A 2-0 defeat against Guatemala, ranked 95th in the world, would have been embarrassing enough for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his players.
The United States soccer team somehow now now finds itself wired in a patch of thorns, scratched and ripped apart by Guatemala on Friday night. The U.S. men's soccer is in danger of seeing its 2018 World Cup dream turn into a nightmare.
To avoid such a fate the coach and the players have a precious bit of time in which to find some answers as to why their visit to Guatemala turned into a horror show.
It did so breathtakingly quickly. Just over six minutes had passed when a corner from the right was met at the near post by Rafael Morales, whose firm header flicked off Mix Diskerud and found itself at the back of the net.
Startled, Klinsmann’s team tried to respond. Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood had chances denied late in the game. Bedoya and Clint Dempsey suffered the same fate after the break as goalkeeper Motta grew in confidence and reacted to each of his saves with a defiant snarl.