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MNT Qualifier on Feb. 9

[LIVE @ 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 &’s MatchTracker]

A stern reminder about an upcoming U.S. Soccer-related event, whether you plan to check it out live and in person, on the “telly” or that wacky world wide web.
Okay, so we got through the tricky semifinal round of qualifying without a loss. And some people seem to think the semifinal round is in some ways a tougher task then the final round. So, our first match against Trinidad & Tobago in the CONCACAF Hexagonal should be a breeze. Right!? Right!?

If there’s a twinge of uncertainty there, that’s because the hogwash about the semifinal round being a more precarious task is, well, just that – a bunch of garbage fed to hogs (or in this case, soccer fans that would like to believe we are already a lock for the World Cup. And no, we’re not likening any U.S. fans to hogs).

The final round is more intense, more passionate, more pressure-packed. Every team knows they are just a step from the world’s biggest sporting event and they are willing to do anything to get there.

Yes, the U.S. has a 10-1-3 all-time record against T&T. Yes, the U.S. has outscored the Caribbean nation 20-7. Yes, they’ve never lost to the soca warriors in qualifying. And yes, the U.S. is on a record 13-game unbeaten streak. All of this is true, but on Feb. 9 it all gets thrown out the window.

You can’t say enough about the importance of going down to Trinidad and stealing points with a win or a tie. Not only would it be a great start for the U.S. in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, but it would also provide an important confidence boost as the team gets set to face Mexico a month later in the unfriendly confines of Azteca Stadium.

So, put on your newly purchased U.S. Soccer National Team scarf and catch the MNT’s first game in the CONCACAF Hexagonal live on the tube on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 9, or on the web at’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.