U.S.A.-Trinidad & Tobago Instant Reaction

Photo Source: U.S. Soccer/isiphotos
A 3-0 butt-kicking by the Americans in Nashville, headlined by that man, Jozy Altidore. Given a start after a strong appearance off the substitutes bench against El Salvador, he bagged a hat trick this time (and he’s the youngest USMNT’er to get one). Landon Donovan assisted on all three goals (extending his national team record in that category), and it wasn’t just the two of them who destroyed the Soca Warriors’ defense. Others like DaMarcus Beasley and Brian Ching were good, and this game could easily have been 4 or 5-0. Frankly, T&T knew it was lucky to be down only 1-0 at halftime. But they really didn’t improve in the second half, and the U.S. finally got its deserved second and third goals to make sure of victory and a continued hold on first place in the group heading into June’s pair of qualifiers.

The result wasn’t a huge surprise, given that the U.S. beat T&T 3-0 in Denver last year during the previous phase of World Cup qualifying, and that the Soca Warriors were missing several players, most notably suspended leader Dwight Yorke. Of course, most of us thought the U.S. would win comfortably in El Salvador last Saturday because even though road games in CONCACAF can be really tough (lots of noisy and tightly-packed stadiums, some of them with poorly conditioned fields), America certainly has the most talent in the region(at the very least they’re Mexico’s equal). That they had to fight desperately for a 2-2 tie just goes to show how unpredictable international soccer can be “on the day.” Tonight, full credit should go to the U.S. team and coaching staff, which came out with several lineup changes, altered tactics and on-field attitude, and put together they nailed it.

Costa Rica (away) and Honduras (in Chicago) are the two chores facing the U.S. in June before it plays in the Confederations Cup (in a “Group of Death” against Brazil, Italy, and Egypt), and then the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Even four points from those games should put them really close to wrapping up a top-3 finish in the group and the accompanying World Cup ticket.


One Response to “U.S.A.-Trinidad & Tobago Instant Reaction”

  1. Ken Says:

    didn’t see the game–but heard about this, and Jozy’s hat-trick is a very exciting development

    it’s a shame we don’t get to see him anymore in MLS with NY Red Bulls, but playing up front with classy Juan Pablo Angel for a few years there should have done him a bunch of good

    he’s not broken into Villareal’s first team, but going out on loan to the Segunda division should help him bolster his experience and help him adapt to Spanish football; with some more impressive performances, he should have some role to play for the Yellow Submarine next campaign (even if it’s largely in Cup games), seeing as they have lots of fixtures with European football as part of the agenda

    Jozy’s still quite young, but he looks sort of wizened in that photo–he and Freddy Adu will hopefully continue to reach their high potential for the senior team in the years ahead

    and wow–that’s a crazy group for the Confederations Cup! achieving any results there might be pretty good

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