US Men's team vs. Guatemala
Secrets to the US defeat over Guatemala today: better confidence, better skill, better execution, better poise, better athleticism, better "everything." Guatemala put up a fight, but they ended up not being a match on the score board. It was evident why the US hasn't lost to them since 1988...that's 27 years! That's a long time Guatemala - come on guys. Based on that alone I think a lot of devote US fans would root for you to win, if only to get a little rivalry going. 27 years? Wow. I mean, that's some serious struggle. That's got to be wrong. If anybody knows of a single victory Guatemala has had over the US men's team since 1988 please let me know. Because that just sounds off. That's rough for Guatemala.
They showed plenty of spirit, but their chances of scoring in the attacking third of the field were next to nothing. In second half, some veterans came on, with great skill, and almost scored numerous times, but that was about it...aside from their flurry, nothing else looked remotely close for them to score. However, it was still a back-and-forth game in the midfield with plenty of crunching tackles and lively play. At times, the Guatemalans showed spark, and craft...just not enough for the overpowering effort of the US (wearing their new and improved "all blue" uniform with subtle gradients that would make Tim Gunn proud; whoever designed that: a pat on the back; it's about time!).
Essentially, with a late tap-in goal around the 85th minute, it was a 3-0 win, as the US scored off an own-goal in the first half, then Timmy Chandler hit a left-footed blast from distance (that stayed waist height; a beautiful shot) landing in the far corner, which started off the second half scoring, followed by a penalty kick from Dempsey. 4-0 was the final, with notable skillful moments from Dempsey and Diskerud, along with cohesive play around in front of the Nashville, Tennessee crowd, all 44,835 of them. This was a good win for the US getting ready for the opening Gold Cup match next week against another Central American foe, Honduras.