Matchnight: Trinidad & Tobago 2 US 1
Despite the loss a very good run out and effort from the US kids who were facing an experienced and desperate Soca Warrior side. What Bob Bradley must learn however was on display in Edmonton tonight. If you attack against Mexico instead of holding back and relying on the counters and set pieces you can create scoring chances galore against a weak Mexican backline. Canada was unlucky: Paul Stalteri had a great shot in open play that went off the cross bar when it appeared to be going in, minutes before Thomasz Radzinski broke away from the Mexican defense and just missed a shot wide. My point is if Canada is comfortable attacking Mexico as they were last month in Chiapas, why does the US always sit back and rely on counter attacking against Mexico and other perceieved powers? Mexico’s escape with a draw days after losing in Kingston shows how weak Sven Goran Eriksson’s managment of the side has been despite the fact that Mexico has more talent than everyone they face in CONCACAF: Mexico looked shaky at best in securing nine points in three matches at home, and now has essentially backed into a single point in two road matches.
Bob Bradley has to let the kids loose. Mexico despite probable advancement thanks to Stalteri’s misfortune eith the crossbar is suffering from a crisis of confidence. The time is ripe for the US to once and for assert its supremacy in CONCACAF. Beating Mexico is not merely enough anymore: The US has relied on somewhat cynical football in the past to beat Mexico and under Bradley’s watch El Tri has been coming closer and close to victory against the US. Now is the time to let the kids loose, let them go forward and take their lumps so they are ready to attack a Mexican side whose defending has looked shambolic to be kind in this qualifying tournament. In that respect tonight’s 2-1 loss in Port of Spain was a victory as Jose Francisco Torres looked comfortable on the ball and Charlie Davies made the kind of impact coming off the bench that will make a difference in the Hexagonal.Here is the US lineup:
Join me for thoughts as the match progresses.
This was the site of the match that returned the United States to the World Cup after 40 years of football purgatory. Trinidad is going veteran heavy tonight with Russell Latapay, Chris Birchall and Dwight Yorke all returning to the national team. For trivia buffs, the English born Birchall is the only white player T&T has fielded in the last 50 years and was until recently a mainstay in the side. Birchall is a solid international and I am not sure why he was dropped for the last several qualifiers, but needing points he has been recalled.
We face sides in CONCACAF which I quite frankly do not like. Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras come to mind instantly. Trinidad however is not one of these teams. I have the greatest respect for what they have accomplished as tiny Island nation of 1.1 million and the courtesy their footballers have always shown to me as a fan. I am not ashamed to say when we are not playing them, I pull for the Soca Warriors.
The Soca Warriors are playing with much urgency. They look good. It has been pointed out to me that if Cuba draws or ties Guatemala tonight, T&T are in good shape even if they lose. However, I don’t think Trinidad can count on Cuba to get a result.
JAMAICA HAS SCORED TO TAKE A 1-0 LEAD AT HOME VERSUS HONDURAS. IF JAMAICA WINS, MEXICO NEEDS TO GET AT LEAST A POINT IN CANADA TO NOT FACE A MUST WIN SITUATION IN THE LAST MATCH, BECAUSE I BELIEVE JAMAICA WILL CRUSH CANADA IN KINGSTON. ELSEWHERE GOOD NEWS FOR T&T AS GUATEMALA HAS BEEN UNABLE TO SCORE IN HAVANA AFTER 40 MINUTES. IF CUBA HOLDS ON FOR 50 MORE, TRINIDAD DOES NOT NEED A RESULT TONIGHT.
Jose Francisco Torres has looked good tonight for the US but he isn’t yet on the same page with his team mates. Freddy Adu has been a disappointment thus far.
CUBA HAS SCORED. UNLESS GUATEMALA GET TWO BACK, T&T CAN LOSE THIS GAME AND STILL HAVE A DECENT CHANCE OF ADVANCING.
Russel Latapay scores, and T&T is in great shape. Great cross by Chris Birchall and a bad error by Heath Pearce.
Viva La Sven, or not? Ali Gerba former Miami Fusion and Montreal Impact man with an early goal in Edmonton for Canada.
Freddy Adu has been awful tonight and he is going to be replaced by Charlie Davies. Adu seems to be “Bradleyized” that is playing too deep.
Goal Mexico. Salcido’s free kick bounces off the Canadian wall and goes in.
A horrible first touch from Mo Edu ends up creating a somewhat un deserved US Goal by Charlie Davies, but T&T answers with a PK goal after Jozy Altidore committed a clumsy foul. You didn’t think a keeper whose only action this season has been a disastrous League Cup start was going to stop a PK by a Champions League winner, did you?
Danny Szetela replaces Jose Torres. Good night from Torres, who had a great through ball to Jozy Altiodre that was incorrectly rules offsides early in the 2nd half.
Chris Rolfe coming in? Are we this thin on our bench? I guess so.
So Trinidad beats the US for only the second time in its history. Despite the controversial PK call a deserved 3 pts, and with Cuba defeating Guatemala, the Soca Warriors would have to REALLY mess this up to not advance to the next round.