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USA vs. Guatemala, World Cup qualifying, recap: 4-nil win powered by gritty Clint Dempsey

The United States isn't completely out of danger, but they again control their own destiny and hope for the Hex.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

With their backs against the wall the United States Men's National Team played a very American game. It was gritty, rough, and fortunate. Starting in a 4-3-3 with their top talents in more typical positions, Jurgen Klinsmann's men put up a potent 4-nil drubbing.

Most notably for Seattle Sounders fans was that Clint Dempsey was the center forward. Clint looked like the Clint of old. He tried stuff again and was prone to drifting about the pitch. That drifting lead to the first goal, as Dempsey struck from about 17 yards out after Gyasi Zardes knocked a long ball down and back. The former Captain America pounced on the loose ball poaching another goal for red, white and blue.

His assist was the Dempsey that Americans learned to love. It came as he charged the keeper, ball at his feet. He tried a nifty little move and the ball popped out to substitute Jozy Altidore. Altidore netted it.

Only Clint knows if that was his intent.

While his boxscore looks great his more in-depth numbers show a player that was in a free role, regularly trying to make stuff happen. He had fewer touches in the center of the final third than he did in Seattle's last loss, but the unstructured nature of his role with the US seemed to make him more comfortable and joy-filled.

Geoff Cameron scored the second goal of the game off a Micheal Bradley free kick. The third goal was a combination of Zardes getting a fortunate bounce and emergency call-up Graham Zusi slotting the loose ball home.

If you want an American soccer identity it is what it's always been - tough, persistent and lucky.

That may change because of players like the now-capped Christian Pulisic and the U23s that are trying to qualify for the Olympics. But as long as the core is Dempsey, old-man keeper, Bradley, Altidore and the hit-it-forward CBs Tuesday night's team is American soccer.

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