If you're an American soccer fan, or a follower of the US Men's National Team, you're either drowning your sorrows in a bottle of Fernet Branca or in the fetal position whimpering quietly to your cat right now. The USMNT went to San Pedro Sula in the first game of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying (THE HEX!)... and laid a big ol' turd in on the pitch in Honduras, losing 2-1. Clint Dempsey started for the Yanks, played 90 minutes, and bagged the first goal of the match, but overall it was not a scintillating performance from the Nacogdoches native.
Dempsey lined up as an attacking midfielder for the Yanks, essentially playing a similar in-the-hole position that he plays at Spurs. The USA were ostensibly lined up in a Christmas Tree 4-3-2-1 (BeIN Sports called it a 4-4-2), though a Jurgen Klinsmann Christmas Tree is a rather fluid formation that can look like various things at various times. With Eddie Johnson playing wide left and Jozy Altidore up top, Dempsey drifted further and further back over the course of the match, preferring to play from deeper positions, and even making a few tackles close to his own end line on one or two occasions.
Dempsey's goal came in the 36th minute and more or less against the run of play. US midfielder Jermaine Jones lofted in a beautiful ball to Deuce, who made a late run through the middle and completed a lovely volley into the back of the net. It was a pretty goal, but that was more or less the extent of Dempsey's offensive contributions. He was, however, arguably one of the better players on the US squad, though after today's shambolic display, that's really not saying that much. He covered a lot of ground, but really disappeared along with the rest of the team late in the match.
Dempsey now returns to North London, probably pissed off and a little tired after playing an early February match in the hot and humid Central American weather. He showed only the barest of glimpses of what has made him a star for the US national team. Hopefully he can put aside this performance and channel any frustrations into a positive result this weekend at home against Newcastle.