WCQ:USMNT vs.Guatemala Recap

The United States Mens National Team (USMNT) greatly disappointed the American public in a frustrating 2-0 loss to Guatemala. 

World Cup Qualifying matches in Central America are always somewhat tricky games to win. For one thing, the sweltering heat, the fans, and the conditions are brutal.

But. 2-0 loss to Guatemala… unacceptable.

No disrespect to Guatemala, they owned the USMNT tonight, but we have not lost to them since 1988. Guatemala are currently 95th in the FIFA rankings, a country that is behind the likes of Faroe Islands and Oman.

I can not reiterate how frustrating the match was, and we need to wake up or face failing to qualify for Russia.

The match started off on a sour note in the 6th minute as the USMNT conceded a very poor corner kick. There was no man on the front post and Mix Diskerud failed to mark Rafael Morales, leading to a silly goal. Tim Howard was very slow to react and the ball trickled in at the front post… where a player should have been defending.

Fast forward to the 14th minute, and another poor goal was conceded. What started as a goal kick skimmed off of Michael Bradley’s bald shiny head and lined through a stagnant back line to 100 year old Carlos Ruiz.

Yes, that is right, Carlos Ruiz. El Pescadito has been around for almost 2 decades in the soccer world and somehow he went 1v1 with Tim Howard and punished the USMNT backline. Again, the old Timmy Howard did not make a super save like his old self and the USMNT were already doomed by the 15th minute.

The game went on and a lackluster American side continued to waltz through the minutes with no success. Klinsmann even subbed out both our starting center backs in an attempt to abandon any tactics at all and throw everyone forward. Disclaimor: it didn’t work.

Poor finishing from Bedoya and Altidore summed up the night in typical USMNT striker fashion, and Mix/Bradley were overrun at center midfield. The USMNT made Guatemala look like Barcelona and Marco Papa look like Messi with his nutmeg on Michael Bradley…

Positive Takeaways:

Being realistic here… there wasn’t any here.

If something had to be said in a positive fashion it is that Bobby Wood seems to be a very hard working striker and I think he has a future with the USMNT. He works hard, and I know the goals will flow in with him. Although, I prefer Wood deployed as Winger more than a Striker with the USMNT as it seems he has had more success there. ie; Germany game last year.

Another positive…at least we didn’t lose 3-0.


Negative Takeaways:

As calmly as I can… too many to say. Let’s start off with:

  1. Playing players out of position- How many time will Jurgen do this?! . It is extremely frustrating to have a player being played out of position over and over again on the national team level. Yedlin at Right Wing? I don’t think so! He starts at Right Back in the Premier League for Sunderland, and yet Jurgen wants him on the Wing?! Slide Geoff Cameron centrally and put Yedlin at right back. Anything to get Orozco off the pitch!
  2. This should be obvious but… calling up undeserving players- I am looking at you Michael Orozco, Mix Diskerud, and Ventura Alvarado. Klinsmann has been so extremely loyal to some players that simply do not deserve to be there. Orozco and Alvarado have been playing poorly with their club side that has led to their demotion to the U-20 team. Last time I checked that is not USMNT quality. And Mix, I love the guy, love the hair, but honestly the 123 MLS players that voted him as most overrated MLS player were right. He has yet to contribute greatly to the USMNT especially with there being many guys like Kljestan, McCarty and Lleget begging for a USMNT cap. Yet, Jurgen calls up these guys.

USA’s Alejandro Bedoya leaves the field in dejection after being defeated by Guatemala 2-0 in a Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Concacaf Qualifiers’ football match, in Guatemala City, on March 25, 2016. AFP PHOTO / JOHAN ORDONEZ / AFP / JOHAN ORDONEZ (Photo credit should read JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Final Thoughts

As much as one wants to whine and yell from the frustration, we can only look forward. The USMNT have hit their lowest point with Klinsmann and we can only hope for a large win against Guatemala next week when they play again in Colombia.

Tell us what you think of the USMNT performance and whether you think Klinsmann should be fired. Is there reason to be afraid we won’t qualify for Russia 2018? Let us know all in the comments.

Starting Lineups: 

USMNT XI: Howard; Cameron, González, Orozco, Castillo; Yedlin, Bradley, Diskerud, Bedoya; Wood, Dempsey

Guatemala XI: Motta; Jiménez, Hernández, Hamilton, Morales; Cincotta, Márquez, Saravia, Contreras; Tinoco, Ruiz

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