In the past, the world of international soccer has seen players go above and beyond the call of duty, as well as general morality, in hopes of securing a win for their teams. From Luis Suárez’s blatant handball in the 2010 World Cup to Luis Suárez’s bite on Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup (he does this a lot, unfortunately), futboleros are willing to sacrifice their legacies and moral high ground in order to see their countries go through to the next round of an international competition. However, it’s fair to say that these incidents are isolated to one per match, at most. To that statement, however, El Salvador players during their Gold Cup match against the United States on Wednesday had but one thing to say: hold my Pilsener.
The lead culprit on the night was Henry Romero, a 25-year-old defender playing for Alianza in his home country. He quickly became the US’s heel du jour with his performance, particularly in “defending” striker Jozy Altidore. First things first, Romero channeled American children country-wide as he grabbed a handful of nipple and twisted like his life depended on it:
— Jason Foster (@JogaBonitoUSA) July 20, 2017
Yes, that’s a titty twister in the knockout stages of an international competition. Having already done enough to get him on the front page of the soccer press, Romero decided to go for broke, biting Altidore shortly afterwards:
For his part, Altidore is taking this somewhat in stride, joking after the game that Romero’s conduct could get the American forward in trouble with his lady friend:
Altidore: "My girl is mad at me. She’s mad at me, she’s mad at Romero. She’s like ‘Only I can bite u, only I can grab your nipples.’ #usmnt
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) July 20, 2017
Romero wasn’t the only El Salvador player to skirt the rules on Tuesday, either. San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Darwin Cerén also channeled his inner Suarez on a corner kick, biting US defender Omar Gonzalez in the back in the 81st minute:
Despite all the biting, nipple grabbing, and even a straight chop to the chest, El Salvador wasn’t able to overcome an underwhelming performance by the US, losing 2-0 behind goals from the aforementioned Gonzalez and fellow defender Eric Lichaj. The United States will play Costa Rica–who beat Panama 1-0 through a late Anibal Godoy own goal–in the semifinal on Saturday.