The US national team saw a 21-game unbeaten run against Guatemala end on Friday night as they fell to a shock 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat in Guatemala City.
The hosts scored both their goals within the opening 15 minutes, as Rafael Morales headed home a corner in the seventh minute before Carlos Ruiz latched onto a long goal-kick and slotted past Tim Howard to leave Jurgen Klinsmann’s side reeling.
The result leaves the US in third place in Group C of CONCACAF’s semi-final round of qualification with four points from three games, three points behind leaders Trinidad and Tobago and two behind Guatemala ahead of Tuesday night’s high-pressure rematch in Columbus.
Head coach Klinsmann was already under mounting pressure following his team’s semi-final exit in last year’s Gold Cup and subsequent loss to Mexico in the Confederations Cup playoff, and Friday night’s performance offered plenty of examples of why so many have been calling for his departure.
As has become the norm throughout his reign, the German used several players out of position on the night, including Tottenham Hotspur defender DeAndre Yedlin. The 22-year-old, who is currently on a season-long loan at Sunderland, has featured exclusively at right-back during his club career but made yet another international start on the wing and unsurprisingly struggled at the position.
Aside from creating one decent chance shortly after the break, the former Seattle Sounders youngster was essentially invisible for much of the game and managed to complete just one pass in the final third. He looked a bit more comfortable once moved to right-back for the final half-hour, but the damage was already done at that point.
As expected, the pacey wide man’s display didn’t garner many favourable reviews on Twitter during or after the game, but most seemed to recognise that Klinsmann’s decision to play him in an advanced role had a lot to do with his ineffectiveness.
USA needs to stop playing Yedlin. They constantly feed him the ball and he has the touch of a 3 year old. We want Nagbe.— The Nate Brown (@RunSoHard) March 26, 2016
Yedlin's finally starting to catch on as a RB at Sunderland and Jurgen plays him at a position he hasn't played in years? Huh?— Jon Benne (@LordBenne) March 26, 2016
Let's see, Yedlin is a RB for Sunderland, plays right mid tonight, Cameron I guess at dmid for Stoke this year, plays RB tonight— Kevin Kinkead (@KevinKCBS3) March 26, 2016
I still like DeAndre Yedlin, despite this. Has the talent. Has had very poor coaching.— Brandon Boyer (@iBrandonBoyer) March 26, 2016
DeAndre Yedlin is not a right winger. Geoff Cameron is not a right back. Gyasi Zardes isn't a winger, etc. I just don't understand. #USMNT— Andrew King (@AndrewKingMLS) March 26, 2016
Ball keeps falling to Yedlin out right who keeps lumping long diagonal balls into the area. Sunderland loan is teaching him a lot!— CPR (@HoTCPR) March 26, 2016
Took 58 minutes for Yedlin to finally play his natural position. Great coaching Jurgen!!#USMNT— Juan Carlo Sarinas (@Real_JC_Sarinas) March 26, 2016
JK has put Yedlin at RB, which he has no confidence in him playing. If he did, he'd have started Cameron at CB, where he needed to be.— Paul Kennedy (@pkedit) March 26, 2016
Dare I say, Yedlin is too fast. Dude is always dribbling it out the end line— Agent Cross (@NateTCross) March 26, 2016
Yedlin is not an outside mid, in my opinion. He is best starting from deep and making the blind run into the attacking third— Dylan (@MimsThaWord) March 26, 2016
You’d expect time in the EPL to hone Yedlin into something other than “run really fast” guy. He just hasn’t developed as expected. #USMNT— Adam Soucie (@AdamSoucie) March 26, 2016
I'm better than DeAndre Yedlin— Yung Walt Disney (@finalthrd) March 26, 2016