The USMNT got World Cup Qualifying off to a good start with a 6-1 victory over St. Vincent & the Grenadines on Friday night. Now comes the more difficult of the first two qualifiers: a road game at Trinidad & Tobago. Road qualifiers in CONCACAF are always tricky affairs and this game should be no different.
After shockingly falling behind in the first five minutes on Friday, the US bounced back and dominated the rest of the game. For the first time in a long time, it looked like the players were actually having fun playing the game. Michael Bradley looked good, Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes were threats all night and the defense looked solid (though they were playing against overmatched opposition). Darlington Nagbe and Matt Miazga both did well in their debuts. Again, all of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt but it was nice to see the US finally play up to their potential after a dismal last four months. It gets much more difficult in the next game against Trinidad & Tobago.
Trinidad & Tobago comes into this game with a record of 4-4-3 (W-L-D) this calendar year but that record does not tell the full story of the way they’ve played. They won their group at the Gold Cup, which included a thrilling 4-4 draw against Mexico. They were knocked out on penalties by eventual third placed team Panama. They haven’t been beaten since. They did win their opening qualifier, a 2-1 victory in Guatemala.
Their roster features five players who play their club soccer in the US, but the man to watch is their captain Kenwyne Jones. Jones plays for Cardiff City in the Championship and has 22 goals in 78 caps for his country. In fact, he is the only player on this roster with more than 6 international goals.
- With his two goals on Friday night, Jozy Altidore is now tied for second with Eddie Johnson for all-time US World Cup Qualifying goals. He trails Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey who are tied for first.
- Altidore is now third all-time in overall goals scored for the US, again trailing Donovan and Dempsey.
- Having represented the US in a competitive game, both Darlington Nagbe and Matt Miazga are now cap-tied to the US.
- Friday night was the fourth time under Jurgen Klinsmann that the US has scored six goals in a game.