Welcome to your open thread for tonight's #RoadtoRussia World Cup qualifier between the United States and Trinidad & Tobago. This is Group C CONCACAF qualifying, with St. Vincent & the Grenadines facing Guatemala in group qualifying play elsewhere. Everyone changes partners from Friday, when the U.S. beat SVG 6-1 and Trinidad & Tobago edged Guatemala, 2-1. The winner of tonight's match takes early control of the group and should be well on the way to qualifying for the Hexagonal.
The USMNT is 16-2-3 in 21 all-time matches against Trinidad & Tobago, but this fixture has gotten more difficult recently, as T&T has grown its program and features some talented players. One of those players is our own Kevin Molino, but he's not yet recovered sufficiently from his ACL tear to take part.
Jurgen Klinsmann said the Trinidadians will pose a much more difficult threat than the U.S. saw on Friday.
"I think Trinidad & Tobago and probably Haiti have been the biggest winners or surprises in CONCACAF this year. They played a very good Gold Cup and also had some good results in friendlies and other test games. You have to give Trinidad & Tobago a lot of respect. They're known for their physical game and known for being strong. A lot of their players play in the English Championship and obviously playing at home they have a lot of confidence, and they want to prove to the world that they're a good team. Over the years they've improved themselves on the technical side and on the mental side as well. It comes down to a mental grind when you go through World Cup Qualifying, which at the end of the day is 16 games. You start with the first six games in that group and then you want to move on to the Hexagonal where you face 10 more games. This is a long path - it's a marathon as we say - and I think teams like Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti have become more prepared for that."
Orlando City's Brek Shea did not play Friday, but may feature in tonight's match at left wing or left back. Two players who did see the field were defender Matt Miazga and midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who both made their USMNT debuts. (Miazga has previously played with the U.S. youth teams.)
The United States must grind out a result on the road to effectively take control of the group.
Jozy Altidore's brace on Friday moved him into fourth place on the USMNT's all-time goal scoring list. With 31 strikes for the United States, Altidore trails only Landon Donovan (57), Clint Dempsey (48), and Eric Wynalda (34).
Here's to hoping the Yanks get off to a bit of a quicker start for a change. Even St. Vincent & the Grenadines was able to pounce on the U.S., taking an early 1-0 lead last week.
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton)
Defenders (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham FC), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC)
Midfielders (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Club Leon), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
Forwards (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Trinidad & Tobago:
Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC)
Defenders: Radanfah Abu Bakr (Koge/Denmark), Sheldon Bateau (FC Krylia Sovetov), Daneil Cyrus (Chicago Fire/USA), Aubrey David (Shaktar Karagandy/Kazakhstan), Justin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge/England), Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos/Mexico), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E-Land FC/Korea Republic), Mekeil Williams (Antigua GFC/Guatemala)
Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge/England), Keron Cummings (North East Stars), Kevan George (Columbus Crew/USA), Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars), Khaleem Hyland (Westerlo/Belgium), Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire/USA), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava/Slovakia)
Forwards: Trevin Caesar (Austin Aztex/USA), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), Jonathan Glenn (Breidablik/Iceland), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City/Wales), Willis Plaza (Central FC)
How to Watch:
Match time: 6:25 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium — Port of Spain, Trinidad
TV: beIN Sports, NBC Universo, En Vivo Extra
Live Stream: beIN Sports Connect
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along with @StarsAndStripesFC or via @ussoccer.
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