CHICAGO (April 6, 2005) — The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team will host Trinidad & Tobago on August 17 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., at 8 p.m. ET to begin the second half of the 10-game final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The U.S. vs. Trinidad & Tobago match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, with fans also able to follow the U.S. match live on ussoccer.com via MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Trinidad & Tobago will be the first opponent that the U.S. faces for the second time in the final round of qualifying, playing the return leg of a 2-1 victory on February 9 in Trinidad. Ticketing details for the match at Rentschler Field will be announced in the near future.
"New England has an outstanding soccer tradition, and we're excited about the chance to bring a World Cup qualifier to Hartford," said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. "The match against Trinidad will certainly be an integral part of our effort to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. Every game is critical, but none more so than the home games. Rentschler Field has developed a reputation as an excellent facility for soccer, and we're looking forward to our first visit."
The Hartford match will mark the USA’s eighth overall appearance in Connecticut and their first visit to the state capital in 32 years, dating all the way back to a 1-0 win over Bermuda on Sept. 9, 1973. The team hasn’t played in the Nutmeg State since a 2-1 victory over Scotland on May 26, 1996 in New Britain, a victory that improved their overall record in Connecticut to 4-2-1. The World Cup qualifier comes one year after the Women’s National Team became the first U.S. team to play at the three-year-old Rentschler Field, topping China 3-0 in an Olympic send-off match in front of 15,093 fans on Aug. 1, 2004.
In the 23-year history of the series vs. Trinidad & Tobago, the U.S. has an 11-1-3 record, including a flawless 7-0-1 mark at home. The U.S. and Trinidad & Tobago have played nine times in World Cup qualifying, with the U.S. compiling an undefeated record of seven wins and two ties. The U.S. has not surrendered a goal to Trinidad & Tobago in a home qualifier since a 1-1 tie in Torrance, Calif., on May 13, 1989, and has recorded a shutout in six of their nine overall qualifying matches.
The U.S. opened the final round of qualifying in 2005 with a 2-1 win in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Feb. 9. Eddie Johnson put the U.S. on the board with a 30th-minute header, and Eddie Lewis scored the eventual game-winner in the 54th minute with a 23-yard drive inside the right post. The win improved the MNT’s undefeated streak against Caribbean teams since 1994 to 24 games, a perfect 16-0-8 record.
The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, is competing in the 10-game round-robin tournament through Oct. 12, 2005, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying.
With two victories in their first three qualifying matches, the U.S. Men’s National Team is sitting strong in second-place in the final round group with six points. The team next returns to action on May 28 against England in Chicago (2 p.m. CT live on ESPN), before playing back-to-back qualifiers on June 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah, against Costa Rica, and on June 8 against Panama in Panama City.
2005 MNT Schedule/Results
* FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match
+ CONCACAF Gold Cup
^ If necessary