Kick Off: Pappa says Guatemala deserved draw with US

Jurgen Klinsmann

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

They got exactly what they deserved.

Maybe that sentence applies to both the US national team and their foes from Guatemala following the teams’ 1-1 draw on Tuesday night in Guatemala City.

It certainly felt good for the hosts, who used a stunning second-half strike from Chicago Fire winger Marco Pappa to get the point in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, and Pappa was crystal clear in his assessment after the match: “We deserved this draw.” [SPANISH]

Decide for yourself with a look at the highlights, complete with a brilliant first-half goal from the US’ Clint Dempsey and the Pappa strike that evened it up. [VIDEO]

US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann did his best to put a smile on the match (“we’re OK with the one point we take away”), but it was clear the US missed an opportunity to grab even more on the road.

"When you control the game the way we did, especially after we scored the goal and passed around the ball really well, you're a bit disappointed when something like that happens,” Klinsmann said.

Check out the complete quotes from Klinsmann here.

The potential hostility from the crowd in Guatemala was a topic all week leading up to the match, but did it actually play a part in the final result? Certainly not at the beginning, if you ask US striker Herculez Gomez, who said Guatemala were dejected headed into the locker room at half.

Despite the Dempsey goal, there are clearly still some issues about the US’ inability to finish. This report looks at that growing problem going forward, while there’s also some praise going around for the play of Houston Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron.

And lastly, time for some player ratings. Here are the grades from MLSsoccer.com, and here’s a similar report card from the folks at The New York Times.

Up in Toronto, there was plenty of disappointment to go around for head coach Stephen Hart’s Canada side, which had to settle for a scoreless draw against Honduras at BMO Field.

Hart had to look for the positives following a match most thought the Canadians could have won on their home turf, but Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan puts it simply: Honduras got lucky.

The last report on this game goes to D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario, who offers up his take on the match with a one-on-one interview.

The side story that came out of the Canada game, meanwhile, might have more impact on the team going forward than the match itself. Canadian-born star Jonathan de Guzman was on hand at the game to show his support for his brother Julian, but evidently he doesn’t want to share the same path for his country. He wants to play for the Netherlands.

Moving around CONCACAF from Tuesday night, the US scored an unexpected bonus in Group A when Jamaica failed to ring some easy points against Antigua and Barbuda. The Benna Boys and Reggae Boyz played to scoreless draw.

There was good news and bad news for Panama, meanwhile, in Group C. They scored a win over Cuba to take the lead in the group, but lost Blas Pérez to an injury, and it appears the FC Dallas striker had to be taken to the hospital after colliding with the Cuban goalkeeper. [SPANISH]

And here’s a look at the other MLSers in action in CONCACAF on Tuesday, including a stellar night for Real Salt Lake’s Álvario Saborío.

Let’s switch it up to MLS, where the big news on Tuesday was the arrival of new Montreal Impact Designated Player Marco Di Vaio. The Italian striker didn’t stay long, however, as he has been called back to Italy to attend a hearing into allegations of match-fixing back home. He’ll return to Montreal on Friday.

And while the Impact are creeping closer to their huge opening of Saputo Stadium on Saturday, there’s news that Montreal fans might not be getting the message about the game. Even though some might expect the game against the Seattle Sounders is sold out, there are still tickets available. [FRENCH]

New Philadelphia Union striker Jorge Perlaza hasn’t been with his new team long, but he evidently hasn’t wasted much time making an impression. The former Portland Timbers man scored his first goal with the Union on Tuesday night in an exhibition against USL Pro affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders.

The Union return to MLS play at home on Saturday against D.C. United, but there’s no guarantee De Rosario will suit up for D.C. Head coach Ben Olsen is playing the waiting game on his star player, and will make the decision based on how much gas DeRo has left in the tank after his duty with Canada.

And there’s news out in Los Angeles, where Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders is all smiles these days as he finds himself ready to return this weekend against Portland.

Up the coast to Vancouver, Whitecaps striker Long Tan has found himself in a bit of trouble with the team. That’s because of a recent ill-advised tweet complaining about playing time that caught the ire of head coach Martin Rennie, who had some simple advice for Tan and his teammates: “Just don’t be criticizing other teams or other players, or people within our club on Twitter.”

There’s also bad news for youngster Omar Salgado, who attended Vancouver’s reserve game on Tuesday with a walking boot and crutches thanks to a broken bone in his right foot that will keep him out two to four months.

Drew Moor’s not one to normally miss time due to injury, and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. That’s because the Colorado Rapids defender has signed a multi-year contract extension that will keep him in Denver.

And bigger is apparently better for the San Jose Earthquakes, who are planning to add almost 600 more seats to the plans for their new stadium, with Quakes officials hoping for construction to begin later this year.

At the Euro 2012 tournament, Tuesday's off-the-field action made the biggest headlines. First, there were the street clashes between fans of Poland and Russia, that even caught up KICKTV's Jimmy Conrad. Then Italian Antonio Cassano made waves with his comment about homosexual players on the Italian roster. "If I say what I really think,” Cassano said, “it would be chaos."

On the field, kudos went to a rejuvenated Czech Republic team and to the hosts from Poland, who salvaged a draw against Russia thanks to this incredible goal.

All eyes now turn to Group B  — the so-called Group of Death. Here's some insight that says don’t be surprised if Denmark do some damage to Portugal when they match up in the early game (noon ET, ESPN). But everyone is waiting for the afternoon match between heavyweights Germany and the Netherlands (2:45 ET, ESPN). Here’s a match preview, and here’s the troubling news for the Dutch that has star Wesley Sneijder wondering if his team has “pathetic egos.” 

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