.
A chippy affair, particularly in the closing minutes, there were eight yellow cards and three reds shown on the night, starting with Trusty’s yellow in the 31st minute and ending with red cards shown to Marcos Rodriguez and Sebastian Saucedo after Saucedo tripped Rodriguez from behind and Rodriguez retaliated with a slap to the face.
Saucedo, who has a pair of goals in the tournament, will miss Sunday’s final against Honduras.
The U.S. qualified for their 15th World Cup and the third under head coach Tab Ramos after a tournament that started with a 1-0 loss to Panama. Mexico qualified with second place behind the U.S. in the Group D classification group while Costa Rica was the other team to qualify out of Group E.