El Salvador national football team

This article is about the men's team. For the women's team, see El Salvador women's national football team.
El Salvador
Nickname(s) La Selecta
Los Cuscatlecos
La Azul y Blanco
Association Salvadoran Football Association
Confederation CONCACAF
Sub-confederation UNCAF (Central America)
Head coach Osvaldo Escudero
Captain Darwin Cerén
Most caps
Top scorer Raúl Díaz Arce (39)[1]
Home stadium Estadio Cuscatlán
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 138 Decrease 3 (24 November 2016)
Highest 49 (April–May 2012)
Lowest 169 (November 2006)
Elo ranking
Current 110
Highest 40 (December 1943)
Lowest 125 (April 2007)
First international
 Costa Rica 7–0 El Salvador 
(Guatemala City, Guatemala; 14 September 1921)
Biggest win
 El Salvador 12–0 Anguilla 
(San Salvador, El Salvador; 6 February 2008)
Biggest defeat
 Hungary 10–1 El Salvador 
(Elche, Spain; 15 June 1982)
World Cup
Appearances 2 (first in 1970)
Best result Round 1, 1970 and 1982
CONCACAF Championship
& Gold Cup
Appearances 15 (first in 1963)
Best result Runners-up, 1963 and 1981

El Salvador's national football team (Selección de fútbol de El Salvador in Spanish) represents El Salvador in international football and is controlled by the Salvadoran Football Federation (FESFUT). In 1899, two teams from Santa Ana and San Salvador met for the first known football game in El Salvador. The national team's first match was played in September 1921, when they were invited to participate in a tournament to celebrate 100 years of Central American Independence.

El Salvador has made two FIFA World Cup appearances: first in 1970 and again in 1982, but have never progressed beyond the first stage of a finals tournament. They were the 1943 CCCF champions, and finished in second-place in the 1941 and 1961 championships. They have competed in the CONCACAF regional tournaments fourteen times, finishing as runners-up in 1963 and 1981. La Selecta also competes in the biennial UNCAF Nations Cup, the Pan American Games, the Olympics, and have achieved two gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean Games.

The Estadio Cuscatlán, also known as "El Coloso de Montserrat" and "La Catedral del Espectáculo", is the official home stadium of the El Salvador national football team. Since 2008, the national team has had a kit sponsorship contract with England-based supplier Mitre. Raúl Díaz Arce is the all-time top-scorer for the national team, with 39 goals, while Alfredo Pacheco has the most caps, with 85 appearances.


Beginnings of the national team

Salvadoran football had its origins in the city of Santa Ana, on a field called "Campo Marte". This was the first time a football game was hosted in El Salvador. That first game took place on July 26, 1899 among players from Santa Ana and San Salvador. Both teams had several foreign players from England who are credited with introducing football to El Salvador. The home team won the game 2–0.[2]

Although El Salvador played a few games in the early part of the 20th century, they did not form an official national team until 1921 when players such as José Pablo Huezo, Carlos Escobar Leiva or Santiago Barrachina revolutionized football in the country.[3] In September 1921, El Salvador were invited to Guatemala to take part in the Independence Centenary Games, to celebrate 100 years of Central American Independence.[4][5] The tournament was between Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. The Guatemalans and Costa Ricans had more experience with football than the Salvadorans and Hondurans.[6] It was a single-elimination tournament with Guatemala playing Honduras and El Salvador playing Costa Rica. El Salvador, which were dressed with white shorts and black shirt, utilized the classic 2–3–5 scheme with Carlos Escobar Leyva; Spanish resident Santiago Barrachina, José Pablo Huezo; Benjamín Sandoval, Emilio Dawson, and Frenchman Emilio Detruit; Víctor Recinos, brothers Guillermo and José E. Alcaine, Guillermo Sandoval and Enrique Lindo. By halftime Costa Rica was up 3–0, and at the final whistle after 80 minutes (40 minutes for each half) won 7–0.[7] Despite the loss, this tournament was the starting point of the official El Salvador national team.

Other than the tournament, El Salvador only played international friendlies (all against Costa Rica and Honduras) for the rest of the 1920s. El Salvador lost their first friendly 3–0 against Costa Rica, while the second and third ended in a 1–0 loss and 0–0 draw against Honduras.[7] On 7 December 1928, El Salvador recorded its first ever win: a 5–0 victory over Honduras, the team that would become their traditional rivals. The game was played at Campo Marte, San Salvador, and was not only El Salvador's first ever recorded win, but also the first time the team had scored in an international match. Gustavo "Taviche" Marroquín scored every goal, becoming the first ever Salvadoran player to score five goals in a single game for the El Salvador national football team[7] (a feat later equaled by Miguel Cruz and Rudis Corrales).


In the early 1930s, El Salvador appointed its first official national coach, American Mark Scott Thompson, in preparation for the 1930 Central American and Caribbean Games in Havana, Cuba.[8] El Salvador finished in fourth place at the games.[9] The Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol, the official governing football organization in El Salvador, was founded in 1935. By this time, El Salvador were coached by Spaniard Pablo Ferre Elías.[8] The El Salvador-hosted 1935 Central American and Caribbean Games took place in the new government funded Estadio Flor Blanca, at that time the biggest stadium in the country. The Salvadoran squad consisted of Edmundo Majano as goalkeeper; Tobias Rivera and Raúl Castro in defense; Américo Gonzalez and Napoleon Cañas as midfielders; and Álex Morales, Rogelio Aviles, Fidel Quintanilla, Miguel "Americano" Cruz, and Andrés Hernández as strikers. Previously the national team had worn black and white striped jerseys and this was the first time they turned out in a blue strip. The team improved their performance over the previous competition to finish in third place as bronze medal winners.[9][10]

In 1938, the Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol became affiliates of FIFA.[11] Once again the El Salvador national football team participated in the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games, hosted in Panama, which were won by Mexico with Costa Rica in second place. El Salvador won two games and lost three out of the five played. A match for third place between Colombia and El Salvador was scheduled but was cancelled due to the bad physical state of the players. El Salvador finished in fourth place by goal difference.[9][12]


On April 26, 1940, the first national football federation was approved, with Dr. Luis Rivas Palacios as president. In 1941, the first international competition in CONCACAF, the international governing body for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, the Central American and Caribbean Championship (CCCF) took place in Costa Rica. El Salvador took part for the first time alongside Costa Rica, Curaçao, Nicaragua, and Panama. El Salvador were runners-up, recording two wins, one tie, and one loss.[13]

The 1943 CCCF Championship took place in San Salvador with the participation of Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. El Salvador was coached by former national player Américo González. At the end of the tournament, El Salvador and Guatemala ended up with the same number of points and so had to play a tiebreaker. On December 21, Guatemala failed to show up for the match resulting in El Salvador declaring themselves 1943 CCCF Championship winners by goal difference. This was the country's first international title. El Salvador's 10‒1 set the team's record for the most goals scored in a single game yet . It was also the second time a Salvadoran player (Miguel "Americano" Cruz) had scored five goals in a single match.[14] El Salvador defended their title in the 1946 CCCF Championship, hosted in Costa Rica, alongside six other participants. La Selecta finished in third place, winning three matches and losing two. In the 1948 CCCF Championship, hosted in Guatemala, Costa Rica won the championship for the third time, with El Salvador finishing in fifth place.


El Salvador did not participate in qualification for the subsequent World Cups in 1954, 1958, 1962, and 1966. Reasons for these refusals are unknown but might be due to the cost of travel, since at that time the team had never played so far from home. During these years El Salvador had a good squad, with players like goalkeeper Manuel "Tamalón" Garay, Rafael "Chapuda" Reyes, Conrado Miranda, Miguel "Americano" Cruz, Rafael Corado and Mando Rivas.

In the group stage of the 1950 Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico, El Salvador recorded two wins, one tie, and one loss. They began the final round by beating Curaçao 3–1, but lost their other two matches leaving them in fifth place.[9] In 1953, the El Salvador national football team took part in its fifth CCCF Championship, the 1953 CCCF Championship, hosted in Costa Rica, together with seven other national teams. Costa Rica became champions for the fourth time, and El Salvador finished in fifth place again.

At the 1954 Central American and Caribbean Games El Salvador won their second international title under the direction of coach Carbilio Tomasino, with a team consisting of Yohalmo Aurora, Manuel "Tamalón" Garay, Hugo Moreno, Armando Larín, Luis Regalado, Conrado Miranda, Fernando Barrios, Ramón "Pezote" Chávez, José Hernández, Mario Montoya, Juan Francisco "Cariota" Barraza, Ricardo "Chilenito" Valencia, Alfredo "Baiza" Ruano, and Obdulio Hernández. They debuted against Colombia in a 2–2 tie, beat Cuba 3–1, beat Mexico 3–2 and finally beat Panama 1–0 with a goal by "Cariota" Barraza. The 3–2 victory against Mexico, with two goals from Mario Montoya (16',36')[note 1] and one from Ricardo Valencia (37'), was the first victory by a Central American team against Mexico.[9]

In the 1955 CCCF Championship, hosted in Honduras, Costa Rica crowned themselves champions for the fifth time with El Salvador finishing in 4th place. This marked the sixth time El Salvador participated in the CCCF Championship. For unknown reasons they didn't participate in the 1957 and 1960 CCCF Championships.


El Salvador returned to participate in the 1961 CCCF Championship, hosted in Costa Rica, alongside nine other national teams. Due to the larger number of teams the CCCF Championship shifted to a two-round format with two round-robin group stages. In the first round, there were two groups, one with five teams and one with four. The top two teams from both groups advanced to the second stage. El Salvador was placed in the four team group Honduras, the Netherlands Antilles, and Nicaragua, which they topped with two wins and one draw. In the decisive round they finished in second place behind Costa Rica, who won their seventh CCCF Championship. Afterward the tournament was dissolved and replaced with the CONCACAF Championship.

The first CONCACAF Championship was hosted in 1963 and El Salvador hosted both the qualification round and final tournament. There were nine other participants, with the format the same as the final CCCF Championship. Costa Rica became the first CONCACAF champions, and El Salvador finished as runners-up.[15] In 1964 Chilean Hernán Carrasco Vivanco, who would later revolutionize Salvadoran football, became coach of the national team. He led the national team for the first time at the 1965 CONCACAF Championship, hosted in Guatemala, where they won 2 games, tied 1 game, and lost two, finishing in fourth place. In 1966 the El Salvador football team took part in the Central American and Caribbean Games for the sixth time in a competition that took place in Puerto Rico. The national team participated alongside seven other teams, finishing in fourth place.[9] In 1968 El Salvador qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time.[16] They lost 4–0 to Hungary,[17] 3–1 to Israel,[18] and tied 1–1 with Ghana.[19] The coach by this time was Rigoberto Guzmán.

Gregorio Bundio and his assistant José Santacolomba coached the team in the qualifying stages for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. This was the first time El Salvador participated in World Cup qualifying. As host, Mexico automatically qualified so there was just one qualification spot up for grabs. El Salvador won group 3, playing four games, winning three and losing one. Their record was 10 goals for and 5 goals against with 6 points. As a result, they qualified for a 3-game playoff against group 2 winner and traditional rival, Honduras. The first game, hosted on 8 June 1969 in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, was won 1–0 by the home team and was followed by crowd violence. The second game, hosted on 15 June 1969 in the Salvadoran capital of San Salvador, was won 3–0 by El Salvador, and was followed by even greater violence.[20] A play-off match took place in Mexico City on 26 June 1969. El Salvador won 3–2 after extra time. As a result of existing tensions being exacerbated by these matches, on 14 July 1969 the two countries began the a 100-hour-long war known as the Football War. As a result of the conflict, El Salvador and Honduras were both disqualified from entering the 1969 CONCACAF Championship qualification.

The final set of qualifying games for the 1970 World Cup took place against Haiti. The first leg was won by El Salvador in Haiti, 2–1, with goals from Elver Acevedo (43') and Mauricio 'Pipo' Rodríguez (62'). The second leg was lost 3–0. The playoff game on 8 October 1969 was won by El Salvador with a goal by Juan Ramón "Mon" Martínez (14' a.e.t.). Thus the El Salvador national football team qualified for their first World Cup, even though it was their first time attempting qualification.

"El Pajaro Picón Picón" was a Colombian song written by Eliseo Herrera which was very popular in El Salvador during the qualifying stages of the 1970 World Cup. During a radio show, Mauricio Bohorquez parodied the song, which he named "Arriba con la Selección". That parody became so famous that it became the official anthem of the El Salvador national football team.[21]


In the World Cup finals El Salvador was drawn into a group with Belgium, Mexico, and the Soviet Union. El Salvador lost their first game 3–0 to Belgium in Mexico City on June 3.[22] The second match was played against the host nation, Mexico, on 7 June. The game was decided by a controversial call near the end of the first half, with the score still at 0–0. Egyptian referee Hussain Kandil awarded a free kick to El Salvador in their own half. However, a Mexican player took the free-kick, passing to another Mexican player who scored. The Salvadoran players protested vigorously, to the extent of physically jostling Bermudan linesman Keith Dunstan, but the goal was allowed to stand. El Salvador restarted the game by kicking the ball into the crowd in protest. They eventually lost the game 4–0.[23] The team's third and final game occurred on June 10 with El Salvador losing 2–0 to the Soviet Union in Mexico City, to finish at the bottom of Group A with 0 points.[24]

El Salvador advanced from the first round of 1971 CONCACAF Championship qualification with an aggregate score of 4–2 against Nicaragua after home and away legs. In the second round, El Salvador withdrew from the playoff when they had to play against Honduras, meaning Honduras qualified by default. The national team also took part in the 1973 CONCACAF Championship qualification, which doubled as qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, but they did not advance to the final stage after they were eliminated by Guatemala with an aggregate score of 0–2 (0–1, 0–1).[note 2][25] The team was managed by Hector D'Angelo.[8]

El Salvador participated at the Pan American Games for the first time in 1975 at the VII (7) Pan American Games, hosted in Mexico. The national team participated in a group that included Brazil, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. They debuted with a 4–1 win against Nicaragua on October 14 with 3 goals from "Pajarito" Huezo and the debut of Francisco "Paco" Jovel. Then they played against Brazil on the 15th and lost 0–2. They ended the tournament by playing against Costa Rica, where they tied 0–0, and wherein "Pelé" Zapata missed a penalty. They finished at third place in Group D, failing to advance to the next round.[26]

In 1977 CONCACAF Championship qualification La Selecta played against three other teams (Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama) in a home-and-away round-robin group. The top two finishers advanced final tournament. Guatemala won the group and El Salvador was runner–up. In the finals, hosted in Mexico, El Salvador played five games; they won two, drew one, and lost two. They finished in third place, below Haiti and Mexico (with the hosts winning the tournament.[25] El Salvador participated in the 1978 Central American and Caribbean Games, hosted in Colombia, marking the seventh time El Salvador participated in this competition. For the fourth time, Cuba was crowned champions. El Salvador finished in ninth place.[9]


El Salvador played four other teams (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama) in 1981 CONCACAF Championship qualification, once again in a home-and-away round-robin group with the top two teams advancing to the final tournament. El Salvador and Honduras finished top of the group with equal point. Honduras was acclaimed group winner by goal difference. Once again the finals would be doubling as World Cup qualification, this time for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. The format was one six–team group stage, with the first place team winning the tournament, and qualifying for the World Cup alongside the runner–up. Going into the final matches, with every team having played 4 matches out of five, El Salvador had 4 points and was in third place by goal difference, with Mexico (second place) and Canada (fourth place) both also having 4 points. Honduras led with 7 points, Cuba was in fifth with 3 points, and Haiti was last with 2 points. On 19 November 1981, in their final match El Salvador beat Haiti 1–0, their goal being a penalty kick taken by Norberto Huezo, bringing them to 6 points. On 21 November Canada tied with Cuba 2–2, eliminating both teams. In the decisive match on 22 November, Honduras tied with Mexico 0–0, meaning Honduras won the tournament and Honduras and El Salvador qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, the second (and last) time El Salvador qualified for the World Cup. The national team was under the direction of Mauricio "Pipo" Rodríguez.[27][28]

In 1982 El Salvador took a 20-man squad (two players short of the normal 22, as a controversial cost–saving measure), coached by the aforementioned Mauricio "Pipo" Rodríguez, to Spain. The team's experience was an unhappy one. In their first match on June 15 in Elche, they were defeated 10–1 by Hungary, a scoreline that stands as a World Cup record to this day.[29] A silver lining was that Luis Baltazar Ramírez Zapata scored the country's first World Cup goal during the game, albeit at a point when the Salvadorans were already down 5–0.[30][31] It was cold comfort however. When Zapata scored against Hungary, some Salvadorans cried out to Zapata not to celebrate the goal effusively because it might make the Hungarians angry and encourage them to score more. El Salvador managed to regain some pride in their subsequent games. Displaying much-improved levels of organisation and commitment, they lost 1–0 to Belgium on June 19 in Elche and 2–0 to the then-reigning world champions, Argentina, in Alicante on June 23.[32][33]

There were several reasons the tournament went so badly for El Salvador. First of all, El Salvador took 20 players to the World Cup, leaving behind Gilberto Quinteros and Miguel González. According to Luis Guevara Mora, goalkeeper of the team by that time, the Salvadoran Football Federation decided to take members of the Federation, as well as the friends and family of many members of the Federation, and spent so much money they couldn't afford to bring a full 22-man squad. Some fellow players tried to gather money to pay to bring their teammates but couldn't get enough. Further heightening controversy, the team took many detours and stops throughout Europe under the direction of the Federation, taking 3 days to arrive in Spain and were the last team to do so. Once arrived, there was more trouble. Adidas sent four white and three blue uniforms for each player, but mysteriously only three white and one blue arrived. The remaining uniforms were said to have been taken away by the association. They decided to play with the white uniform and keep the blue as a keepsake. Next, someone stole the balls that the team would train with. The day prior to the match against Hungary, the Hungarians had the 25 balls the organization had given them and trained with them while El Salvador had none and was unable to train. To make things even worse, El Salvador had never seen Hungary play. The only knowledge that they had about the team was a lone outdated video that they had bought. On the field there were more problems. Hungary's fourth goal was caused by Francisco Jovel's sudden deafness. Jovel had received a heavy blow on the cheek and almost could not hear. So when Guevara Mora cried off to stop a ball, the defender did not hear him. Mora attempted to pass to Jovel, but Jovel wasn't looking and the ball went past him and went straight in front of the net. The Hungarian player only had to tap it in. After the match, the Salvadoran squad had a tense meeting with the coaching staff and Federation. The coach was dismissed immediately and the following matches against Belgium and Argentina were managed by players Jovel, Huezo and Fagoaga.[34] Although the tournament overall was a big disappointment, there were also several bright spots. Jorge "Mágico" González was considered by the national and international press as the best player. "Mágico" González stayed in Spain after the tournament and played for Cádiz CF and Real Valladolid. Ricardo Guevara Mora, the goalkeeper, was the youngest player to play at the 1982 FIFA World Cup at 20 years old.[34]

In 1985 CONCACAF Championship qualification, El Salvador and 15 other teams were paired up to play two-leg home-and-away knockout matches. La Selecta was drawn against Puerto Rico, won 8–0 on aggregate (5–0, 3–0) to qualify for the final tournament. They were placed in a three–person group with Honduras and Suriname with the top team advancing They finished second in the group with 5 points (2 won, 1 tied, 1 lost).[25] Honduras won the group with 6 points (2 won, 2 tied). In the 1989 CONCACAF Championship qualification they eliminated the Netherlands Antilles 6–0 on aggregate (1–0, 5–0). The final tournament was held in a different format than before, now functioning as one large five–team round–robin group. El Salvador finished last, with just 2 points.[25]


At a CONCACAF congress, held in Guatemala on 26 January 1991, a new tournament, called the UNCAF Nations Cup, was conceived for Central America teams. The inaugural tournament was hosted in 1991, hosted by Costa Rica. The tournament also doubled as qualification for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, a new tournament which replaced the CONCACAF Championship.[35][36] In qualification, La Selecta defeated Nicaragua with an aggregate score of 5–2 (3–2, 2–0) and advanced to the final tournament. In the finals, they played three games, drawing one and losing two, finishing in last place and failing to advance to the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup.[35] The 1993 UNCAF Nations Cup once again served as qualification to the Gold Cup, this time for the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup.[35] For this tournament, La Selecta advanced to the final tournament automatically. There they played three games, once again drawing one and losing two and once again finished last and failed to advance to the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They were coached by Jorge Vieira.[35]

In 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification El Salvador eliminated Nicaragua 10–1 on aggregate (5–0, 5–1) in the first round, then finished first in a group composed of Bermuda (0–1 and 4–1), Canada (1–1 and 3–2), and Jamaica (2–0, 2–1) in the second round. In the decisive third round just four team were left (Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico). They were placed in a round–robin group with home–and–away legs. The top team advanced directly to the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the second placed team advanced to a playoff vs. a team from OFC. El Salvador began with a historic and vital win against Mexico at home, but went on to lost their next four games, including losing twice to Canada. They managed to win their final game, 2–1 against rivals Honduras at home, but it was too late. Qualification was impossible. They finished third in the group.

El Salvador hosted the 1995 UNCAF Nations Cup. The tournament switched formats to a two-round system, with two three–team groups in the first round, with two teams advancing from each group, and a knockout style competition for the remaining four teams. El Salvador was placed in a group with Costa Rica and Belize. They topped the group with 2 wins and faced Guatemala in the knockout round, where they lost 0–1. They won the third place match against Costa Rica 2–1 and thus advanced to the 1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup along with Guatemala and tournament winners Honduras.[37] This was their first appearance at the Gold Cup.[35][38] At the finals of the 1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup, El Salvador was placed in a group with Trinidad and Tobago and the United States. They defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3–2, with goals from Raúl Díaz Arce (34', 72' (pen.)) and Ronald Cerritos (50') in their first game but lost 2–0 to the United States, and thus did not advance from the first round.[39][40]

At the 1997 UNCAF Nations Cup, hosted in Guatemala using a two–round two–group–stage system, El Salvador was drawn into a group with Honduras and Panama. La Selecta lost 3–0 to Honduras in their first match but defeated Panama 2–0 in their second. In the second group stage they finished in third place, losing to Guatemala 0–1, Costa Rica 0–1, and drawing Honduras 0–0. They finished in third, with 1 point. They advanced to the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup, hosted in the United States.[35][41] El Salvador were coached by Kiril Dojcinovski. At the Gold Cup, El Salvador was drawn into a group with Brazil, Guatemala, and Jamaica. They tied Guatemala 0–0 and lost to Brazil 0–4 and Jamaica 0–2.[39][42]

In 1988 FIFA World Cup qualification El Salvador received a by to the third round, where they were drawn into a group with Canada, Cuba, and Panama. They finished second behind Canada and advanced to the final round. The final round, commonly referred to as "The Hexagonal", was a six–team group stage with the top 3 teams advancing to the 1998 FIFA World Cup. El Salvador finished in fifth place with 2 wins, 4 draws, and 4 losses.[25] This was the closest to qualifying for a World Cup the team got since the 1982 FIFA World Cup, which created great excitement among the fans in El Salvador. At the 1999 UNCAF Nations Cup, hosted in Costa Rica with the same format as the previous tournament, El Salvador was drawn into a group with Guatemala and Nicaragua. El Salvador tied Guatemala 1–1 and defeated Nicaragua 1–0, with goals from Magdonio Corrales. In the second group stage, they lost to Honduras 1–3, Guatemala 0–1, and Costa Rica 0–4 to finish in fourth place with 0 points, and failed to advance to the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They were coached by Mario Peres Ulibarri.[43] Costa Rica won the tournament.


2002 FIFA World Cup qualification began on March 5, 2000 for El Salvador. For the first round El Salvador was drawn into a home–and–away round–robin group with Belize and Guatemala. The top team advanced to the next round and the second placed team advanced to a play–off. They kicked off their campaign with a 5–0 home win against Belize and eventually topped the group with 3 wins and 1 draw. In the second round they were drawn into a group with Honduras, Jamaica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The top two teams advanced to the final round (The Hexagonal). El Salvador finished third and crashed out.[44] This is identified as the start of a decline in Salvadoran football.[44]

The same format as the 1997 and 1999 editions was used at the 2001 UNCAF Nations Cup, hosted in Honduras. In the first round, El Salvador was drawn into a group with Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. El Salvador topped the group, defeating Nicaragua 3–0, Panama 2–1, and tying Honduras 1–1. In the second and final round they drew all their games to finish in third and advance to the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They were coached by Carlos Recinos.[35][45] Guatemala won the tournament for the first time. El Salvador was still coached by Recinos for the 2002 Gold Cup. They were drawn into Group A alongside Guatemala and Mexico. El Salvador lost to Mexico 0–1, but defeated Guatemala 1–0, with a goal from Santos Cabrera (58'). For the first time they advanced to the quarter-finals of a Gold Cup. On January 27, they lost to eventual champions United States by a score of 0–4.[39][46]

At the 2003 UNCAF Nations Cup, hosted in Panama, El Salvador managed to get third place again, with Juan Ramón Paredes as head coach. In the tournament El Salvador won against Panama 2–1, lost against Costa Rica 0–1, defeated Nicaragua 3–0, defeated Honduras 1–0, and lost against Guatemala 0–2. They qualified for the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup alongside Guatemala and Costa Rica (Honduras went to the playoffs).[47] Costa Rica won the tournament (the fourth time they had done so). At the 2003 Gold Cup El Salvador was drawn into Group C with Martinique and the United States. El Salvador lost to the United States 0–2 in their first match on July 11. However, in their second, played on July 16, they defeated Martinique 1–0 with a goal from defender Marvin González (76'). For the second time, they had advanced to the quarter-finals of a Gold Cup, this time to face Costa Rica. On July 19, they lost the match 2–5. Three of the seven goals were penalty kicks.[39][48] Thus, El Salvador went out in the quarter-finals again.

The 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification process and 2005 UNCAF Nations Cup (hosted in Guatemala) were both huge disasters for El Salvador. In the former they received a by to the second round where they inched past Bermuda 4–3 on aggregate (2–1, 2–2). In the third round they were drawn into a home–and–away round–robin group with Jamaica, Panama, and the United States. El Salvador finished last in the group with just 4 points from 6 games.[49] In the 2005 UNCAF Nations Cup they failed to advance past the first round after losing against Panama 0–1 and Costa Rica 1–2. This mean they also failed to qualify for the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They were coached by Carlos Cavagnaro.[50]

El Salvador hosted the 2007 UNCAF Nations Cup. The tournament changed formats, now to a two–round system with a group stage followed by a knockout–style competition for the remaining four teams. There were still two groups and the top two teams still advanced from each group for the first round. El Salvador topped their group with wins over Belize (2–1), Nicaragua (2–1), and a draw with Guatemala (0–0). In the semifinals El Salvador lost to the eventual champions Costa Rica 0–1. In the third place playoff they lost 0–1 to Guatemala but nonetheless qualified for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup (as now 5 Central American teams qualified for the Gold Cup). The team was coached by Carlos de los Cobos.[51] At the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup they were drawn into four–team Group B with Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. They defeated Trinidad and Tobago 2–1 in their opening match with goals from Ramón Sánchez (38') and Dennis Alas (81'), but this was their only win of the tournament. They lost the following two matches against Guatemala 0–1 and United States 0–4 and exited the tournament.[52]

On June 16, 2007, a rematch was scheduled between El Salvador and Hungary, the latter of which had delivered the biggest defeat to El Salvador in the national team's history. Many of the same players that had played the match between El Salvador and Hungary in the 1982 FIFA World Cup played again at the Estadio Cuscatlán. The stadium that filled 22,000 spectators saw a match tied at 2–2 with goals from Lázár Szentes and Ferenc Csongrádi for Hungary and two goals from Luis Ramírez Zapata for El Salvador.[53]

In the 2009 UNCAF Nations Cup, hosted in Honduras, El Salvador was drawn into a group with Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua. They defeated Belize 4–1, tied against Nicaragua 1–1 with an own-goal, and lost to Honduras 0–2. This gave them second place in the group and qualified them for the semifinals. There, the team faced Costa Rica. However, the games was called off after 60 minutes of play (with Costa Rica leading 1–0) when El Salvador was reduced to six players. Two El Salvador players, Alexander Escobar and Eliseo Quintanilla, were awarded red cards in the first half, while Deris Umanzor, Rodolfo Zelaya, and goalkeeper Juan José Gómez were injured and had to leave the game after El Salvador had already exhausted their three substitutions. The game was awarded 3–0 to Costa Rica. In the third place playoff, Honduras earned a win over La Selecta with the only goal scored by Roger Espinoza (30').[54] At the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, El Salvador were in Group A alongside Canada, Costa Rica, and Jamaica. They debuted against Costa Rica, winning 2–1 with El Salvador's goals scored by Osael Romero in the 19th and 85th minute. However, they lost their games against Canada and Jamaica, both matches 1–0. The team was still coached by Carlos de los Cobos.[55]


In 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification El Salvador was drawn against Anguilla in a two–leg home–and–away knockout format, winning 12–0 and 0–4 to easily advance. In the next round, La Selecta was drawn against Panama. Despite being considered underdogs, the team prevailed, reversing a 0–1 away loss with a 3–1 home win. In the third round, the format changed to a home–and–away round–robin group stage. They were drawn against Costa Rica, Haiti, and Suriname. They finished second in the group and advanced alongside Costa Rica to the final round, "The Hexagonal". Despite some promising initial results, such as drawing the United States and winning against Mexico, El Salvador eventually finished in fifth place and was eliminated. Rudis Corrales was the team's top goalscorer in qualification with 8 goals.[56]

On 11 May 2010 the FIFA Emergency Committee suspended the Salvadoran Football Federation (FESFUT) on account of government interference. This decision by FIFA was based on the fact that the statutes ratified by the FESFUT general assembly in August 2009 had not been formally entered in the country's official register, and that the government had failed to acknowledge the authority of the Normalisation Committee set up to represent FESFUT.[57] Consequently, FIFA considered that it was not possible for FESFUT to organise the general assembly in line with the action plan that had been drawn up, and suspended FESFUT. For the suspension to be lifted, Salvadoran authorities needed to recognize the legitimacy of the Normalisation Committee of the Salvadoran Football Association.[57] The suspension was lifted by May 28. By FIFA lifting the suspension, La Selecta was once again allowed to participate in international tournaments at both club and national levels. El Salvador's under-21 team qualified for the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) tournament in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. However, CONCACAF decided to suspend football at the 2010 CAC shortly thereafter. El Salvador was also able to participate in the qualifying tournament for the 2012 Summer Olympics.[58]

The 2011 Copa Centroamericana, the new name of the reorganized UNCAF Nations Cup, used the same two–round system as the previous tournament, with a round–robin group stage in the first round, followed by a knockout style competition for the remaining four teams. El Salvador was drawn into a group with Belize, Nicaragua, and Panama. La Selecta defeated Nicaragua 2–0, Belize 5–2, and lost 2–0 against Panama, which was enough to let them advance from the group in second place. In the semifinals they lost to Honduras, again by a 2–0 score. In the third place match, they faced Panama again, losing in a penalty shootout 4–5 after a 0–0 draw. This performance was enough to qualify El Salvador for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The team was coached by José Luis Rugamas. Forward Rafael Burgos jointly received the Golden Boot with Costa Rica's Marco Ureña three goals.[59]

In April 2011, two months before the start of the Gold Cup, José Luis Rugamas was replaced as coach by Rubén Israel, who introduced a new system and spirit into the team.[60] At the 2011 Gold Cup, El Salvador was drawn into a group with Costa Rica, Cuba, and powerhouses Mexico. Despite losing 5–0 to Mexico,[61] a dramatic 1–1 draw with Costa Rica (where Rodolfo Zelaya scored a 25-yard free kick opener at 45' and Costa Rica equalized at 90+5[62]) and a 6–1 win over Cuba were enough to send El Salvador to the knockout stage.[63][64] This was the first time El Salvador had reached the knockout stage of a Gold Cup since the 2003 edition. In the quarter finals they faced Panama. The game ended in a 1–1 draw, with Panama controversially equalizing at 89' when striker Luis Tejada weaved between several defenders and drove a ball that was caught by goalkeeper Miguel Montes. This was controversial for two reasons. One, there was confusion as to whether the shot from Tejada was with his head or his hand. Two, it was unclear whether the ball had crossed the line. Eventually, referee Wálter Quesada ruled that Montes caught the ball behind the goal line thus tying the game at 1–1 in the last minute of regular time. Coach Rubén Israel called the decision an "error of haste."[65] Panama won the ensuing penalty shootout 5–3.[66]

In the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, El Salvador received a bye to the second round. There, they were drawn into a home-and-away round-robin group with the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, and Suriname. La Selecta won their first match, against the Dominican Republic, 3–2 with goals scored by Rodolfo Zelaya (54', 77') and Christian Javier Bautista (63'), but left many doubts about their performance.[67] El Salvador, however, convincingly won their next match, against the Cayman Islands, 1–4 with goals from Christian Bautista (50') and defenders Luis Anaya (63', 80') and Xavier García (90+3')[68] before winning the return leg against the Dominican Republic 1–2. Although El Salvador received the necessary 3 points, the performance of the team was not as expected.[69] La Selecta demonstrated more skill in their 4–0 in their home match against the Cayman Islands. The goals were scored by Víctor Turcios (5'), Steve Purdy (12'), Jaime Alas (44') and Herbert Sosa (pen. 88'). The last was the 1000th goal scored in the history of the El Salvador national football team.[70] After that, they easily won their remaining games to complete the second round with a perfect record of six wins in six matches.

With six wins in six matches, the Uruguayan coach Rubén Israel qualified the football team of El Salvador for the third round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF). Fallen into the same group as Mexico, Costa Rica and Guyana, El Salvador heroically snatched a draw in San José (Costa Rica) (after being 2–0 down to score) on 8 Jun 2012. Four days later, a home defeat against Mexico (1–2) precipitated the departure of Rubén Israel whose poor relations with Jaime Rodríguez, president of the National Institute of Sport Salvador (INDES) were known all. Salvadoran Football Association (FESFUT) under pressure following the surprise resignation of Rubén Israel, named the Mexican Juan de Dios Castillo at the head of the selection July 14, 2012. Despite a good start (1–0 in a friendly match against Guatemala after 10 years of failure against this opponent), a draw conceded at Estadio Cuscatlán in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF), facing a modest Guyana national football team (2–2) earned him the wrath of the public. A victory in extremis (2–3) at Georgetown, Guyana (with a penalty stopped by goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo in additional time) allowed El Salvador to stay in the race for qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Unfortunately the home defeat (0–1) against Costa Rica buried the hopes of qualifying for the national team. Juan de Dios Castillo was removed from office in November 2012 and replaced on December 17 by the Peruvian Agustín Castillo, five national champion with C.D. FAS.

Against all odds, El Salvador finished 3rd in the 2013 Copa Centroamericana mean qualification for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the US in July when El Salvador shares the same group as Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti.

Match fixing

The national team had accusations of several players purposely losing matches on purpose in exchange for monetary rewards. Some of these allegations involved games against Venezuela, Mexico, USA, and Costa Rica. After an investigation, 14 players were handed immediate lifetime bans from football on September 20, 2013. Those players were Luis Anaya, Osael Romero, Ramón Sánchez, Christian Castillo, Miguel Granadino, Miguel Montes, Dagoberto Portillo, Dennis Alas, Darwin Bonilla, Ramón Flores, Alfredo Pacheco, José Mardoqueo Henríquez, Marvin González, and Reynaldo Hernández. Carlos Monteagudo received a ban of 18 months. Eliseo Quintanilla and Víctor Turcios received 6 month bans. Alexander Escobar, Christian Sánchez, and U-20 goalkeeper Yimmy Cuellar received a ban of 30 days. Other players were forced to go through the investigation for 20 more days. After the 20-day investigation, Rodrigo Martínez was sentenced to a ban of 5 years, Rodolfo Zelaya to a ban of one year, and Benji Villalobos to a ban of 6 months.

On 6 September 2016, the team revealed that they had all been approached, and had turned down, an offer to ensure that their result against Canada saw Honduras progress to the next round.[71]

FIFA World Cup record

El Salvador has never advanced beyond the first round of the finals competition. El Salvador declined to participate at the 1950 FIFA World Cup.[note 3]

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930Did not enter
Italy 1934
France 1938Withdrew [note 3]
Brazil 1950
Switzerland 1954Did not enter
Sweden 1958
Chile 1962
England 1966
Mexico 1970Round 1300309 107031912
Germany 1974Did not qualify 200202
Argentina 1978 114431816
Spain 1982Round 13003113 13742146
Mexico 1986Did not qualify 6411152
Italy 1990 822488
United States 1994 148152811
France 1998 165562322
South Korea Japan 2002 106132315
Germany 2006 8314614
South Africa 2010 208393921
Brazil 2014 127232816
Russia 2018


CONCACAF Championships record

In 1963 El Salvador participated in the first CONCACAF Championship which included all countries of the region, North America, Central America and the Caribbean. During 1963 to 1971 only 5 championships were played. El Salvador achieving only a runner-up in 1963. From 1973 to 1989 no championship was played. The CONCACAF proclaimed champion of the region for the country that achieved the first place in qualifying to the FIFA World Cup. In 1990, CONCACAF again created a tournament as its showpiece event to crown the regional champion of the CONCACAF. The event was named the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with the US hosting the first competition in 1991. In the 2002, 2003, and 2011 events El Salvador reached the quarter-finals.

Year Round Pld W D* L GF GA
El Salvador 1963Runner-Up7331177
Guatemala 1965Fourth Place521279
Honduras 1967Did not enter
Costa Rica 1969Banned
Trinidad and Tobago 1971Withdrew
Haiti 1973Did not qualify
Mexico 1977Third Place521289
Honduras 1981Runner-Up522121
1985Fourth Place421172
1989Fifth Place602428
United States 1991Did not qualify
United States Mexico 1993
United States 1996Round 1210134
United States 1998Round 1301206
United States 2000Did not qualify
United States 2002Quarter-finals310215
United States Mexico 2003Quarter-finals310237
United States 2005Did not qualify
United States 2007Round 1310226
United States 2009Round 1310223
United States 2011Quarter-finals412188
United States 2013Quarter-finals412148
United States Canada 2015Group Stage302112
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.


Other tournament records

Copa Centroamericana

The tournament has been held since 1991 as the UNCAF Nations Cup and serves as a qualifying event for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The competition was re-branded as the Copa Centroamericana from the 2011 edition. El Salvador has participated in all of the tournaments and has managed to get up to third place in various occasions.

Year Round Pld W D* L GF GA
Costa Rica 1991Fourth Place301229
Honduras 1993Fourth Place301215
El Salvador 1995Third Place420255
Guatemala 1997Third Place531155
Costa Rica 1999Fourth Place511339
Honduras 2001Third Place624084
Panama 2003Third Place530264
Guatemala 2005Group Stage200213
El Salvador 2007Fourth Place521245
Honduras 2009Fourth Place511356
Panama 2011Fourth Place521276
Costa Rica 2013Third Place412122
United States 2014Fourth Place420243
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.


Central American and Caribbean Games


CCCF Championship record

The El Salvador national football team have competed in the CCCF Championship in seven occasions. El Salvador won the 1943 CCCF Championship, their only championship in the competition.[note 4] El Salvador were runners-up in the editions of 1941 and 1961.

Year Round Pld W D* L GF GA
Costa Rica 1941Second Place4211158
El Salvador 1943Champions[14]64112811
Costa Rica 1946Fourth Place53021511
Guatemala 1948Fifth Place8215617
Panama 1951Did not enter
Costa Rica 1953Fifth Place62131013
Honduras 1955Fourth Place6303813
Netherlands Antilles 1957Did not enter
Cuba 1960Withdrew
Costa Rica 1961Second Place6411187
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.


Olympic Games record

The El Salvador national football team have competed in the Olympics on one occasion; the 1968 games. They reached the first round of the competition.


Pan American Games record
Central American Games
  • Guatemala 1973  Bronze Medal
  • El Salvador 1977  Gold Medal
  • Guatemala 1986 – Fourth Place
  • Honduras 1990 Did not Participate
  • El Salvador 1994  Silver Medal
  • Panama 1997 – Fourth Place
  • Guatemala 2001 – Round 1
  • Costa Rica 2013  Bronze Medal


Aerial view of the Estadio Cuscatlán, El Salvador's national stadium

El Salvador's current national stadium is the Estadio Cuscatlán which saw its first game in 1976. Before the opening of the Estadio Cuscatlán the national stadium was the Estadio Nacional de la Flor Blanca (now known as Estadio Jorge "Mágico" González).

During El Salvador's early run of existence, the team's national stadium was the Campo Marte, a 16 acre of land that housed a ministadium, (now known as Parque Infantil) between 1928 and 1934.[75] Succeeding, El Salvador played at the Estadio Nacional de la Flor Blanca (now known as Estadio Jorge "Mágico" González) in San Salvador, El Salvador. It was first built on 19 April 1932 during the presidency of Maximiliano Hernández Martínez in preparation for the 1935 Central American and Caribbean Games. On 24 March 1935 El Salvador played its first game at the Flor Blanca against Cuba and won 4–1.[76] El Salvador played at this stadium for the 1970 FIFA World Cup qualification, and accomplished to qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup.[76] A one-off hame was played at the stadium to commemorate a major refurbishment, it was the last time El Salvador played a game in the stadium, on 15 November 2000, against Jamaica in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification process.[76]

In 1969, EDESSA (Estadios Deportivos de El Salvador Sociedad Anonima) first proposed the idea of a new national stadium.[77] This came to fruition when the construction of the new national stadium, the Estadio Cuscatlán, began on March 24, 1971, with then-president of El Salvador, General Fidel Sánchez Hernández, breaking ground. There were options for the name such of that of San Salvador, Fraternidad, and Cuscatlán but, of course, was named Cuscatlán. After 5 years of construction, the stadium was opened and held its very first game on July 24, 1976, in a friendly match. The game saw German Bundesliga champions Borussia Mönchengladbach play the El Salvador national football team, with the match ending in a 2–0 victory to the German side. The German squad featured 1974 FIFA World Cup champions, such as Berti Vogts, Rainer Bonhof, Wolfgang Kleff and Jupp Heynckes. Also Allan Simonsen, who eventually won the 1977 Ballon d'Or and later form part of FC Barcelona. El Salvador aligned itself with Tomás Pineda (Mauricio "Tarzán" Alvarenga), Guillermo "Billy" Rodríguez Bou, Ramón Fagoaga, Humberto "Imacasa" Recinos, Eduardo "Conejo" Valdés, Víctor "Pato" Valencia, Warner Solís, Félix "Garrobita" Pineda (César "Piscucha" Acevedo), Luis "Pelé" Ramírez Zapata (Abraham Coreas) & Ismael "Cisco" Díaz (David Cabrera). While Borussia played with Wolfgang Kneib, Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp, Berti Vogts, Horst Wohlers, Dietmar Danner, Hans Klinkhammer, Carsten Nielsen, Uli Stielike, Jupp Heynckes and Allan Simonsen.[78] Since that match, El Salvador has used the stadium for almost every major home game, and it is the official home stadium of the El Salvador national football team and the Salvadoran club Alianza FC.[79] On May 25, 1978, EDESSA agreed to sign a 99-year lease of the stadium to CLIMA (Asociación de Clubes de Liga Mayor A) to operate and control which events are held there.[2]

The Estadio Cuscatlán also features the following specifications:[79]

Schedule and results

The following is El Salvador's schedule and results for the 2016 season.


  Win   Draw   Loss



El Salvador's traditional first kit colour is blue with white trim, their second kit being white with blue trim. The current home and away kit features the traditional colours with the exception of bold curved trims that run from the center of the neck and open to the sides, forming two panels on the chest that contain the Mitre logo and emblem of the Salvadoran Football Federation. At the center of the kit the Salvadoran national emblem, once again, is shown. The right sleeve shows the national flag.[80]

Home Kit
Away Kit
Goalkeeper Kit
Travel Kit
Travel Kit
Training Kit
Training Kit

El Salvador and Mitre announced a new partnership in 2008 that saw them supply the Central American national football team with home and away kits, training, and bench wear until August 2010. Mitre, and their Panamanian partner, The Harari Group, designed the kit that El Salvador used. The kit was showcased by the team on February 11, 2009 as they started their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign against Trinidad & Tobago in the CONCACAF (Central-American Football Union) Hexagonal Cup.[81] On October 22, 2010, the FESFUT extended the contract with Mitre by four years.[82] The first home and away kit made by Mitre feature a watermark of the country's national shield on the center of the shirt and some horizontal stripes along the kit. The current kit featured white remains along the neck, at the bottom of the kit, and over the shoulders. When this kit was introduced in 2009 it also introduced a new logo that replaced the typical logo of an "E" and an "S" surrounded by a circle.[83]


Current squad

The following 22 players were called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Mexico and Canada on September 2 and 6, 2016. Caps and goals as of September 6, 2016 after the game against Canada. [84]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club

1GK Derby Carrillo (1987-09-19) September 19, 1987 13 0 Iceland ÍBV
1GK Luis Contreras (1982-10-27) October 27, 1982 6 0 El Salvador FAS
1GK Óscar Arroyo (1990-01-28) January 28, 1990 5 0 El Salvador Alianza F.C.

2DF Xavier García (1990-06-26) June 26, 1990 62 1 El Salvador FAS
2DF Alexander Larín (1992-06-27) June 27, 1992 39 4 El Salvador Alianza
2DF Alexander Méndoza (1990-06-04) June 4, 1990 31 0 El Salvador C.D. FAS
2DF Henry Romero (1991-09-17) September 17, 1991 13 0 El Salvador Águila
2DF Juan Barahona (1995-02-12) February 12, 1995 11 0 El Salvador Santa Tecla
2DF Roberto Domínguez (1997-05-09) May 9, 1997 6 0 El Salvador Santa Tecla
2DF Ivan Mancia (1987-11-07) November 7, 1987 3 0 El Salvador Santa Tecla
2DF Bryan Tamacas (1995-02-21) February 21, 1995 3 0 El Salvador Santa Tecla
2DF Marlón Cornejo (1993-09-14) September 14, 1993 1 0 El Salvador Santa Tecla

3MF Jaime Alas (1989-07-30) July 30, 1989 58 6 Guatemala Municipal
3MF Andrés Flores (1990-08-31) August 31, 1990 51 0 United States New York Cosmos
3MF Darwin Cerén (1989-12-31) December 31, 1989 35 2 United States San Jose Earthquakes
3MF Richard Menjivar (1990-10-31) October 31, 1990 32 1 United States Rayo OKC
3MF Pablo Punyed (1990-04-18) April 18, 1990 20 2 Iceland ÍBV
3MF Gerson Mayen (1989-02-09) February 9, 1989 17 0 El Salvador Santa Tecla
3MF Óscar Cerén (1991-10-26) October 26, 1991 10 1 El Salvador Alianza
3MF Dennis Pineda (1996-04-01) April 1, 1996 10 0 Portugal Santa Clara

4FW Nelson Bonilla (1990-09-11) September 11, 1990 29 10 Portugal Nacional
4FW Irvin Herrera (1991-08-30) August 30, 1991 10 1 United States Saint Louis FC

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up to the El Salvador squad in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Henry Hernández (1985-01-04) January 4, 1985 21 0 El Salvador Dragón v.  Armenia, June 1, 2016

DF Andrés Flores Jaco (1995-01-24) January 24, 1995 4 0 El Salvador Alianza v.  Armenia, June 1, 2016
DF Santos Ortíz (1990-01-22) January 22, 1990 6 0 El Salvador Águila v.  Honduras, March 29, 2016
DF Jorge Morán (1989-04-10) April 10, 1989 3 1 El Salvador FAS v.  Nicaragua, March 9, 2016

MF Néstor Renderos (1988-09-10) September 10, 1988 23 0 Iraq Zakho v.  Armenia, June 1, 2016
MF Jonathan Jiménez (1992-07-12) July 12, 1992 6 0 El Salvador FAS v.  Armenia, June 1, 2016
MF Iván Barahona (1995-03-27) March 27, 1995 4 0 El Salvador Sonsonate v.  Armenia, June 1, 2016
MF Juan Carlos Portillo (1991-12-31) December 31, 1991 2 0 El Salvador Alianza v.  Armenia, June 1, 2016
MF Miguel Lemus (1993-10-26) October 26, 1993 4 0 El Salvador Chalatenango v.  Nicaragua, March 9, 2016
MF Kevin Sagastizado (1994-09-23) September 23, 1994 2 0 El Salvador Pasaquina v.  Nicaragua, March 9, 2016
MF Rodrigo Rivera (1992-03-16) March 16, 1992 1 0 El Salvador Alianza v.  Nicaragua, March 9, 2016
MF Ibsen Castro (1988-10-24) October 24, 1988 10 1 El Salvador Águila v.  Panama, February 17, 2016

FW Rafael Burgos (1988-06-03) June 3, 1988 51 13 El Salvador Sonsonate v.  Armenia, June 1, 2016
FW Dustin Corea (1992-03-21) March 21, 1992 15 1 Canada Edmonton v.  Honduras, March 29, 2016
FW David Rugamas (1990-02-17) February 17, 1990 4 0 Iraq Al-Mina'a v.  Panama, February 17, 2016

Top ten appearances

# Name Career Appearances
1 Alfredo Pacheco * 2002–2013 88
2 Marvin González * 2002–2011 83
3 Leonel Cárcamo 1988–2000 82
4 Dennis Alas * 2001–2012 81
5 Osael Romero * 2007–2013 78
6 Rudis Corrales 2001–2011 77
Ramón Sánchez * 2003–2012 77
8 Guillermo Rivera 1988–2000 76
Jorge Rodríguez 1995–2004 76
10 Ronald Cerritos 1995–2008 73

Note: Players in bold text are still active with El Salvador. * Banned from Football on suspicions of fixing match results. Last updated: September 6, 2015.

Top ten goal scorers

# Name Career Goals
1 Raúl Díaz Arce 1991–2000 39
2 Jorge "Mágico" González 1976–1998 21
3 Juan Francisco Barraza 1953–1969 19
José María Rivas 1979–1989 19
5 Rodolfo Zelaya 2008–2013 17
Rudis Corrales 2001–2011 17
7 Luis Ramirez Zapata 1971–1989 16
Osael Romero * 2007–2013 16
9 Miguel Cruz 1935–1950 15
Eliseo Quintanilla 2006–2012 15

Note: Players in bold text are still active with El Salvador. * Banned from Football on suspicions of fixing match results. Last updated: September 6, 2015.

Coaching staff

Name Nation Position
Osvaldo Escudero  Argentina Head coach
Sergio Escudero (footballer, born 1964)  Argentina Assistant coach
TBD  El Salvador Assistant coach
TBD Video coordinator
TBD Fitness coach
Raúl Antonio García  El Salvador Goalkeeping coach
Dr. Wilfredo Iraheta Sanabria  El Salvador Doctor
Douglas Lemus  El Salvador Physiotherapist
José Luis Rodriguez  Argentina Kitman
Ernesto Góchez  El Salvador Team Coordinator


Since the creation of the national team in 1921, several coaches have been in charge of managing El Salvador. From 1930 to 1935, Mark Scott Thompson was appointed as El Salvador's first ever manager. As of January 2012, the El Salvador national football team has presented itself with 60 managers in the national team. It is reported that all 3 titles (1943,[14] 1954[73] and 2002[74]) have been won by Salvadoran born managers. Conrado Miranda has managed in 4 different occasions and Armando Contreras Palma in 3. Chilean Hernán Vivanco was manager when El Salvador competed at their first World Cup.[86] Mauricio Rodríguez managed to qualify El Salvador to another World Cup. Rodiguez participated at the 1970 FIFA World Cup.

Name Years
United States Mark Scott Thompson 1930–1935
Spain Pablo Ferre Elías 1935–1938
Argentina Maximo Garay 1940–1941
England Mr. Slade 1941–1943
El Salvador Américo González 1943–1948
Argentina Rodolfo Orlandini 1949–1951
El Salvador Marcelo Estrada 1953
El Salvador Carbilio Tomasino 1954–1959
El Salvador Emilio Guardado 1959–1960
El Salvador Conrado Miranda 1961
Uruguay Luis Comitante 1963
Chile Hernán Carrasco Vivanco 1965–1967
El Salvador Rigoberto Guzmán 1968
Argentina Gregorio Bundio 1968–1970
Chile Hernán Carrasco Vivanco 1970
El Salvador Conrado Miranda 1971
Argentina Hector Alfredo D'Angelo 1972
Brazil Jorge Tupinambá 1973
El Salvador Mauricio Rodríguez 1973–1974
El Salvador Conrado Miranda 1975
El Salvador Marcelo Estrada 1975–1976
El Salvador Raúl Magaña 1976
Brazil Aurelio Pinto Beltrão 1976
Uruguay Juan Ricardo Faccio 1977
El Salvador Julio Contreras Cardona 1977
El Salvador Ricardo Tomasino 1978
El Salvador Raúl Magaña 1979
El Salvador Salvador Mariona 1979
El Salvador Mauricio Rodríguez 1979–1982
El Salvador Armando Contreras Palma 1983
El Salvador Raúl Magaña 1984
Argentina Juan Quarterone 1984–1985
El Salvador Paulo Roberto Cabrera 1986
El Salvador Raúl Magaña 1987
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milovan Đorić 1988
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Miroslav Vukašinović 1988–1989
El Salvador Conrado Miranda 1989
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Kiril Dojčinovski 1989
El Salvador Oscar Emigdio Benítez 1991
Uruguay Jorge Aude 1991
Uruguay Aníbal Ruiz 1992
Brazil Jorge Vieira 1993
Chile Néstor Matamala 1993
El Salvador Ricardo López Tenorio 1993
Republic of Macedonia Kiril Dojčinovski 1994
Argentina José Omar Pastoriza 1995–1996
El Salvador Armando Contreras Palma 1996
Serbia Milovan Đorić 1997
Republic of Macedonia Kiril Dojčinovski 1998
Chile Julio Escobar 1998
Brazil Marinho Peres 1999
El Salvador Ricardo López Tenorio 1999
El Salvador Oscar Emigdio Benítez 2000
El Salvador Carlos Recinos 2000–2002
El Salvador Juan Ramón Paredes 2002–2004
El Salvador Armando Contreras Palma 2004
Argentina Carlos Cavagnaro 2005
El Salvador Miguel Aguilar 2005–2006
Mexico Carlos de los Cobos 2006–2009
El Salvador José Luis Rugamas 2010–2011
Uruguay Ruben Israel 2011–2012
Mexico Juan de Dios Castillo 2012
Peru Agustín Castillo 2012–2013
El Salvador Mauricio Alfaro 2014
Spain Albert Roca 2014–2015
El Salvador Jorge Rodríguez 2015
Honduras Ramón Maradiaga 2015–2016
El Salvador TBD 2016–


Records and honors

El Salvador were the first Central American team to qualify for a FIFA World Cup, in 1970, and the first Central American team to qualify twice which they achieved with entry into the 1982 World Cup. They were the first Central American team to ever score a goal in a FIFA World Cup on June 15, 1982. They were the first Central American country to qualify their football team to the Olympic Games (Mexico 1968). They were the first Central American team to sign up for a World Cup qualifier (France 1938). They were the first Central American team to be champions of the Central American and Caribbean Games (Mexico 1954). They were also the first Central American team to organize the Central American and Caribbean Games (1935) and the first ever CONCACAF Championship (1963). El Salvador were also the first Central American team to beat Mexico in Mexico City; by a score of 3–2 at the 1954 Central American and Caribbean Games. Scorers of that game are as follows: Mario Montoya 16' (0–1), Antonio Jasso 27' (1–1), Mario Montoya 36' (1–2), Ricardo Valencia 37' (1–3), Rafael Gutierrez 64' (2–3).[73] The 1st goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by Joel Estada on 12 December 1968 against Dutch Guiana. The 50th goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by Ever Hernández in a 1–0 victory—on 2 December 1981—against Mexico. The 100th goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by Jorge "Mágico" González on 2 May 1993 against Canada. The 150th goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by Víctor Velásquez in a 2–1 victory—on 13 June 2004—against Bermuda. The 200th goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by defender Xavier García in a 4–1 victory—on 6 September 2011—against the Cayman Islands.[87]


See also


  1. Some notes in this article indicate the time at which a goal was scored; for example, (30') indicates that a goal was scored at the 30th minute. This may also be combined by other goals scored by one player; for example, (30',63') indicates that 2 goals were scored at the 30th minute and 63rd minute by one player—which should be noted right before.
  2. Some notes in this article indicate the two scores that add to the aggregate score; for example, (2–0,1–1) results in an aggregate score of 3–1—2–0 being the first match played and 1–1 being the second match played.
  3. 1 2 El Salvador turned down an invitation from Brazil.
  4. El Salvador was crowned champions by goal difference after Guatemala withdrew from the final between the both countries.


  1. Goalscoring for El Salvador National Team
  2. 1 2 Gomez, Omar. "Historia" [History] (in Spanish). El Balon Cusctatleco. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  3. Hatcher, Dan (2008-09-14). "El Salvador Soccer Team Name Ideas". Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  4. "Nace la pasion..." [The passion is born...] (in Spanish). elsalvador.com. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to El Salvador national football team.
External image
Picture of the Team
Preceded by
1941 Costa Rica 
CCCF Champions
1943 (First title)
Succeeded by
1946 Costa Rica 
Preceded by
1950 Curaçao Curaçao
Central American and Caribbean Games Champions
1954 (Second title)
Succeeded by
1959 Mexico 
Preceded by
1998 Venezuela 
Central American and Caribbean Games Champions
2002 (Third title)
Succeeded by
2006 Colombia 

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