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The U.S. Men's National Soccer team advanced to the Final round
October 17, 2012
#8 Clint Dempsey and #18 Eddie Johnson do a celebratory hand shake after Clint scores his 2nd goal in the match against Guademala. Tribune Photo/Jeremy Flowers
By Fred Liggett of the Tribune
The U.S. Men's National Soccer team advanced to the Final round of FIFA World Cup qualifying Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over Guatemala.
All four goals were scored in the first half in front of a sellout crowd of 16,947 at Livestrong Sporting Park. Guatemala soccer star Carlos Ruiz drew first blood when he scored in just the 5th minute of the game.
USA's Carlos Bocanegra scored the equalizer just 5 minutes later. USA's Clint Dempsey got hot from this point scoring in the 18th and 36th minutes to give the USA an insurmountable 3-1 lead. Dempsey in addition to his 2 goals effort also assisted on another earning him Man of the Match Honors.
Two starters for the USA were well known to Sporting KC fans. Eddie Johnson now playing in Seattle, was at one time a forward for KC Wizards. Current Sporting KC star Midfielder Graham Zusi played 77 minutes before being taken out late in the 2nd half of the match.
The top two teams in Group A World Cup qualify for the Final round and the win guaranteed USA advancement with a 4-1-1 mark in Group A play.
The sold out crowd was in a festive mood afterwards with plenty of Red, White and Blue on display. While this was the first time for Livestrong Sporting Park to host a World Cup qualifying game, it was the second time for KC to play host. The first time was in 2002 when Costa Rica played at KC's Arrowhead Stadium at the time home of the KC Wizards soccer team.