USMNT can gain much needed ground in the Hex with win over Trinidad and Tobago

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Tonight in Colorado, The US mens national team take on Trinidad and Tobago in a crucial World Cup qualifier. USA can gain much-needed ground in the Hex.

As it stands, USMNT are one point behind Panama for the third place in the Hexagonal. The top three teams automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup. USA plays two matches in the next four days. Tonight against Trinidad and Tobago, and Sunday at Mexico. After these two matches, USA have four more games. Their results from these next matches will be monumental in telling if this team can qualify for the World Cup. Let’s look at their match against Trinidad and Tobago.

PTS W L D GF GA GD
Mexico 10 3 0 1 5 1 +4
Costa Rica 7 2 1 1 7 3 +4
Panama 5 1 1 2 2 2 0
United States 4 1 2 1 8 7 +1
Honduras 4 1 2 1 4 9 -5
Trinidad & Tobago 3 1 3 0 2 6 -4

USA take on a Trinidad and Tobago side that has been struggling. If  the US want to gain ground in the hex this is the match to do it. US making the most of their home field advantage playing at Dicks Sporting Goods park in Colorado. At a mile above sea level, it will be hard for the Trinidadian’s. The adjustment it takes to play that high above sea level takes time, and not being used to it makes it even harder. USMNT have been training there for the past week to adjust. Needing to get the three points on home soil, USMNT boss Bruce Arena has produced a strong starting lineup.

Howard; Villafana, Brooks, Cameron, Yedlin; Bradley, Johnson, Nagbe, Pulisic; Dempsey, Altidore.

This lineup gives USA  what they need to beat Trinidad and Tobago. Stout, tough defenders, fast, smart midfielders and strong, lethal attackers. This star-studded lineup can create what the US need to do to win games. Bradley can sit back and play balls to Nagbe and Johnson on the wings to attack wide, or he can play balls to Altidore or Dempsey to create central attacking. The diamond midfield with Pulisic at the top of it gets a great play maker onto the ball in the attacking third. Lethal finishers like Dempsey and Altidore can then run off the ball to get to dangerous areas.

If Trinidad and Tobago try to counter, the wings have enough speed to get back and help defend. If the wings, for some reason, cannot help out on a break, Bradley Brooks and Cameron can stop attacks through the middle. Yedlin and Villafana will take care of breaks on their respected wings. Once this strong unit turns the ball over, the US will be able to break and dictate possession.

The match will turn on whether the US can keep possession and but the ball in the net. Trinidad and Tobago will sit back to try to grind out a point at a tough road opponent. USMNT will need to break down T&T’s defense to get the much need three points. Being in one of the automatic qualifying spots going into the match with Mexico will be crucial. The opportunity is there for the USMNT.

Flip on over to FS1 now for the game! Kickoff is set for 8PM! Be sure to come back to Philly Sports Network for more on the USMNT World Cup qualifiers, as well as a look back at the Union’s regression, and how the Union are recovering in during their off week! Until then, peace out.

 

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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