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The United States Men's National Team just took down Guatemala by a 3-1 score line in a game that they deserved to win and (finally) played as such. Here's Steve's minute-by-minute thoughts on the game, brought to you by whiskey drinks and beer.
USA vs. Guatemala
Livestrong Sporting Park, Kansas City
Last meeting was 1-1 in Guatemala
Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon, chased with Narragansett Fest
I'm nervous. I just saw some of the highlights of that ridiculous 8-1 Honduras-Canada result. I'm psyched that Jerry got that hat-trick, but Canada shouldn't have been so easily handled. Makes me think that the upset is in the air. Guatemala isn't a very good team, but they certainly aren't horrible, either. They're capable of springing that shock result. And this USA team has not shown itself to be assured enough to summarily dismiss minnows like Los Chapines.
Listening to The Best Soccer Show's pregame. Love these guys, although I'm hearing some technical difficulties. Also, the quick exclusive on Herculez Gomez was nice, too. I love that guy's story. And now it's 7 PM, time to start the live blog and pour a whiskey.
4' I'm really bad at this. Game started while I was pouring a drink. HAND BALL. ARE YOU SERIOUS. Oh, damn, this whiskey drink is strong.
5' Goal Ruiz. Are you kidding me. Simple ball over the top, Ruiz isn't even that FAST anymore. But then I guess Bocanegra's not either. Nobody runs. Howard flaps. That was...idiotic. Horrible. Ridiculous. My God.
6' Nice work Eddie. NEED TO SCORE NOW.
7' STOP GIVING THEM THE BALL.
8' Bad header from Boca leads to an idiot giveaway from Cameron, to a break. They're making Ruiz look 10 years younger. Embarrassing.
10' Herc earns a corner by throwing a shoulder and a deft touch. Good work. Zusi corner...it's Dempsey....BOCA!!!! GOAL!!!!! DAMN RIGHT. Now let's get the lead. GET THE MOTHER#$%%^ LEAD.
13' Ruiz is really just tearing these guys a new one. If that's a better ball he's in. Bocanegra looks uneasy, and Cameron not much better. Didn't expect this.
14' Klinsmann is apparently yelling at EJ to get the touchline. Probably not his instinct since, you know, HE'S NOT A WINGER, KLINSI. And then EJ shoots at the keeper. Can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket, I guess.
16' soft foul call that benefits the USA followed up by a soft foul call for Guatemala. Interspersed by a near-chance for the Yanks. No shot though.
17' Ruiz in behind again. Boca wants an offside call. He won't get it. JUST FLIPPING COVER HIM, BRO. Might have been offside by the replay, but you can't give him the chance.
18' CLINT DEMPSEY!!!!!!!!! THE GOAL!!!!!! EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT GOAL ON THE BREAK. So it was EJ streaking down the right since he switched sides with Gomez, got free with an nice pass out from the back, low lateral cross setting the table and Clint, falling down, just dinks it over Jerez. Great work. Time for a drink.
20' Jamaica's up on Antigua. If it ends like this, I think the Reggae Boyz and us go through. And gosh Danny Williams looks good in the middle. ZUSI TO EJ....Just beyond the Grown-Ass Man. USA looking fluid.
21' Just when I say that, Guatemala opens the US defense right the heck up. Howard makes a save on an angled shot from Contreras, I think. Too close for comfort
22' Ref whistles off what looked like either a goal or something off the crossbar. Replay says crossbar. Somebody beat Parkhurst in the air, and Twellman makes a good point: Parkhurst's game is not great in the air. I love the guy, remember him as a Rev, think he's one of the classiest and most skilled defenders in the US player pool, but he is not great in the air. Guatemala is getting chances and I don't like it.
23' I also don't like the fact that I'm not drinking fast enough. Jamaica's 2-0 up.
24' Great cross just over Dempsey all alone, then Dolo has a shot blocked. Would love to see Dolo get a goal.
25' Dude Zusi is EVERYWHERE right now. And he just lost out on a throw-in, but seriously, he's EVERYWHERE.
26' Contreras just embarrassed almost the whole team. Before that, Bradley should have been better with the ball. And now EJ with a hospital ball....but hey, Bradley gets it back. We're into the 27th minute.
27' Dempsey smells blood in the water. Good.
28' Did I ever tell you guys that my junior year roommate in college was Guatemalan? He looks exactly like Carlos Ruiz, too. Obed was the man, though. Not like Ruiz, whom I can't stand. "El Pescadito" sucks. Obed was a great roommate. I miss college.
30' STUFF HAPPENED. Near chance, Guatemala clears. Sorry, I was texting Obed.
31' Lots of chances for the USA now. But you know what? That doesn't excite me. Klinsi's USA has created many chances. Has nearly scored a lot of times. A lot of balls off the crossbar. But they don't get the goals. I don't like it.
33' Ruiz being Ruiz. I hate that guy.
36' STUFF'S HAPPENING. CHANCES. Save on a Zusi chance, I'm on my phone, I'm bad at this. Wait. Chance. GOAL! GOAL!!!!!! GOAL!!!!!!!!!!! Bradley gets in and dinks the keeper. And Dempsey cleans it up, though it was going in for Bradley anyway, probably. DEMPSEY MAKES SURE. AND IT'S A GOAL. AND IT'S 3-1. KILL ‘EM. KILL ‘EM.
40' Wup. Wup. Wup wup. Wupwup gangnam style.
43' I feel like MLS clubs should be mining this Guatemalan national team for talent. Not just Ruiz and Pappa and the names, I mean like Vasquez, the kid who captained the U-20s to the World Cup. Even as squad players. Get the jump on everyone else. Paging Mike Burns....
45' I've just seen a pic of Jairo Arrieta flipping a pancake at IHOP. Unrelated.
I got distracted by texts from Obed and then my mother. Important takeaway: we're up 3-1. This is where we need to be. MAN I gotta urinate.
New fish for the fishtank just now. A loach and a placostomus (algae eater). Anyways, after the Ruiz goal the Nats looked much better. Defense was still suspect on two or three occasions, though. Need to clean that up.
I see you Monica Gonzalez.
46' Marco Pappa is in. He scares me. But then, he hasn't been playing since Heerenveen won't start him.
47' Lopez in. Howard saves. Defense again shredded on the break with a simple long ball to a diagonal run. This is just dumb.
48' I'm hungry.
49' Lopez now with a shot on goal. Howard catches and Ruiz falls over for no reason.
51' Danny Williams is down hurt. He got cleated or kicked or something. Velasquez was studs-up.
52' I've just realized, pursuant to a conversation that happened 4 minutes ago, that my roommate is a Eurosnob. I'm ashamed.
54' And there's EJ being a flipping MUPPET. What's this, he can't score with his feet anymore? Come on bro.
56' SCORE. SCORE. DOLO CROSS. WILLIAMS SHOT. EJ FOLLOW. NO SCORE. GODDAMMIT. And then...Herc's in onside...OH MY GOD HE'S ONSIDE...Herc why are you being cute. No support. Support coming. Cross. Deflected. DEMPSEY....dammit he missed it. So close.
62' Antigua scored. As it stands now, Guatemala goes. EJ's on the break, though. Comes to a corner, good work from the Guatemalan #3 (Vasquez?)
65' Roommate's entering the live blog. I'm worried. Kljestan on for Herc.
66' NEARLY. Pappa shows his class, and then a cross...Howard spills. Almost. Defense HAS to be better.
70' ARE YOU JOKING?!??!?!?! Bradley CLEARLY brought down for a penalty are you FLIPPING FREAKING KIDDING ME??!?!?! Is KOMAN COULIBALY REFFING THIS MATCH?!?!?!?!?!
74' Man, I am REALLY hungry. And I'm still pissed about that horrible missed penalty call. Contreras shot, deflected. USA on the break. Here we go. Kljestan...goal kick. Nevermind.
77' Vote for table games at Twin River if you're in Rhode Island. That's where the conversation has gone.
87' I lost track. Talking about burgers. Bradley almost had a good chance there but the Guatemala defense recovered. As shaky as the D has looked, they've recovered well in the second half
88' SACHA! Almost. Good shot, swerving. Also, I like that Edu is in and just trying to play simple.
89' This ref wants Guatemala to advance. Fan of the underdog. I get it. But I don't respect it. Not when you're here doing this. Oh hey, Joe Corona in for EJ.
92' Clint gets a yellow for diving. Up 3-1, Deuce. Come on bro.
FULL TIME: USA are through! Thankfully. Guatemala played a good one but thank GOD we're going through. Well played. Improbably, we've won the damn group. I feel for Guatemala, though. Los Chapines played hard, played well, and really made a go of it in this entire tournament. It would have been cool to see them get a shot at the World Cup. Regardless, good result, and now I need to eat something.