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USA-Guatemala In-Game/Postgame

My thoughts will go up here, your thoughts in the comments section.......

We're just a few minutes into the match and it's already clear that, unlike Sunday's wide-open affair with Ecuador, this is going to be a difficult match for the Americans to create opportunities. The Guatemalans have neither the personnel nor the desire to play aggressively and create an attack -- Ruiz, and that's about it. As Wynalda pointed out, two walls of "defenders" disrupting the U.S. attack.

After 30 minutes, I like the way Mapp takes on defenders. Johnson two excellent chances, can't quite finish. Bradley and Feilhaber, nice combination. Donovan no space, few touches. Backline composed, not under much pressure.

In the big picture, think about how far the U.S. program has come where you have seven European starters, but only two are USA regulars. Nice to have a deep player pool with Euro-tested talent.

Halftime, ugh. Not a fun game to play or watch. Guatemala is not good, but effectively frustrating the U.S. and, with Ruiz, just dangerous enough to sneak out with a victory. Let's see what adjustments Bradley makes after the break...

Guatemala having a little better of the play early in the second half. USA just can't unlock the Guatemalans' defense. Not a good night for Dempsey so far.

In all its ugliness, this is an important test for the Americans because they're going to have to deal with these type of matches in the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying. Get used to it.....

USA applying pressure late, but nothing solid on target. No room for combination work, crosses and set pieces not finding the target. Just a frustrating evening on so many levels. Fortunately, this match meant nothing. Let's forget it ever happened.

PLAYER RATINGS
Keller 5; Simek 5, Conrad 6, DeMerit 6, Spector 5; Dempsey 4, Bradley 6, Feilhaber 6, Mapp 5; Donovan 5, Johnson 4. Subs: Cooper 5, Mullan 5, Barrett 5.

By Steve Goff  |  March 28, 2007; 9:03 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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