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U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago: Match Night

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The U.S. national team is back on home soil after posting a pair of road wins to kick off CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. The Americans face Trinidad & Tobago tonight in a match-up of the top two teams in Group A (ESPN2/Galavision, 8pm).

The U.S. team has mustered a pair of 1-0 victories on the road, but will expect a more wide-open encounter from a Trinidad & Tobago side that has scored four goals in its first two matches (a win and a tie).  The Americans will look to control possession in central midfield and test T&T with the speed of Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley (and possibly Eddie Johnson).

Trinidad & Tobago’s attack is led by striker and former MLS journeyman Cornell Glen and young midfield sensation Keon Daniel. Glen will face off against U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley, who brought him to MLS in 2004 (using allocation money earned from the Tim Howard sale) with the MetroStars before dealing him to FC Dallas after just one season. Glen played with four teams in four years before returning to Trinidad.

The ‘Soca Warriors’ will be coming in short-handed, missing veteran striker Dwight Yorke, who has returned to Sunderland with a "thigh injury" that some reports are suggesting is cover for Sunderland simply wanting him back (You didn’t think Roy Keane would be sentimental about someone’s national team aspirations, did you?). Starters Avery John and Khaleem Hyland are serving yellow card suspensions while captain and playmaker Aurtis Whitley is out with an injury.

I will be providing a running commentary during the match so stay tuned for that. If you will be watching the match then make this your place for pre-game discussion and in-game action. Feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (and follow my commentary after the jump):

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FINAL- Another shutout for Tim Howard, another goal from Clint Dempsey and a great performance from Michael Bradley, who was dominant in the first half. Not much to complain about, though Eddie Johnson still looks lost.

That’s all for now. Share your thoughts on tonight’s match in the comments section below. Thank you all for following along here. Good night.

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FINAL- USA 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0. Complete domination. Yes, there was some sloppiness in attack, but they created and they attacked all match. There should be some pressure taken off after the 1-0 victories, but this win should also clear the way for the youngsters to get looks.

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93rd minute– Good stuff from Kljestan tonight. Not a bad showing.

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91st minute– U.S. defense holds up well tonight. Solid match for the back four, especially in the second half when T&T actually had a pulse.

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90th minute– Kenny Cooper, pick up the white courtesy phone.

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89th minute– Here lies the body of Eddie Johnson’s national team career. Please pay your respects.

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85th minute– Glen has a look but dribbles for way too long. Fans in New York, Columbus, Dallas and Los Angeles all go, "Oh, yeah, that’s Cornell Glen, I remember him now."

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83rd minute– Americans have seven more minutes to cover the 3.5 goal spread on this game.

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82nd minute– Clark’s header cleared off the line.

JOHNSON with a close range shot blocked. WOW.

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81st minute– Americans still pressuring, American fans still singing. First corner for USA tonight. Really.

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78th minute– Lewis in for Dempsey.

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77th minute– Clark with the foul on Cornell Glen. A little former Metro on former Metro violence between the former teammates.

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76th minute– Here comes Eddie Lewis, likely for Beasley.

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74th minute– This game has died. It wouldn’t be totally unpatriotic if you switched over to watch Mexico-Canada. Okay, so maybe it would be a little.

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71st minute– Can Eddie Johnson make the most of this opportunity? With Jozy Altidore and Kenny Cooper knocking on the door, Johnson may not get too many more chances.

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69th minute– Interesting to see the Ricardo Clark-Sacha Kljestan combo in central midfield. I don’t think we would have seen these subs if it were 2-0.

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67th minute– Johnson in for Ching and Clark in for Michael Bradley. Very good performance from Bradley tonight. He gets a break ahead of his Moenchengladbach debut against Steve Cherundolo’s Hannnover 96 this weekend.

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66th minute– Here comes Eddie Johnson.

——————–

64th minute– Bradley springs Donovan with a pass but Donovan loses it when he could have passed to the wing to Beasley.

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64th minute– Cherundolo with a great play to get open but shanks a cross badly.

Kljestan has a shot saved by Phillips. USA pressing.

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62nd minute– Bradley dispossessed to start that play. Remember that play because Bradley critics will use it as exhibit A in a weak case against him being a regular national team starter.

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60th minute- Trinidad & Tobago has a goal disallowed. Howard makes a great first save before the offside.

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59th minute– Wow, nice studs up challenge from behind on Donovan. A yellow card for Wolff, could have been red.

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58th minute– Onyewu heads a Beasley free kick and Phillips get a hand on it but it falls to a wide-open Ching for the third goal. USA 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0.

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57th minute- GOAL USA!!! And it’s Ching heading home an Onyewu header.

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57th minute– Akili Edwards with a yellow card on what looked like a hard but clean challenge.

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54th minute– T&T applying more pressure and showing more energy here. USA needs to stop giving away corner kicks.

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54th minute- Cherundolo clears one off the line!

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52nd minute– Telesford with more of the ball this half, but not being very effective.

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51st minute– Keon Daniel not having the best game tonight.

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50th minute– Another TT corner.

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49th minute– Yes, that was Onyewu running in the offensive half of the field, looking like a bull in a china shop.  T&T corner is headed out by Bocanegra.

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48th minute– T&T does get a head onto it but the mess is cleared away.

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47th minute– TT corner. odds of Onyewu heading this- 2-1.

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46th minute– And we’re back. One change for Trinidad & Tobago. Anthony Wolff is in the match.

No changes for the USA.

——————–

HALFTIME– What changes can we expect? Wouldn’t shock me if there was a halftime sub for the Americans. I’m pretty sure we will see Eddie Johnson early on. Maurice Edu should also get into the game.

Trinidad & Tobago really had the wrong idea coming out so defensive. The player absences hurt and probably led to the decision, but it’s a shame we didn’t get to see them try and attack from the start.

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HALFTIME– The referee mercifully blows the whistle for halftime. USA 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0. Americans are dominating and would be up 4-0 if their passing was a bit sharper.

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45th minute– I’m calling it now: Eddie Johnson bags a second-half brace. Don’t ask me why, just see it happening.

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44th minute– Anybody else cringe when Beasley made that last challenge?

Americans should have at least one more goal.

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43rd minute– Okay, so maybe it could have been a PK but Dempsey went down a bit too easily.

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42nd minute– Onyewu clears, USA on the counter, and Dempsey goes down in the area but no call. Didn’t look like a PK.

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41st minute– T&T corner.

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40th minute– Do you get the feeling that T&T plays like they all just met two hours before the game?

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38th minute– So here’s the question: How many goals does the USA have to score so critics don’t say "They only scored X"?

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32nd minute– Bradley has been all over the field tonight. If Coach Bradley had concerns about his son being able to handle the heavy lifting by himself without an Edu or Mastroeni, Michael Bradley is showing it tonight. And yes, to be fair, the T&T attack is fairly non-existent, but Bradley is smothering from the midfield stripe.

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29th minute– T&T midfielder Keon Daniels has been a no-show tonight. Not that any T&T attacker will look good tonight.

Donovan finds Dempsey, but Dempsey can’t get a good touch to finish from point-blank range.

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27th minute– Smart foul from Hislop because Ching was ready to find Donovan on the run. Americans in full control.

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25th minute– Nice work by Gray to stop Donovan. He hasn’t stopped playing.

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23rd minute– Will Trinidad & Tobago put up a fight the rest of the night? They look pretty flat right now.

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21st minute– Donovan runs into Marvin Phillips after getting clipped in the area. Look at Cornell Glen lobbying for a yellow against Donovan, his former Galaxy teammate.

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18th minute- GOAL USA and it’s Dempsey with the finish. USA 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0. Beasley with the pass to find Dempsey on the late run.

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17th minute– Here’s some history for you. The reason Cornell Glen wound up on the radard screens in MLS was after scoring a hat-trick for San Juan Jabloteh against the Chicago Fire. He was on the MetroStars soon after, but his reputation for being a bit of a head case caused him to bounce around with four different teams in MLS.

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16th minute– Looks like Brian Ching caught Keyono Thomas with the studs.

Cornell Glen is going to be bored tonight. Hope he brought something to read.

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14th minute– I really want to see Beasley do something tonight. He had a bad game against Cuba and has a good match-up against Edwards. The US team doesn’t need him to play well tonight to win, but they’ll need him down the road.

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13th minute– If the Americans are patient, they will pick apart the T&T defense.

So why in the world is Dennis Lawrence not starting for T&T? There has to be a story there because he is their best defender.

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11th minute– Bradley volleys home a great ball from Donovan.

T&T is in trouble if it is going to sit back and defend. This could get ugly.

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10th minute- GOAL USA!!! And it’s Michael Bradley with the finish, serving a nice glass of Shut-Up Juice to his critics. USA 1, Trinidad & Tobago 0.

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9th minute– Beasley getting the better of Carlos Edwards early.

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8th minute– Keon Daniels is too far out to cause a problem for Howard, but you can tell that if he gets a chance close there could be problems.

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7th minute– TT with a free kick from deep.

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5th minute– Bradley passing well early on, as are all of the Americans.

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4th minute– T&T looks ready to let the Americans possess in the middle third while bunkering in the final third.

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3rd minute– You can already tell the difference in speed of ball movement when you have a well-manicured field.

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1st minute– And we’re off. And yes, the stadium looks empty. Unbelivable.

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PRE-GAME– Not exactly a big crowd for tonight’s match. One friend at the game is telling me the place is barely half full. Ugh.

——————–

PRE-GAME– It’s a final in Costa Rica, Costa Rica 3, Haiti 1. Here are the standings for Group C after today’s matches:

  • Costa Rica(3-0)…….9 pts
  • El Salvador (2-1)……6 pts
  • Haiti (0-3)…………0 pts
  • Suriname (0-3)…….0 pts

Yes, Costa Rica is essentially through after three games while El Salvador can clinch with a win in its next game. That means the group will be decided with two rounds of games remaining. Somewhere a Canadian fan is punching a wall thinking about how easy this group is.

——————–

PRE-GAME– I have to say that Trinidad & Tobago’s lineup looks pretty defensive. The absences of Yorke, Whitley and Kenwyne Jones (along with Avery John) could have T&T head coach Francisco Maturana trying to bunker and leave with a point. Not sure T&T is suited to playing that way.

——————–

PRE-GAME– Costa Rica is up 3-1 on Haiti late and about to put that terribly weak group, Group C, to bed.

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PRE-GAME– In other CONCACAF action, El Salvador beat Suriname 2-0 (and if you complain about me giving that result because you were going to watch it later, I call BS.)

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PRE-GAME– The referee tonight is Jamaican referee Courtney Campbell. I wonder how T&T fans feel about a Jamaican ref working the match? I wouldn’t worry too much. I’m sure Jack Warner checked him out.

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PRE-GAME– I can tell you right now that the two match-ups to watch tonight will be Carlos Edwards vs. DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Bradley vs. Keon Daniel. Bradley won’t have to deal with Daniel by himself but he will be key to slowing down the T&T midfielder. The Edwards-Beasley match-up is going to be a track meet.

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PRE-GAME– Interesting to see Osei Telesford getting the start for T&T. Fire fans will recall he was with Chicago Fire last season before being waived in the off-season. He now plays for the Puerto Rico Islanders.

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PRE-GAME– Here is Trinidad & Tobago’s lineup (I’ll confirm positions ASAP so don’t quote me on the placements, but this is the starting XI):

—————————-Cornell Glen———————

Densill Theobald——–Keon Daniel————Carlos Edwards

—————–Osei Telesford—-Clyde Leon———————

Akil Edwards—-Cyd Gray——-Keyono Thomas—Makon Hislop

———————-=—Marvin-Phillips—————————

——————–

PRE-GAME– Here are the USA subs: Brad Guzan, Dan Califf, Frankie Hejduk, Ricardo Clark, Maurice Edu, Eddie Lewis, Eddie Johnson. No Michael Orozco and no Marvell Wynne.

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PRE-GAME– For those of you who forgot, it was Bob Bradley who drafted Kljestan in the first round of the 2006 MLS Draft with Chivas USA. Bradley traded away the No. 1 overall pick that year to the MetroStars for the No. 5 pick and defender Jason Hernandez. Bradley used the No. 5 pick on Kljestan, who I know Bradley had been high on for some time going back to his own days with the MetroStars.

——————–

PRE-GAME– The lineup has 10 of the 11 players I thought it would, with Sacha Kljestan being the surprise over Maurice Edu. It shouldn’t come as that much of a suprise considering Edu’s performance against Cuba. Kljestan brings more of an attacking bite to the game so he should be able to give the Americans more numbers in the attack.

——————–

PRE-GAME– Here is the USA lineup:

———————-Ching———————

Beasley————Donovan———Dempsey

————–Bradley—–Kljestan————

Pearce—Bocanegra—Onyewu—Cherundolo

——————Howard—————–

256 comments
  • brett

    i guess some people will find a way to b*tch about MB regardless of the game…

    A.S.- you seem about as critical on MB as i do on LD…. i am first to point out all of Landycakes flaws and tend to down-play his successes… but even i recognize a good game when i see it….

    MB held onto the ball perfectly fine tonight…. he did well to spread the field, opening up lanes for US players to make runs… he had numerous passes to LD, Dempsey and Ching into the attack…. simply put, you seem to be the person who sees the negative in Bradley but never the positives… but as i said, i do the same with LD…

    Like

  • lassidawg

    Things I liked:

    1.WINNING 3-0

    2.I thought Sasha and Bradley worked well together in the middle.

    Set pieces

    3.The ease of this game–funny how grass that isn’t a foot long allows the US to play a better game.

    4. Stadium lighting that makes it so you can see on tv

    Things I didn’t like:

    1. Only 11K in the stands-that is a joke, Although the ones that were there could be heard on tv. If I could get a qualifier within a 3 hour drive I would be there.

    2. EJ didn’t look interested

    Like

  • DAVE

    Eddie Johnson has to go! He did nothing of any value for the team. Send him back to England to find his lost form and try another guy (Copper) that can contribute.

    Like

  • brett

    I think its obvious that when MB is paired with an offensive minded play (ie. Feilhaber, Kljestan, etc…) he does well…

    11k at TP on a wednesday isnt bad….if work wasnt so busy i wouldve gone up with my brother (a 3 hr drive like ldawg was refering to), but im already going to be gone this weekend, so i couldnt ask for another day off…

    Like

  • golfstrom

    the Bradley ‘giveaway’ is overrated…I haven’t seen a replay, but at the time I thought it was mainly Bocanegra’s fault. MB was facing his goal and got a pass in tight space from Boca w/ no real outlets…MB looked over his shoulder to see what was around him and boom lost the ball.

    Like

  • mike

    Edu and Bradley are too similar to have in the game together unless one of them will be creative on the attack.

    Ching is just as useless as Johnson and he proved it for much longer. We need to get over this idea that we have to replace McBride up top. The US is not the kind of team that is going to put in a bunch of great crosses during the run of play. And once we have a set piece, we bring our monsters up from the back to put them away. Let’s find somebody dangerous to put up front instead of these guys who haven’t done anything when we aren’t playing Barbados. Is it Altidore, Adu, Cooper, Buddle, Davies, Jaqua, Rolfe? Who knows when we keep seeing the same clowns doing nothing with their chances.

    Like

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