U.S. back on track in qualifying with 4-0 win over Guatemala


U.S. back on track in qualifying with 4-0 win over Guatemala

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The United States got back on track for a berth in the 2018 World Cup, ending four nervous days with a 4-0 win over Guatemala on Tuesday night behind goals from Clint Dempsey, Geoff Cameron, Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore.

Following a dismal 2-0 loss at Guatemala City on Friday night in which Jurgen Klinsmann played several players out of their most comfortable positions, the U.S. coach made five lineup changes and shifted two others into their more usual spots.

Dempsey scored 12 minutes in and Cameron doubled the lead in the 35th. Zusi, added to the roster on Sunday, added a goal just 20 seconds into the second half and Jozy Altidore capped the scoring in the 89th.

A loss would have made it virtually impossible for the U.S. to finish among the top two teams in the group and reach the six-nation finals of North and Central America and the Caribbean, but the victory put the U.S. in good position to advance.

The Americans are 27-0-2 at home in qualifying since 2001.

In Group C's other game, Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0 at home against St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Trinidad (3-0-1) leads with 10 points, three ahead of the U.S. (2-1-1). Guatemala (2-2) has six points, and St. Vincent (0-4) has been eliminated. Seeking its eighth straight World Cup berth, the U.S. travels to St. Vincent on Sept. 2, then finishes the round four days later against Trinidad at Jacksonville, Florida.

Midfielder Christian Pulisic, also added to the roster Sunday, made his debut in the 81st minute. At 17 years, 193 days, Pulisic became the youngest American in a qualifier. By appearing in the game, Pulisic became ineligible to play for Croatia, the nation of his grandfather.

The U.S. went ahead after Cameron headed a Guatemala goal kick to Bobby Wood, who jumped over a tackle and sent the ball back to Cameron. From the edge of the center circle, Cameron looped a pass just inside the penalty area to a streaking Gyasi Zardes, who was flanked by Moises Hernandez and Rafael Morales. Zardes used the side of his head to knock the ball down for the trailing Dempsey, who tan onto the ball after two bounces and first-timed a 14-yard right-footed shot to the right of goalkeeper Paulo Motta.

Dempsey scored his 49th international goal, eight behind Landon Donovan's American record. Dempsey has six goals in 10 games against Guatemala and a U.S.-record 14 in World Cup qualifying, one more than Donovan.

It was a rare opening goal for the U.S., which conceded first in nine of its previous 11 matches.

Cameron doubled the lead after Wood was fouled by Cristian Jimenez, Michael Bradley took the free kick, and Cameron got in front of Carlos Castrillo, heading in Michael Bradley's free kick from 8 yards for his fourth international goal.

At the start of the second half, Yedlin played the ball to Zardes, who allowed it to bounced off him. Zusi ran in and got off a quick shot for his fourth U.S. goal, his first since October 2013 in a qualifier at Panama. Ethan Finlay of the hometown

Columbus Crew had a goal disallowed late because of a questionable offsides called on Altidore.

Rodrigo Saravia of the Crew gave the ball away to Dempsey, who fed Altidore for his 34th U.S. goal.

Klinsmann shifted Cameron to central defense from right back and moved DeAndre Yedlin to right back from midfield, putting the pair at positions they play more regularly with their clubs in England.

Defender Steve Birnbaum, midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Zusi, and Zardes were inserted into the lineup along with goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who had been scheduled to rotate with Tim Howard.

Other dropped players included the central defense pairing of Omar Gonzalez and Michael Orozco, and midfielders Mix Diskerud and Alejandro Bedoya, who has a sore ankle.


Revs coach Friedel, GM Burns on Soccer Hall of Fame ballot

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Revs coach Friedel, GM Burns on Soccer Hall of Fame ballot

FOXBORO -- New England Revolution coach Brad Friedel has been named to the ballot for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2018 elections. In addition, general manager Michael Burns is one of nine former players eligible for election as a Veteran candidate. 
Friedel is in his first year of eligibility after completing his playing career in 2014 as one of the most acclaimed American goalkeepers in history. In addition to earning 82 career caps and appearing in six FIFA World Cup matches, Friedel enjoyed a 17-year career in the English Premier League, where he made 310 consecutive starts in goal and ranks among the top 10 all-time with 132 clean sheets. He has won many individual honors over the years, including being named Major League Soccer goalkeeper of the year in 1997, English Premier League goalkeeper of the year in 2003, and the U.S. Soccer Federation’s men’s athlete of the year in 2002. 
Burns, who played in 75 international matches for the USMNT between 1992 and 1998, remains on the ballot as a Veteran candidate. Now in his seventh season as General Manager of the Revolution, Burns was a member of the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup squads, and competed in the 1992 Olympics Games. His club career was highlighted by a seven-year playing career in Major League Soccer from 1996-2002, where he made 75 total appearances for New England, San Jose, and Kansas City. 
In addition, former Revolution players Taylor Twellman (2002-09) and Steve Ralston (2002-09) remain on the 2018 Player ballot. 
Voting begins today and runs through Monday, March 26 for the Player, Veteran Player, and Builder categories. The results of voting will be announced at a later date, and the grand opening of the National Soccer Hall of Fame is set for the weekend of October 20-21, 2018.

Tierney scores in 93rd minute, Revs beat Rapids, 2-1

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Tierney scores in 93rd minute, Revs beat Rapids, 2-1

FOXBORO - Chris Tierney scored on a free kick in the 93rd minute to give the Revolution a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids in the Revs' home opener on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

Wilfried Zahibo drew a foul against Niki Jackson to set up Tierney, whose left-footed shot went through with a deflection off Colorado's wall.

Jackson, who was making his MLS debut, tied it in the 66th minute for the Rapids. He raced behind the central defense on Johan Blomberg's diagonal cross and crossed in front of goalkeeper Matt Turner to get his head on it.

Diego Fagundez opened the scoring for the Revolution (1-1-0) in the 48th minute, settling Cristian Penilla's short cross with one touch and finishing a low shot into the middle of the goal.

© 2018 by The Associated Press.