Guatemala, always tough competitors on the road did no damage to that reputation as the USA could not hold onto their lead and had to settle for a draw when Marco Pappa lasered his free kick past Timmy Howard. The USA maintained an 18 match unbeaten streak against Guatemala while Deuce scored his 27th international goal leading him past Joe Max Moore to fourth all time in US history in points scored.
Fabian Johnson’s return proved crucial, assisting in Dempsey’s goal when he fed the ball square to the Fulham striker who eluded two defenders to score the opener. However, Johnson also fouled Carlos Ruiz, Guatemala’s captain and the resulting free kick was converted by Marco Pappa, one of the hardest working MLS players and a Chicago Fire standout.
“I think we saw quite an exciting game,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “I think the game was open for most of the stretch of it. Obviously, with the lead one-nil, you want to win it, you want to bring the three points home. We came for three points but I think at the end of the day, the tie, based on all the chances on both sides, is OK.”
Klinsi obviously felt the team could have done better but he was sanguine enough with the result. The USA maintained top position in Group A, in good shape to resume World Cup qualifying in September against Jamaica.