USA vs. Trinidad and Tobago preview: USMNT ready to clinch advancement to The Hex


Barring a disaster of biblical scale, the US Men’s National Team has a spot in the final round of World Cup Qualifying all locked up. However, there is still a mathematical possibility of missing out, so Jurgen Klinsmann would be wise not to take anything for granted when the US plays its final semi-final round World Cup Qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago. Some changes will be made from the squad that beat St. Vincent & the Grenadines 6-0 on Friday, but the US should still be good enough to get the job done against the Soca Warriors.

Everything came up roses for the USA on Friday, but the biggest winner for the US was Matt Besler who not only scored his first international goal, but did so on the day of the birth of his first child (a daughter named Parker). Aside from Besler, the other big stories were Christian Pulisic netting two goals and Sacha Kljestan adding another in his return from the international wilderness. Bobby Wood continued his terrific US form, and Jozy Altidore converted from the penalty spot. While it was a good result for the US, it was also an expected result against a lowly ranked opponent. Some changes are to be expected for the next game against Trinidad and Tobago. Besler has been sent home to be with his wife and newborn daughter. DeAndre Yedlin will miss the next game due to yellow card accumulation. On the flip side, the US does get Michael Bradley and Michael Orozco back from yellow card suspension.

Trinidad and Tobago has already locked up their spot in the Hexagonal. However, 2016 has not been especially kind to them. The year started off with them falling to Haiti in a playoff for a spot in the Copa America Centenario. There was then a stretch during the summer where they lost all three games they played. Overall, their record for 2016 stands at 2-4-2 (W-L-D) and their last win came way back in March (a 6-0 win over St. Vincent & the Grenadines in World Cup Qualifying). The man to watch for is 31 year old Kenwyne Jones of Central FC in the TT Pro League. He has 23 goals in 82 caps for his country. He is currently on loan from Atlanta United FC, which does not begin MLS play until next year. Other US based players include goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh of Louisville City, defenders Joevin Jones, Aubrey David and Mekeil Williams of the Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids respectively, and Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino.

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