Lineup Notes: USA Eyes Top Spot in Semifinal Round Qualifying vs. T&T
USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Sept. 6, 2016
Semifinal Round - 2018 World Cup Qualifying
Live Broadcast: FS1, UniMas
Starting XI: Tim Howard; Geoff Cameron, Steve Birnbaum, Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson; Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Sacha Kljestan, Christian Pulisic; Bobby Wood, Jozy Altidore
- In part due to the suspension of DeAndre Yedlin and Matt Besler departing camp to meet his new-born daughter, Jurgen Klinsmann has made six changes from the side that faced St. Vincent on Friday. Tim Howard starts in goal, while Steve Birnbaum and Omar Gonzalez are inserted into central defense. In midfield, captain Michael Bradley returns to the lineup and will partner with Sacha Kljestan in the middle, while Christian Pulisic starts on the left wing.
- Tim Howard earns his 32nd World Cup Qualifying appearance, moving past Kasey Keller for the most all-time among MNT goalkeepers and into fourth in team history.
- Howard is 21-7-3 all-time in World Cup Qualifying.
- Captain Michael Bradley becomes the 12th player in MNT history to reach 30 World Cup Qualifying caps. Bradley scored his third international goal vs. Trinidad & Tobago in World Cup Qualifying back on Sept. 10, 2008.
- After tallying two goals and an assist vs. St. Vincent, Christian Pulisic earns his first start for the MNT in his eighth overall cap. At 17 years, 353 days, he is the youngest player in MNT history to start a FIFA World Cup qualifier, beating Jozy Altidore’s previous mark of 18 years, 343 days set on Oct. 15, 2008 vs. Trinidad & Tobago.
- With a goal and two assists off the bench in Friday’s match vs. St. Vincent, Sacha Kljestan earns his first World Cup Qualifying start since the MNT’s 3-2 victory at Panama on Oct. 15, 2013.
- Geoff Cameron is the only U.S. player to start all six semifinal round World Cup Qualifying matches. To this point, he has played every minute of the previous five qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
- With his 43rd minute penalty kick against St. Vincent, Jozy Altidore moved into a tie with Clint Dempsey for first on the MNT’s World Cup Qualifying goals list with 14. Three of those came in a 3-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago on April 1, 2009, a game which also marked Altidore’s first World Cup Qualifying start for the MNT.
- Altidore and Bobby Wood have combined for eight goals in their four previous starts together.
- Omar Gonzalez and Steve Birnbaum start together at center back for the USA for the first time.