U.S. Men's Soccer Team Blanks El Salvador in Gold Cup at Lincoln Financial Field

The U.S. men's national team knows how to protect its Philly turf.

A year after shutting out Paraguay in the Copa America Centenario at Lincoln Financial Field, the American soccer stars returned to the Eagles' home stadium and shut off El Salvador, 2-0, in the Gold Cup quarterfinals Wednesday night.

Defenders Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj scored for the U.S., who advance to face Costa Rica in the semifinals of the tournament for CONCACAF supremacy.

Costa Rica defeated Panama, 1-0, in the first game of the doubleheader with fans from all four countries - 31,635 in all - packing the Linc.

USMNT fans certainly had a lot of reasons to come out to the stadium as head coach Bruce Arena called up four of the best players in national team history: goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielder Michael Bradley, and forwards Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.

The Americans had held their own in the tourney before those guys were called up as a mostly young, untested roster helped them win Group B - albeit unconvincingly - with wins over Martinique and Nicaragua and a draw with Panama.

But the infusion of star power certainly paid dividends as Bradley assisted on Gonzalez's 41st-minute goal with a perfectly placed free kick in the box and Dempsey had a marvelous spin move and through ball to set up Lichaj's first international goal.

Howard also came through with a big early save to help the U.S. earn the clean sheet.

As for Altidore, well, he drew headlines when Henry Romero bit him in the shoulder while defending him in the box during a corner kick, drawing the ire of fans - and comparisons to Luis Suarez, who liked to use his teeth during the last World Cup.

The Union's Chris Pontius entered the game in the 87th minute in front of the hometown crowd, marking the third straight Gold Cup game he's played in after being called up as a late injury replacement.

The U.S. national team is looking to win its sixth Gold Cup and to avenge an uninspired fourth-place finish in the last Gold Cup, two years ago. 

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