Gold Cup: MLS well-represented as Honduras book quarterfinal spot, Haiti triumph
Another night of Gold Cup action yielded plenty more MLS participation as the second round of games were played in Group B, with Honduras advancing to the quarterfinals and Haiti picking up a vital win, leaving El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago with an uphill struggle to get out of the group.
The opening game of the evening saw Haiti secure their first points of the Gold Cup with a 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago.
Forward Jean-Eudes Maurice, who plays his club soccer for Le Mans in France, put away rebounds on both side of halftime to delight a pro-Haitian crowd in Miami and give his team a good chance of advancing to the quarterfinals. Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, will almost surely need a win against group favorites Honduras on the final day if they are to go avoid an early exit.
Vancouver's Carlyle Mitchell got the start and went the full 90 for Trinidad & Tobago, while Philadelphia's Keon Daniel started and went 57 minutes. Sporting KC right back Mechack Jérôme also went the full 90 after starting for Haiti, while club teammate Peterson Joseph entered as a stoppage-time substitute for Les Grenadiers.
The later matchup featured group favorites Honduras taking on neighbors El Salvador, and Los Catrachos edged out a 1-0 win thanks to a dramatic injury time goal from Jorge Claros, with the San Jose Earthquakes' Marvin Chavez also featuring on the winning side.
Claros netted after a cleared free kick was fired back into the box, catching El Salvador before they could step up, allowing the midfielder to blast one home.
No MLSers started for either side, though, as Chavez entered the match as a 67th-minute substitute. Former D.C. United Homegrown star Andy Najar also got the start for Honduras, and was replaced in the 79th minute by recently-departed Seattle Sounders winger Mario Martinez.
The lone MLS representative on the El Salvador squad, Chivas USA defender Steve Purdy, did not see the field, though Richie Menjivar of the NASL's Atlanta Silverbacks started and went the full 90, picking up an early yellow card.
The group will conclude on Monday, as El Salvador take on Haiti before Honduras play Trinidad & Tobago. Honduras are already in the quarters, but can secure first place if they win, while the winner of the El Salvador-Haiti match is almost certain to advance from the group stage.