All that time off did nothing to zap Clint Dempsey's swagger.
Dempsey, in his first competitive match since being suspended for ripping a referee's notebook in a U.S. Open Cup game on June 16, scored on a penalty kick vs. Guatemala Friday night, and he opted to go Panenka-style to do it.
After Michael Bradley was taken down in the box, Dempsey coolly chipped down the middle, giving the USA a 3-0 lead in its friendly against Guatemala that it would go on to win by a 4-0 scoreline. The penalty was the second one the USA had earned on the night, with Jozy Altidore drawing a first-half penalty only to have his ensuing spot kick saved.
The goal was Dempsey's 41st of his international career (he trails Landon Donovan by 16 for the U.S. all-time lead), and his fifth against Guatemala.
In the aftermath of his Open Cup tirade, Dempsey was stripped of the U.S. captaincy for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup, with Bradley tabbed to don the armband Friday in Nashville, Tennessee, and over the next month as the USA attempts to win a second consecutive regional title and cement a place in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.