U.S. Soccer

Pulisic Goals Lift MNT to 2-0 Win in USA-Trinidad & Tobago, Presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (June 8, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team used two second-half goals in the span of 10 minutes from Christian Pulisic to earn a 2-0 World Cup Qualifying victory against Trinidad & Tobago in front of a sellout crowd of 19,188 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. With the victory, the U.S. is now 2-2-1 (seven points) in the Final Round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup ahead of Sunday’s match away to rivals Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, Univision and UDN).

Facing a Trinidad & Tobago side content to absorb pressure and counter, the U.S. attacked early and often, seeing a 15th minute attempt from Clint Dempsey swing just over the cross bar, before John Brooks and Jozy Altidore forced T&T goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams into back-to-back diving saves 10 minute later.

The Soca Warriors would break some of the pressure and get their best chance of the half in the 33rd minute when Khaleem Hyland crossed from the left for Kenwyne Jones. USA goalkeeper Tim Howard couldn’t get to the ball in time and Jones nodded his effort off the cross bar before it was cleared from danger.

The U.S. forced another two-save sequence out of Williams in the 35th minute when Jorge Villafaña’s long-range effort was palmed away before Altidore’s follow-up header was tipped out for a corner kick. Trinidad & Tobago kept the U.S. honest just before the break, when another counter attack resulted in Hyland blasting a low effort that forced a diving stop out of Howard. 

The breakthrough came just seven minutes into the second half when a well-worked build up between Darlington Nagbe and Clint Dempsey eventually saw DeAndre Yedlin pick out Pulisic, who slid through the area to finish his sixth international goal in the 52nd minute.  

Pulisic doubled the U.S. lead 10 minutes later when a simple combination between Yedlin and Altidore allowed the 18-year-old a lane into the box where he finished past Williams and inside the right post.

The U.S. nearly had a third when Alejandro Bedoya connected with fellow substitute Bobby Wood, who powered his effort from the top off the area off the left post in the 84th minute.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT quickly shifts its focus to the much anticipated road trip to face Mexico on Sunday, June 11. Kickoff from historic Estadio Azteca in Mexico City is schedule for 8:30 p.m. ET and the match can be seen live on FS1, Univision and UDN.
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Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Christian Pulisic (DeAndre Yedlin), 52nd minute:
The U.S. broke through on a great team goal early in the second half. Darlington Nagbe picked up a loose ball and drove toward goal where he played a quick combination with Clint Dempsey to get into the box. When Nagbe was cut off in the area, he laid back for Yedlin, whose low cross found Pulisic sliding through the area to beat Jan-Michael Williams. USA 1, TRI 0 [WATCH]

USA – Christian Pulisic (Jozy Altidore), 62nd minute: Arena’s side doubled the advantage 10 minutes later when a simple combination between Yedlin and Altidore saw the veteran forward slip Pulisic into the box on the right. The 18-year-old attacker entered the area before beating Williams inside the near post for his second of the match. USA 2, TRI 0 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
TRI – Jan-Michael Williams, 25th minute: After a long spell of possession, center back John Brooks pushed forward into midfield, received a pass and uncorked a surprising effort through traffic that required a diving Williams to punch it away.

TRI – Jan-Michael Williams, 25th minute: Just seconds later, Jorge Villafaña gained space down the left and cut back for Jozy Altidore at the top of the box. The veteran U.S. forward hit a powerful first-time drive that Williams palmed away from danger.

TRI – Jan-Michael Williams, 35th minute: After teaming with Michael Bradley to win possession at midfield, Jorge Villafaña quickly blasted a long-range effort that forced another diving stop from Williams. The T&T goalkeeper was beaten to the rebound by Dempsey, who alertly found Villafaña in space on the flank before the left back crossed for Altidore, only to see his header tipped over the bar by Williams.

USA – Tim Howard, 42nd minute: T&T quickly broke in transition again as Carlos Edwards fed Hyland with a through ball before the Soca Warriors attacker launched a blistering, low effort that Howard sprawled out to his right to save before Geoff Cameron cleared the danger.

TRI – Jan-Michael Williams, 77th minute: Shortly after entering the match, Kellyn Acosta stepped up to take a free kick and looked to tuck his effort inside the left post, only to see Williams get across to make another diving stop.

NOTES:

  • With the brace, Christian Pulisic now has seven international goals in 15 total appearances and five goals in eight World Cup Qualifying caps.
  • The double was also the second multi-goal game of Pulisic’s MNT career, with his first coming in a 6-0 World Cup Qualifying win against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2, 2016.
  • Pulisic has now scored four goals in his last four games for the U.S. MNT.
  • DeAndre Yedlin tallied his seventh career assist on Pulisic’s first strike; it was his second in World Cup Qualifying.
  • Jozy Altidore recorded his 12th career assist in the 62nd minute. With five, Altidore now sits tied with Pulisic for the most assists in CONCACAF during 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Howard made two saves to earn his 14th clean sheet in 36 World Cup Qualifying appearances and 39th in 115 total games for the USA. 
  • Clint Dempsey made his 134th appearance, tying him with Jeff Agoos for third on the MNT all-time caps list. Dempsey (39) also now sits just one World Cup Qualifying appearance behind Landon Donovan for the USA’s all-time lead in that category.
  • Geoff Cameron and John Brooks paired in central defense together for the 10th time. Since first partnering together in a 4-3 win at Bosnia-Herzegovina on Aug. 14, 2013, the USA has gone 7-2-1 when the two have started in central defense.
  • The U.S. MNT improved its record to 3-0-0 all-time at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • The MNT is 18-2-4 all-time against Trinidad & Tobago. The USA has gone 13-1-3 in World Cup Qualifiers against the Soca Warriors and 9-0-1 all-time at home.
  • Head coach Bruce Arena improves his record to 4-0-1 all-time against Trinidad & Tobago
  • The U.S. MNT is unbeaten in six matches since Arena returned to his position last November, going 3-0-3, while scoring 11 goals and conceding just two. 
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MNT Jun 8, 2017

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date: June 8, 2017
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Final Round
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. MT
Attendance: 19,188 (sellout)
Weather: 82 degrees; partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F                                                         
USA                             0          2          2        
TRI                              0          0          0 

USA – Christian Pulisic (DeAndre Yedlin)     52nd minute
USA – Christian Pulisic (Jozy Altidore)          62 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 20-Geoff Cameron, 6-John Brooks, 21-Jorge Villafaña; 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 23-Fabian Johnson (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 74), 10-Christian Pulisic, 15-Darlington Nagbe, 8-Clint Dempsey (16-Kellyn Acosta, 61), 17-Jozy Altidore (9-Bobby Wood, 83)
Subs not used: 12-Brad Guzan, 22-Nick Rimando, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Tim Ream, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 13-Dax McCarty, 14-Paul Arriola, 18-Jordan Morris, 19-Graham Zusi
Head coach: Bruce Arena

TRI: 21-Jan-Michael Williams; 11-Akhenaton Edwards, 4-Sheldon Bateau, 17-Mekeil Williams, 5-Daneil Cyrus; 10-Kevin Molino, 19-Kevan George, 8-Khaleem Hyland (23-Leston Paul, 76), 3-Joevin Jones (12-Shahdon Winchester, 68); 7-Nathan Lewis, 9-Kenwyne Jones (capt.) (20-Jamille Boatswain, 82)
Subs not used: 1-Marvin Phillip, 2-Aubrey David, 6-Radanfah Abu Bakr, 13-Hughtun Hector, 14-Andre Boucaud, 15-Curtis Gonzales, 16-Alvin Jones, 18-Hashim Arcia, 22-Adrian Foncette
Head coach: Dennis Lawrence 

Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 9 / 2
Saves: 2 / 7
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 3 / 4
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
TRI – Leston Paul (caution)                      76th minute
USA – Alejandro Bedoya (caution)          85 

Officials:
Referee: Oscar Moncada (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Melvyn Cruz (HON)
Fourth Official: Raul Castro (HON)                                        

Budweiser Man of the Match: TBD

Q&A: Bruce Arena on the U.S. MNT's Successful June WCQ Camp

With a few days to reflect on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s successful June World Cup Qualifying camp, Bruce Arena spoke to ussoccer.com about his takeaways from the Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico games and outlook for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

ussoccer.com: On the first day of camp, you told the team about your plan for the two matches which centered around preparing two very different lineups to play in the June World Cup Qualifiers. How did you feel about the team’s response to the approach?

Bruce Arena: “I think there’s enough evidence there to indicate that they responded well to a plan that we had in place. When we came into camp, we had an unprecedented challenge ahead of us with playing two games at altitude and having two less days of rest between games than you typically have. We had to have a plan that not only enabled us to have fresh players available to play against Mexico, but also to deal with the altitude for the two games and the two weeks. Overall, I think the players did well.”

ussoccer.com: In playing nearly two different teams, you made the decision to insert younger players in the midfield, with Paul Arriola and Kellyn Acosta joining Christian Pulisic and Michael Bradley. How did you feel they responded to being put into a game of that magnitude?

BA: “I think with Christian we saw the effects of the altitude. He played three full games for us when you include the Venezuela game, and he was really physically done near the 60-minute mark in Mexico and hung in there. That was good, but it also validated the fact that we did need to make changes when you see our fittest player struggling so much. I thought Paul Arriola did an excellent job on the right side of the field, and with a little bit more experience he’ll be a little bit better in passing and having more composure. It’s the same thing with Kellyn. His work rate was outstanding. He could be a little better passer of the ball, but I think the experience for him was outstanding as well.”

ussoccer.com: The U.S. MNT now has eight points and sits in third place after six Final Round World Cup Qualifiers. With you taking over a team that was rooted to the bottom at the start of the Hex, does it now feel like there’s a little more breathing room?

BA: “There’s a little bit more, but there’s not a whole lot. It’s a pretty tight race at this point, and I don’t think we have any interest in finishing fourth. Our goal is second or third place, because I think Mexico is far ahead and it’s unlikely we can catch them. We can be second or third and I don’t really care which way we end up, but we certainly don’t want to be in fourth. Stepping away from this camp, we recognize the home game against Costa Rica on Sept. 1 is critically important to making sure we finish in the top three.”

ussoccer.com: Michael Bradley scored a stunning goal early in the game against Mexico. Could you speak to the U.S. MNT captain’s performance and leadership since you returned as head coach?

BA: “I think he’s been pretty solid with his approach to everything. Michael has been consistently good for us, buys into everything we’re doing and leads the team that way. He’s been very good both on and off the field.”

WATCH: Bradley Discusses Highlight Reel Chip at Azteca

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MNT Jun 15, 2017

BY THE NUMBERS: U.S. MNT's June World Cup Qualifying

The U.S. Men’s National Team just completed a successful three-game stretch in June capped off with four massive points from two important World Cup Qualifiers – a 2-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago and another historic 1-1 draw away to Mexico

Here are some of the significant numbers that stick out:

16,995 feet or 3.2 miles – Combined elevation the U.S. MNT played at during its three June matches: Mexico City (7,382 feet), Commerce City, Colo. (5,164 feet) and Sandy, Utah (4,449 feet).

134 and 39 – Number of overall caps and World Cup Qualifying appearances made by Clint Dempsey. The U.S. forward is tied with Jeff Agoos for third all-time on the MNT caps list and just one World Cup Qualifying appearance behind U.S. MNT leader Landon Donovan (40).

Some current teammates are right on his heels in both categories

All-Time Time U.S. MNT Cap Leaders

All-Time U.S. MNT WCQ Cap Leaders

Cobi Jones

164

Landon Donovan

40

Landon Donovan

157

Clint Dempsey

39

Jeff Agoos

134

Jozy Altidore

37

Clint Dempsey

134

Tim Howard

36

Michael Bradley

133

Michael Bradley

35

Marcelo Balboa

127

DaMarcus Beasley

34 

92% - Average passing percentage in the opponent’s half by U.S. MNT outside backs Jorge Villafaña (92.6%) and DeAndre Yedlin (91.4%) in the 2-0 win vs. Trinidad & Tobago. 

51 – Number of all-time home World Cup Qualifying wins following the 2-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago. The USA is 51-5-12 in 68 all-time home World Cup Qualifying matches. 

WATCH: Michael Bradley Discusses His Chip Against Mexico at Estadio Azteca

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MNT Jun 13, 2017

GALLERY: MNT Rolls Past T&T Powered by Pulisic Brace

Photos from the U.S. Men’s National Team's 2-0 World Cup Qualifying victory against Trinidad & Tobago in front of a sellout crowd of 19,188 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. A second-half brace in the span of 10 minutes from Christian Pulisic lifted the the U.S. to a 2-2-1 record (seven points) in the Final Round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup ahead of Sunday’s match away to rivals Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, Univision and UDN).

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MNT Jun 9, 2017
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