Dirty Tackle

Newly blond Eddie Johnson scores immediately after entering match to seal U.S. quarterfinal win

Jurgen Klinsmann: Eddie, dye your hair blond. This is important.

Eddie Johnson: Do what?

Klinsmann: Dye your hair blond! Do it and you will score faster than you ever have before! I know these things! Do it now!

Johnson: O...k...

Klinsmann: And cut a lightning bolt into the front of it.

Johnson: Is this a joke, coach?

Klinsmann: This is not a joke! It could be the difference between Gold Cup life and Gold Cup death! Now do it! Do it now!

Johnson: OK, fine, I'm doing it.

After the United States jumped out to a comfortable 2-0 lead within the first half hour of their Gold Cup quarterfinal against El Salvador, Rodolfo Zelaya scored with a rather audacious Panenka from the penalty spot (see it here) to get La Selecta back in contention. With the score still 2-1 in the 60th minute, USA striker Eddie Johnson — sporting a very blond new hairdo — came on for Chris Wondolowski as his side prepared to take a corner kick. Seconds after jogging onto the pitch, Johnson's vibrant head slammed the ball into the back of the net, set up by a Landon Donovan cross off his own short corner.

Now, we don't know if USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann told Johnson to do his hair that way, but given the encouragingly high success rate of his decisions so far this tournament, it wouldn't surprise.

Landon Donovan and Mix Diskerud went on to add two more goals for the United States, putting the final score at 5-1. That gives the U.S. nine straight wins — the longest winning streak in the nation's history. They will play the winner of Honduras v Costa Rica in the semifinal.

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