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U.S. vs. Trinidad
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Queen's Park Oval - Port of Spain, Trinidad
Weather: 90 degrees, hot & humid
Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico)

   1   2      F  
Trinidad & Tobago   0     1   1   
United States   1   1   2   FINAL

USA - Johnson (Cherundolo)       30th minute
USA - Lewis (Donovan)               54'
TRI - Eve                                   89'

USA (4-4-2):
18-Kasey Keller, 12-Cory Gibbs, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 23-Eddie Pope, 6-Steve Cherundolo, 7-Eddie Lewis, 25-Pablo Mastroeni (8-Demsey, 66), 10-Landon Donovan (C), 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 9-Eddie Johnson, 20-Brian McBride
Subs Available: Hahnemman, Albright, Berhalter, Hejduk, Twellman, Wolff

TRI (4-4-2): 1-Shaka Hislop (C), 2-Marlon Rojas, 4-Marvin Andrews, 5-Brent Sancho, 7-Leslie Fitzpatrick, 10-Anthony Rougier (Eve, 46'), 11-Carlos Edwards, 15-Kenwyne Jones, 14-Stern John, 16-Anton Pierre, 19-Dwight Yorke
Subs Available: Ince, Charles, King, Theobold, Sealy, Glenn

First Half:
Schmid: To no one's surprise, the U.S. is going with an experienced team and primarily relying on their European-based players.

Schmid: The size of the field should help players like DaMarcus Beasley and Eddie Lewis. It's like almost an 80-yard wide field. The field is hard and that will equal things out for both teams, but the main thing being a cricket ground, the crowd is further from the action than it would be in a normal soccer stadium, which should help the U.S. as it takes the crowd out of it a bit.

The U.S. is in all white, Trinidad is in all red. The teams are on the field, and kickoff is moments away.

1- The U.S. kicks off. Trinidad possesses on the kick off.

2- A long free kick from beyond midfield bounces out over the end line for a U.S. goal kick.

Schmid: Interesting change for the U.S. in that Beasley is playing on the right instead of the left (where he also plays in Holland) and we'll have to see how comfortable he is attacking from that side.

4- Beasley steals the ball on the right and sends a cross long through the box.

Schmid: It's an experience team for T&T.  I am sure you have to go back a while in Trinidad history to find a game where Shaka Hislop and Dwight Yorke played in a match together, but T&T obvioulsy got all of their top players back for this match.

7- First chance for Trinidad is a header by Yorke that Keller makes a leaping save on.

8- McBride flicks a header forward from the top of the area but it's not on anyone's run.

Schmid: Early on this game is really stretched due to the size of the field and both teams are playing fairly direct.

11- A corner for the U.S. is won by Donovan. It is short and cleared.

Schmid: Corner kicks could be an important offensive weapon for the USA as Trinidad's marking is not always the best.

13- Lewis finds space on the left side of the box and crosses to Beasley at the far post. Rojas clears for a corner.Best chance for the U.S. so far.

13- Hislop bobbles the corner, but recovers in time.

14- Trinidad tries a cross inside the area but cannot connect with Stern John. 

Schmid: Twice now a T&T forward has popped free in the box, only to not connect on a header.  Pope and Gibbs need to do a better job finding their marks in the box than they've done so far.

Schmid: Early on this game Landon Donovan has played reasonably deep in midfield.  For the U.S. to be effective, the closer he plays to the two forwards, the more effective Donovan becomes.

20- McBride does well to save a long pass and earn a corner. The corner pops out and Mastroeni drove a shot from 25 yards out that Hislop had to jump and save.

24- A back heel by Johnson finds Beasley on the top right of the box. His first time shot is blocked by a defender.

25- Donovan shot from outside the 6-yard box hits the outside of the net.

28- Trinidad was caught offside for the fifth time in the game.

30- Johnson does it again!!!!!!!!!! From Cherundolo. Unmarked, he heads the ball past Hislop from the top of the 6.

Schmid: Both U.S.outside backs have played very conservatively and not ventured forward much.  As Cherundelo finally gets forward, he creates an advantage and hits a great cross for Eddie Johnson to finish.

34- A cross finds Stern John between Pope and Cherundolo at the top of the 6. He heads the ball to Keller who falls to his right to make the save.

Schmid: The better the U.S. does at keeping possession, the more difficult the game is for Trinidad.  T&T tactically gets unbalance and out of shape defensively fairly quickly and so the longer the U.S. can hold possession the more opportunities will open up.

Schmid: Trinidad has good height, so as a resuslt you end of playing the ball on the ground more, and that's why you've seen less of Brian McBride than Beasley, Johnson and Donovan.

42- There is a brief pause in the action as a Trinidad defender is down with a head injury.

Schmid: Trinidad has good forwards, but they are a team that looks completely out of synch because there is no one in midfield right now -- neither Jones nor Rogier -- who is running or orchastrating the game for T&T.

45+ - John forces Keller to tip the ball over the bar on a header in the final minute. No shot, as John was called for a foul on Cory Gibbs.


Quote from Bruce Arena at halftime: "We cannot be complacent - we have to look to get the second goal. They're starting to get tired and we might be able to get behind them. We have to be very conscious of defensive restarts."

Schmid: The game has gone well for the United States because they got a goal, they were able to play very conservitevly on defense and not expend a lot of energy in this heat.  They have been able to pick and choose their moments to attack.  The only concern is that Stern John and Dwight Yorke are able to free themselves in the U.S. penalty box to get their head on good crosses. So, they need to tighten that up in the second half and continue to keep possession and make Trinidad chase the ball and not get stretched out on defense by putting too much pressure on T&T too high on the field.

Second Half:

46- Trinidad kicks off.

Schmid: It's good for the U.S. to stay with the same lineup.  They will have to keep an eye on Mastroeni and Pope in regards to their fitness as the game goes on this heat.  They will likely make a change up front in the second half for Eddie Johnson as he fatigues. 

Schmid: Trinidad needs to step up their game, play in a more aggressive manner, pressure higher up on the field, and play with more intensity if they want to salvage some points today.

50- The U.S. earns a corner kick. The U.S. has a 10-0 edge in corners. The corner goes long.

52- Johnson crosses on a break, and Beasley dummies. Donovan left foots the ball into Hislop who was diving to his right. It was an open shot for Donovan

53- Fitzpatrick gets in 1v1 with Keller and Keller makes a great save to keep the U.S. up by one goal.

54 - Lewis gets the ball from Donovan outside the D and drives a left-footed shot inside the right post on a frozen rope from 23 yards. 2-0 USA!

Schmid: The U.S. now just has to play smart, manage the game, not get themselves into a bad position defensively by over-committing players forward.  The counter-attacking opportunities will present themselves as long as they continue to play with patience.

60- Johnson goes for a 50-50 ball but is unlucky as it bounces to hit his hand.

64- The U.S. has its 11th corner. Trinidad has 0.

65- Jones crosses for Stern John who just can't run onto the low ball through the six-yard box.

66- First sub for the U.S. is Dempsey for Mastroeni.

Schmid: It was obvious that because of fitness that are taking Mastroeni out.  Clint Dempsey is obviously a talented young player, but he is not a disciplined defensive midfielder yet so he's really at this stage in the game, he's really got to concentrate on his defensive duties to not allow T&T back in the game.

68- Yellow card to Trinidad's Rojas on a foul on Cherundolo.

71 - Glenn on for Fitzpatrick.

72- Dempsey tackles away from Glenn to give up the first corner to Trinidad. Keller catches the corner.

74- Glenn shoots and Keller makes a save.

75- Theobold comes on for Edwards.

Schmid: T&T is playing three up front now with Glenn and Stern John staying higher and Dwight Yorke playing a little withdrawn.  T&T has had more success in the latter part of the game, playing forward more quickly.

78- Donovan comes back and blocks an attempt on goal out for a corner. The U.S. possesses after the corner.

79- Beasley has Hislop out 1v1 after a through ball on the left side of the area. Trinidad gets back and defends well and Beasley's cross is intercepted.

Schmid: It's very difficult for Trinidad to sustain offensive pressure because they attack in such small numbers.  Their attack usually consists of two or three players and that's not enough to sustain pressure.

82- Albright for Lewis

Schmid: At this stage, Bruce Arena doesn't need to make any more subs, but her probably will within the last minutes just to get some more fresh legs on the field. I thinks he moves Beasley to the left and puts Albright on the right side of MF.  Bruce wanted to get some fresh legs on the field and Albright is more defensively oriented as opposed to Lewis and he can help lock up the game.

83- John called for a hand ball by the penalty spot. U.S. free kick for Keller.

Schmid: One of major reasons for Trinidad's not having success today is the complete non-factor of Dwight Yorke, which came from a combination of the U.S. doing a good job defensively and Dwight not being very active.

87- Berhalter on for Johnson

88- Header by Yorke on a corner is saved easily by Keller at the far post.

89- Eve dribbles in on the right side and his cross/shot was hit by Keller's right hand and went into the goal.

Schmid: Sometimes you get an extra defender on the field and everyone tends to relax a little bit because they think they have a little more cover in the back and as a result you soften up on your marking and become a little less focused on your defensive running.  When it's going well, sometimes it's better to leave it alone.

90- Three minutes of added time.

93- Final whistle sounds.

Schmid: This goal might be good for T&T in the long run, as it might bolster their confidence for the next qualifying match, thinking "if we'd only played this way from the beginning."  A 2-0 loss at home could have crushed them.

Schmid: This is a huge victory for the U.S.  A win on the road is worth double in qualifying.  It gets qualifying for 2006 off to a great start and is very important, especially as our next game is in Mexico.  A solid performance by the U.S. and the game in which they played in a very disciplined and patient manner.  Congratulations to Bruce Arena and the entire U.S squad.