El Salvador already Gold Cup focused

El Salvador (pictured) has finished third in the Copa Centroamericana six times. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica))

PANAMA CITY, Panama – After capturing third place in the 2017 Copa Centroamericana with 2W-1D-2L record, El Salvador immediately turned its attention towards this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

On Sunday, the Cuscatlecos needed and got a 1-0 win to complete their Copa campaign against a Nicaragua side that would’ve secured an automatic Gold Cup berth with a draw.

“I dedicate this Gold Cup qualification to the Salvadoran people,” said head coach Eduardo Lara, who was named to the post last month as Ramon Maradiaga’s replacement.  “We came to demonstrate the football of El Salvador.  In this and at all levels we’re going to aim that El Salvador does what it knows, which is to play football.”

Now the hard work starts for the 57-year-old Colombian.  El Salvador has competed in nine previous Gold Cups, advancing as far as the quarterfinals on four occasions -- 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2011.  If it wants to do better, preparation will be key.

“We now have to sit down and plan,” Lara commented.  “The qualifying objective for this tournament has been met.  Now we have to look at and analyze the entire calendar, tournament dates, seeing when the 2017 Clausura ends and later speak with the clubs, with their presidents, and do a follow-up on all of the players.”