KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, March 30, 2016
In need of a win to keep their World Cup hopes alive, the United States responded with a resounding win over Guatemala on Tuesday night in Columbus, Ohio.
Last Friday's 2-0 loss to los Chapines left a sour taste in the mouths of the U.S. players and many fans calling for the head of coach Jurgen Klinsmann as once again he tinkered with the lineup.
It was a different story though at Columbus Crew Stadium as the U.S. dominated their opponents from end to end to get their World Cup qualification journey back on track.
The U.S. opened the scoring in the 12th minute through Clint Dempsey. Geoff Cameron sent a pass to Gyasi Zardes that came off his shoulder and the Texas native would fire it home to give the home side the lead.
Cameron, who started in central defense this game, doubled the team's lead 10 minutes before halftime as he headed in a Michael Bradley free kick.
The U.S. domination continued into the second half as Graham Zusi scored just 18 seconds in to push their lead to 3-0. DeAndre Yedlin played a through ball into the box that bounced of Zardes, and the Sporting KC midfielder would jump on it to push the team's lead further.
The U.S. should have had a 4-0 lead through Ethan Finlay, but he was mistakenly ruled offside by the assistant referee.
However, there was no question about the next goal in the 89th minute as Jozy Altidore rounded out the scoring for the home side. Guatemala's Rodrigo Saravia passed the ball to Dempsey, who then left it to Altidore to finish off the play.
The win moves the U.S. up to second place in Group C, three points behind Trinidad and Tobago who thrashed Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6-0 on the same day.
It was a big win for the U.S., but still not enough for some to forget the debacle down in Guatemala City.
Christian Pulisic came on for the U.S. as a substitute in the 81st minute. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder, 17, is now cap-tied to the team as he could have played for Croatia. His appearance makes him the youngest player to ever play for the U.S. in a World Cup qualifier.