Guatemala's Carlos Ruiz, right, celebrates with a teammate after scoring against the United States during a 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match at Mateo Flores Stadium in Guatemala City, Friday, March 25, 2016. (AP Photo/ Luis Soto)

Guatemala shoves “dos a cero” back down the USMNT’s throats after an embarrassing performance

If I could type in the “crap” emoji 500 times and turned that in as my recap for tonight’s game, I would. But, I would like to be a bit more articulate with my analysis of what happened so here goes. The USMNT is in danger for not even qualifying into the Hex after losing 2-0 to Guatemala, in Guatemala for the first time since 1988 and the first time ever in World Cup Qualification.

The United States never got into a rhythm. That also doesn’t help when half the team is playing out of position. The first goal was conceded on a corner kick as Rafa Morales headed the ball off of Mix Diskerud’s rear end and put Guatemala in the lead. It would be one of those nights for the USMNT.

Then just eight minutes later, in the 15th minute, 36-year-old Carlos Ruiz put Guatemala up 2-0 over the USMNT in a defensive gaffe off of the goal kick allowed Ruiz to be one-on-one with Tim Howard.

Guatemala would hold on to win by that 2-0 margin but quite honestly, it wasn’t that difficult to keep the clean sheet, even when Jurgen Klinsmann subbed out his defenders for attackers. Despite a few terrific saves from Paulo Motta, It didn’t look like Guatemala was close to being in danger of giving up that lead.

So this sets up a situation that nobody thought the United States would be in. We knew the United States was bad, but we didn’t think it was this bad. With Trinidad & Tobago beating St. Vincent and the Grenadines, T&T are comfortably in the group lead by three points and a rematch against St. Vincent Tuesday. With the win tonight, Guatemala sits in 2nd at seven points and the USMNT is on the outside, looking in at four points in 3rd.

Tuesday’s rematch against Guatemala in Columbus is a must win. Assuming T&T wins against Tuesday, they will have ten points. Even getting a draw, the USMNT will be five points behind T&T and two points behind Guatemala, setting up a must win against Trinidad & Tobago in the final qualifier for a spot in the Hex. You heard me right. This is just to get into the Hex, not to qualify for the World Cup. And the United States has four days to figure this out or else what happened tonight will be even worse.

[Photo: AP]

Phillip Bupp

About Phillip Bupp

Managing editor for 32 Flags, news editor for The Comeback and staff writer for Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me @phillipbupp, @32flags as well as @MLSTitleBelt, a project where the title holder must defend the title in every MLS game.

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