Jordan Morris scored in the first minute of second-half stoppage time, offsetting Alexander Larin’s 35th-minute goal past poorly positioned Ethan Horvath and giving the United States a 1-1 draw at El Salvador in a soggy World Cup warmup Tuesday night.
El Salvador was close to ending a 30-year, 19-game winless streak against the U.S. when Morris entered in the 80th minute of the CONCACAF Nations League match. Among the players on the bubble for Cup roster spot, Morris leapt over Larin to head Luca de la Torre’s cross past goalkeeper Mario Gonzalez seconds into six minutes of stoppage time.
Morris scored his 11th international goal, his first since November 2019 and first since tearing his left ACL in February 2021.
Players were covered in mud soon after kickoff on a soggy field that looked like a torn-up recreational park. Both teams finished a man short.
American winger Paul Arriola was ejected in the 70th, nine minutes after entering, when he made a sliding tackle that caught Larin on a shin and flipped him. Mexico’s Cesar Ramos, among 36 referees selected for the World Cup, immediately showed the first straight red card against an American since Michael Orozco in the 2016 Copa America third place match against Colombia.
El Salvador’s Ronald Rodriguez was sent off in the 79th for knocking down Yunus Musah as the midfielder tried to run onto a through ball.
Just two warmups remain for the Americans, exhibitions in Europe on Sept. 23 and 27, likely against Asian opponents. The U.S. opens the World Cup against No. 18 Wales on Nov. 21, faces No. 5 England in a Black Friday matchup four days later and finishes the first round against No. 21 Iran on Nov. 29.
Larin scored after Nelson Bonilla crossed from the right attacking flank to the other side of the field. Larin ran down the ball, took a touch and from a wide angle curled the ball around right back Reggie Cannon. Horvath left his near post completely open, and the ball went past Horvath for Larin’s sixth international goal. Horvath was so far away, he barely moved, and his head drooped.
Horvath, competing for three roster spots along with Matt Turner, Zack Steffen and Sean Johnson, made his eighth international appearance and first in a year. It was his first start for club or country since March 20 in the FA Cup quarterfinals and the draw highlighted the Americans’ most unsettled goalkeeping pool since the 1980s. Steffen (Manchester City), Turner (joining Arsenal next month) and Horvath (Nottingham Forest) all could be club backups when the U.S. gathers in Qatar.
The U.S. had entered with 19 wins, one loss and six draws against El Salvador, the lone defeat at Estadio Cuscatlan in an exhibition on Feb. 19, 1992. El Salvador coach Hugo Perez was on the field for the U.S. that night.
Cuscatlan was mostly empty after being filled with about 29,000 fans for the opening World Cup qualifier against the U.S. last September, a 0-0 draw.
On a night Christian Pulisic captained the U.S. and played with new blond streaks in his hair, Haji Wright started in the latest audition for Cup roster spots at forward in a competition with Jesus Ferreira, Ricardo Pepi, Josh Sargent, Jordan Pefok and Daryl Dike.
Ferreira, coming off a four-goal night against Grenada. replaced Wright at the start of the second half and rounded Gonzalez in the 51st. Ferreira kicked the ball toward an open net only for Roberto Dominguez to make a sliding clearance. Eight minutes later, Gonzalez got down to block Musah’s point-blank shot.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.