Chris Klein

MLS players shine in U.S. victory

sometimes forwards are hot and cold," Johnson said, who has battled injuries over the past few months. "Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way but now I've got the goal and I can start taking more shots and making better runs into the box commanding the ball. But I'm starting to get my form back and it was nice to get the goal."

Ching scored in stoppage time to end the first half; his strong play was also a nice sign for the Houston 1836 forward, who has endured a rough stretch of injuries over the past couple of years, much like Johnson. The recent strong play of Taylor Twellman in attack, as well as Ching and Johnson, could make for some difficult decisions for Arena come World Cup time.

"I think I played well today and you know it's up to him," said Ching. "All I can do is go out there and do the best I can every time I get out there, and I did that today."

FC Dallas striker Carlos Ruiz was the main target for Guatemala but he just couldn't get the service he needed to get into scoring position.

"It's a bad game, but this national team has only been together for one week for this game," said Ruiz. "We don't like the final score but we come here to play soccer and to demonstrate to the Guatemalan fans that our players can play outside of Guatemala."

Scott Joiner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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