The USMNT demolishes Guatemala 4-0 in Columbus



When in doubt, go to play in Columbus


Suddenly all the ghosts disappeared. The Friday nightmare at Guatemala City did not carry over and once again Mapfre Stadium proved to be the soccer sanctuary for the USMNT, who demolished its opponent 4-0 to maintain a perfect record at Columbus, and most importantly to remain in control of its destiny for Russia 2018.

The Guatemalan soccer federation managed to bring Hamilton López and Carlos Ruiz (in private flights according to a source close to the team). Both players had serious complications to travel to the United States; they overcame the distance but López didn’t play for travel fatigue and Ruiz’s impact on the game was non-existent.

To beat the Americans in their home soil, the Chapines needed more than one inspired old fish and a few organized soldiers. They needed to play at a higher level, a level that, with all due respect, it’s currently out of reach.

“The USA are one grade above us, in their game, in their development and preparation. We can grow too if we keep working seriously. We played a great match; we had eighteen training sessions, but I think the United States with Jurgen Klinsmann as a head coach has a few years of advantage ahead of us.” Walter Claveri said in the post-game press conference.

This is not a team with a bunch of nobodies like a journalist said after the first game in Guatemala City. But it’s unquestionable that they are not at the same level, the Chapines waited 28 years to get three points over the Yanks and even though the pressure was on the hosts. Back to back victories in a span of 72 hours was unlikely.

Klinsmann denied, for the third straight press conference, playing players out of position. However Deandre Yedlin started as a “natural” right back, Geoff Cameron “moved” to center back and Kyle Beckerman owned the central midfield territory. Only a few tweaks on the line-up, enough to reestablished the control of the ball, therefore, the control of the game.

When a team’s goal is not to lose, every time they are going to get run over like Guatemala tonight. They were compact; they played compact, but their counterattacks were not deep enough. Stefano Cincotta had open looks, but Yedlin never lost his focus on the ball, nor the man. The former Sounders was solid, and so it was the entire back line.

The first half was offensively efficient, only three shots and they scored twice. Dempsey first from a deep ball and Cameron from a set piece. After the break, Zuzi put the third one literally out of the tunnel. With 44 minutes left to play the game was over. Mapfre Stadium was demanding to watch its local star Ethan Finlay, and Klinsmann granted them their wish. The winger scored, he ran to The Nordecke to celebrate his first goal with the National team, but was offside. That would’ve been perfect. Jozy Altidore closed the night, but he doesn’t play for Columbus.

The USA remains perfect in American soil vs. Guatemala 8-0-0. Jurgen Klinsmann and his job can sleep well together and the soccer mantra over Mapfre Stadium stays immaculate. Do you have any doubts? Check this tweet from Shaw Mitchel of the Columbus Dispatch:

Sunil Gulati: “We’re going to play a critical game some time somewhere else. But I’m not going to be the idiot that’s going to make that decision.” #CrewSC


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