I remember the quote from "Mighty Ducks," but apparently Navy football coach Eddie Erdelatz was the first to say it:
"A tie is like kissing your sister."
It seems to apply to tonight's result.
Anyway, just some quick thoughts before I hit the hay.
Fabian Johnson didn't look 100% out there. I don't fault him for giving away what proved to be the decisive free kick. I blame the handful of guys that the ball bounced over more than Johnson, but he looked a lot less sure of himself tonight. It may have been the crowd at Estadio Mateo Flores or that lingering calf strain. Or both. Whatever it was, it showed and limited one of the team's most exciting players.
My notebook has Landon Donovan truly taking his man on just once. It led to one of his most dangerous crosses. Now I know he wasn't on his favored left foot, but it's wasteful for a man of godly wheels to be consistently pulling up with square balls or less dangerous in-swingers. More importantly it gave Guatemala 10 less yards to defend. Why be so merciful on such an opponent?
Shaka Hislop is hilariously genuine in the commentary box. Can we have some more?
Clint Dempsey is still a boss. A boss who is going to get kicked a lot. Anywhere.
And most importantly, this team is doggy dog dogged tired. Possession takes energy too and when the U.S. needed to kill this thing off it couldn't. Never mind the collective error on letting that long ball through that led to Fab's foul and Pappa's free kick, Jones was caught upfield, Donovan was pulling up on his runs, the whole team's motor really just came to a halt. It let Guatemala back in the game, making the lone point sadly deserved.
I'm not ready to say this team can't put the ball on the floor and play when it counts. I think they're just physically beat. And while Klinsmann's still learning on the job, it certainly wasn't the Guatemalans wearing his team down.