PREVIEW: MNT Can Book World Cup Place with Result in Trinidad & Tobago | 8pm ET | beIN SPORTS, UNIVERSO

CHICAGO (Oct. 9, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will look to punch a ticket to its eighth-straight FIFA World Cup when it visits Trinidad & Tobago on the last day of Final Round Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Tuesday. Thanks to huge advantages in goal difference over Panama and Honduras, a draw against the Soca Warriors would likely be enough for the USA to lock down its place in Russia. Coverage of the Matchday 10 clash kicks off from Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad at 8 p.m. ET on beIN Sports and UNIVERSO. Fans can also follow the game live on Facebook and Twitter at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.

Date: Tuesday, October 10
Time: 8 p.m. ET 
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad
TV info: beIN Sports, UNIVERSO | Away WCQ TV Rights Explained

U.S. MNT Roster by Position (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 15/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 38/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo; 35/6), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 13/1), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG; 24/2), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 17/0), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX; 6/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 6/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 5/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; (9/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 20/3)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 5/0), Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 0/0), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 6/1), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 10/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 39/7), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City; 6/0), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 1/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 10/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 12/6)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 40/18), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 42/18), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 13/5)

MATCHDAY 10 SCHEDULE 

Tuesday, Oct. 10
Trinidad & Tobago vs. USA 8 p.m. ET (beIN Sports, UNIVERSO)
Panama vs. Costa Rica 8 p.m. ET (beIN Sports Connect, Telemundo En Vivo
Honduras vs. Mexico 8 p.m. ET (Telemundo, beIN Sports Connect)

WIN AND WE’RE IN

With the dominant 4-0 win against Panama on Friday combined with a 1-1 draw between Costa Rica and Honduras, a victory against Trinidad & Tobago would seal the USA’s berth in its eighth-consecutive World Cup. The four-goal shutout may also prove massive in the final tally, as it gives the United States a big lead in goal differential ahead of its closest rivals. Holding 12 points while both Panama and Honduras each have 10, a tie against T&T would mean the U.S. could only be equaled in points for third place by the other two teams. The first tie-breaker is goal differential, and the MNT holds a commanding seven-goal margin above Panama and sits a whopping 12 ahead of Honduras.

So what's the easiest way for the USA to book its ticket to Russia? Put simply, it’s #Get3GetThru, but there are a few other ways the MNT can lock in third position. Here are all of them: 

USA win at Trinidad & Tobago

-or-

USA draw at Trinidad & Tobago 
-AND-
Honduras and Panama do not make up goal difference in wins vs. Mexico and Costa Rica respectively

-or-

USA loss at Trinidad & Tobago
-AND-
Honduras and Panama both draw/lose vs. Mexico and Costa Rica respectively

Check out all the scenarios around what needs to happen for the USA to finish third or fourth on the final matchday and take a look at the remaining “mini league” schedule below.

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING VS. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Against Trinidad & Tobago, the USA owns an 18-2-4 all-time record and 13-1-3 mark in World Cup Qualifiers, including 12 shutouts. The MNT has made seven qualifying visits to the dual-island nation, returning with a 4-1-2 advantage. The only defeat in Trinidad came during the Semifinal Round in 2008, when the USA had already qualified for the Hex.

Dating back to qualifying for the 1986 World Cup, the teams have met in every cycle except for the campaign for Brazil 2014. Five players on the current U.S. squad have tallied against Trinidad in World Cup Qualifying: Altidore (5), Pulisic, (2), Arriola, Bradley and Dempsey (1 each). Altidore, Bradley and Pulisic each have game-winners to their credit.

Learn more about Tuesday’s opponents and take a look at the MNT’s full World Cup Qualifying history against the Soca Warriors:

U.S. MNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago – World Cup Qualifying Results

Date

Result

U.S. Goal Scorers

Round

Location

May 15, 1985

2-1 W

Borja, Peterson

Semifinal

St. Louis, Mo.

May 19, 1985

1-0 W

Caligiuri

Semifinal

Torrance, Calif.

May 13, 1989

1-1 D

Trittschuh

Final

Torrance, Calif.

Nov. 19, 1989

1-0 W

Caligiuri

Final

Port of Spain, Trinidad

Nov. 10, 1996

2-0 W

Dooley, Wynalda

Semifinal

Richmond, Va.

Nov. 24, 1996

1-0 W

Moore

Semifinal

Port of Spain, Trinidad

June 20, 2001

2-0 W

Razov, Stewart

Final

Foxborough, Mass.

Nov. 11, 2001

0-0 D

--

Final

Port of Spain, Trinidad

Feb. 9, 2005

2-1 W

E. Johnson, Lewis

Final

Port of Spain, Trinidad

Aug. 17, 2005

1-0 W

McBride

Final

East Hartford, Conn.

Sept. 10, 2008

3-0 W

Bradley, Dempsey, Ching

Semifinal

Bridgeview, Ill.

Oct. 15, 2008

1-2 L

Davies

Semifinal

Port of Spain, Trinidad

April 1, 2009

3-0 W

Altidore (3)

Final

Nashville, Tenn.

Sept. 9, 2009

1-0 W

Clark

Final

Port of Spain, Trinidad

Nov. 17, 2015

0-0 D

--

Semifinal

Port of Spain, Trinidad

Sept. 6, 2016

4-0 W

Kljestan, Altidore (2), Arriola

Semifinal

Jacksonville, Fla.

June 8, 2017

2-0 W

Pulisic (2)

Final

Commerce City, Colo.

JOZY POURING IT ON

In his two-goal and Budweiser Man of the Match performance against Panama, Jozy Altidore completed his seventh multi-goal game, surpassing Clint Dempsey for sole possession of second place on the all-time list behind Landon Donovan (9). He’s recorded at least one multi-goal game for six straight years since 2013. Coincidentally, his first came against Trinidad & Tobago during final round qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, when he became the youngest player in U.S. Soccer history to score a hat trick. With three assists from Landon Donovan, the U.S. cruised to a 3-0 win on April 1, 2009, in Nashville. In total, the MNT is 11-0-1 all-time when Altidore finds the back of the net in World Cup Qualifying. 

CAUTION WATCH NO MORE

A nearly two-year qualifying process will come to an end next Tuesday, but an important aspect of it all is yellow card accumulation. Rules stipulate that any player that accumulates two yellow cards during CONCACAF’s 16-game World Cup Qualifying marathon must sit out their next official match.

The MNT went into Friday’s contest with nine players who, with another yellow card against Panama, would be suspended for Tuesday’s visit to Trinidad & Tobago: Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, DaMarcus Beasley, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin.

Despite all the fouls, cheap shots and off the ball incidents, the U.S. players maintained their discipline and composure and picked up precisely zero yellow cards. As a result, the likes of team captain Michael Bradley, U.S. all-time leading scorer Clint Dempsey, World Cup veterans Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler and DeAndre Yedlin, and up-and-comers Kelly Acosta and Paul Arriola will all be available for selection in the decisive showdown with Trinidad & Tobago.

At this stage, single cautions have now been expunged and will no longer count towards a suspension. However, any player who receives two cautions or a red card in the final game would have to serve the suspension during their team’s next match in an official FIFA competition, including the World Cup.

ECHOES OF ’89 AND “THE SHOT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD”

Circumstances around the decisive USA-Trinidad & Tobago match have conspired to shine a light on one of the most historic moments in U.S. Soccer – in fact, arguably the launch of soccer in the United States in the modern era.

Like the game Tuesday, the teams met on Matchday 10 in qualifying for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. On Nov. 19, 1989 at Hasely Crawford Stadium, the U.S. needed a win to earn its first trip to the World Cup in 40 years, while the Soca Warriors could settle for a draw and qualify for the first time in the nation’s history. In the 30th minute, Paul Caligiuri blasted the “shot heard round the world” that delivered the United States a 1-0 win in Port-of-Spain and began a run of seven-consecutive berths in the World Cup (a feat that only seven other nations have achieved).

Trinidad will once again be inscribed in the annals of U.S. Soccer, and U.S. fans hope the echoes of ’89 will carry into Alto Boldon Stadium.



STRONG IN ‘17

The MNT has been formidable this year, winning the confederation championship and taking points in all three road World Cup Qualifiers, including the 1-1 draw against Mexico at Estadio Azteca. The 2017 Gold Cup champions have lost only once in 17 matches, tallying 32 goals and recording eight shutouts. Eight players have put their names on the scoresheet multiple times, with Clint Dempsey and Christian Pulisic leading all U.S. scorers with five goals each. Pulisic has also tallied four assists.

HEAVY ON EXPERIENCE

With the Final Round reaching crunch time, Arena has called upon a group loaded with experience in World Cup Qualifying. A total of 12 players on the roster have made 11 or more FIFA World Cup Qualifying appearances: Clint Dempsey (42), Jozy Altidore (40), Michael Bradley (39), Tim Howard (38), DaMarcus Beasley (35), Geoff Cameron (24), Graham Zusi (20), Omar Gonzalez (17), Brad Guzan (15), Matt Besler, Bobby Wood (13 each) and Christian Pulisic (12).

USA-TRINIDAD & TOBAGO NOTES

USA ROSTER NOTES:

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO ROSTER:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Greg Ranjitsingh (Louisville City FC/USA), Glenroy Samuel (Morvant Caledonia United)

DEFENDERS (8): Daneil Cyrus (Juticalpa/HON), Kevan George (Jacksonville Armada/USA), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Triston Hodge (DirecTV W Connection), Kareem Moses (North Carolina FC/USA), Josiah Trimmingham (Club Sando), Kevon Villaroel (North East Stars), Mekeil Williams (Colorado Rapids/USA)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Neil Benjamin Jr. (W Connection), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar/NED), Khaleem Hyland (Al-Faisaly Harmah/KSA), Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders/USA), Jared London (Club Sando), Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh), Leston Paul (Pasaquina FC/SLV), Kathon St. Hillaire (St. Ann's Rangers);

FORWARDS (3): Trevin Caesar (Sacramento Republic/USA), Akeem Roach (Vida/HON), Shahdon Winchester (Murcielagos/MEX)

Head coach: Denis Lawrence

TRINIDAD NOTES