El Salvador has featured in eight of the 12 all-time Gold Cup tournaments, progressing to the quarterfinals four times. It last advanced that far just two years ago, before falling 5-1 to the United States.
Albert Roca was named head coach in May 2014. Last September, he led the Salvadorans to a fourth-place finish in the 2014 Central American Cup, which qualified them for this year’s Gold Cup. They bounced back from an opening loss to eventual runner-up Guatemala (2-1) with wins over Honduras (1-0) and Belize (2-0) to finish second in Group A. A 1-0 loss to Panama in the match for third place meant that El Salvador would conclude the competition in fourth place for the fourth time in its last five attempts. Forward Rafael Burgos led the way with two goals, joining Raul Diaz Arce as the only Salvadorans to score in three straight editions of the Central American Cup.
In June, the Cuscatlecos opened their participation in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup by defeating St. Kitts & Nevis (agg: 6-3 … 1st leg: 2-2 away draw; 2nd leg: 4-1 home win) in a two-legged, second-round series. Nelson Bonilla struck for three of the goals, while Arturo Alvarez, Darwin Ceren and Irvin Herrera scored one each.