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World Cup Qualifying

USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago: Match Night

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Good evening folks. Tonight is the night that several top young American talents will face the first tough test of their national team careers. The U.S. national team is on the road tonight, taking on Trinidad & Tobago (8pm, ESPN) in a match T&T desperately needs in order to try and pull clear of Guatemala for the second qualifying place in their group. The United States already has one of the spots.

I will be offering running commentary throughout the night so please feel free to follow along here. As always, if you will be watching the match, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the action in the comments section below.

Let’s get started with the USA lineup. Enjoy tonight’s match:

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FINAL– That’s all for now. I will offer up some more analysis and some player grades on Thursday. For now, feel free to share your thoughts on the match in the comments section below.

Thanks to all of you for following along here tonight.

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FINAL– Here’s hoping some folks have learned tonight that the idea of playing a bunch of young players in meaningful qualifiers is never a good idea, and that tonight was the right situation to give youngsters a look. Some folks should also have a better appreciation for the 1-0 victories in Guatemala and Cuba. Playing on the road in tough field conditions and intense stadiums isn’t easy.

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FINAL– It was tough to get a real sense of how the midfield and forwards did tonight considering the condition of the field, but Adu impressed at times and Altidore and Davies showed some good skills and speed.

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FINAL– American fans shouldn’t worry too much about the result. Tonight was about getting some young guys experience. There were some bright spots, like Altidore, Davies and Orozco, but also some disappointments, like Kljestan and Edu (although Edu played better in the second half).

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FINAL– Trinidad & Tobago 2, USA 1. With that win and Guatemala’s loss to Cuba, T&T has a three point lead with just one match remaining against Cuba while Guatemala has to play the USA. You can all but book Trinidad & Tobago’s place in the Hexagonal.

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92nd minute– Kljestan with another turnover. DRINK (I’ve switched to Nyquil).

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91st minute– Make that two minutes of stoppage time.

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91st minute– Three minutes of stoppage time.

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90th minute– Szetela slides a ball across the box but nodobdy gets to it. Nice look though.

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88th minute– Hejduk with a long run-up on a clear shot but it is blocked.

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87th minute– Rolfe set to come in for Pearce, which will likely mean Beasley sliding to left back.

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86th minute– Chris Rolfe is coming in.

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85th minute– Hejduk with another turnover. DRINK (okay, I’m out of beer).

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84th minute– If T&T holds on, with Guatemala losing, Trinidad would go into its final match needing just a tie against Cuba to advance to the Hexagonal.

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84th minute– WOW, so close. Altidore with a header from close range but sends it just wide. Dangerous chance for the Americans.

Szetela in for Torres.

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83rd minute– Danny Szetela coming in.

CUBA SCORES IN STOPPAGE TIME!!

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82nd minute– Kljestan turnover! DRINK.

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81st minute– Pearce draws a free kick on the leftwing.

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80th minute– For those who didn’t see the PK call, it was legit. Altidore grabbed a jersey on a corner kick and got caught.

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79th minute- GOAL TRINIDAD. Yorke converts the PK!!! 2-1 to T&T

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78th minute– PENALTY!!! T&T earns it. Altidore called for it.

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77th minute– For those of you wondering, Houston leads San Jose, 1-0.

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76th minute– Great work from Altidore, to go at a defender, get into the area, and slide a pass to an open Davies. That substitution worked out well, didn’t it?

And yes, that’s Charlie Davies’ first national team goal.

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75th minute- GOAL USA!!! Charlie Davies finishes a sequence started by Jozy Altidore who did tons of work to make it happen. 1-1

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74th minute– Guatemala ties Cuba, 1-1. The Chicago Fire’s Marco Papa with the equalizer. Also, Mexico has tied Canada, 1-1.

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73rd minute– Edu turnover. DRINK

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70th minute– So why Adu? It was either going to be Adu or Torres and Torres looks a little bit more energized in the second half.

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69th minute– Great camera work catches Adu finding out he was the sub. Let’s just say he wasn’t happy.

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68th minute– Davies for Adu. Look for Torres to slide forward as the USA moves to a 4-4-2.

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68th minute– Okay, it’s time for subs and Charlie Davies is coming in.

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66th minute– Birchall with a good tackle to stop Adu. Birchall has played very well in central midfield for T&T tonight.

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64th minute– Latapy is on fire. He does not look 40.

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62nd minute– That will probably be ruled an own goal. Chris Birchall started that sequence on a Hejduk turnover, Edwards with a nice run and cross from the right to a wide-open Latapy, who hits one off the left post and off Guzan’s back and into the net.

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61st minute- GOAL TRINIDAD & TOBAGO!!!! And it’s the old man, Russell Latapy, with the finish!!!

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59th minute– Kljestan with an awful turnover. He has overtaken Edu as worst player this game for the USA.

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58th minute– You know what I like about Trinidad & Tobago? They don’t dive. It’s so much easier to watch a game when one team isn’t diving all over the place.

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57th minute– Edu with a nice run forward and dish to Altidore, but Altidore can’t latch on to it.

Canada is up, 1-0, on Mexico. WOW.

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55th minute– We need a new drinking game. How about Hejduk turnovers/bad crosses?

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54th minute– Wow, T&T with some good looks off a corner kick but can’t capitalize. Americans dodge another bullet after a poor clearance.

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52nd minute-Cuba leads Guatemala, 1-0, in the 62nd minute. Big Upset possibility.

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52nd minute– Freddy Adu has looked very sharp tonight.

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50th minute– Can someone tell the U.S. midfielders to play balls to Altidore’s feet because a 6-4 guy is marking him in the air.

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49th minute– Better passing in the second half so far from the Americans. Hejduk still looks shaky though.

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48th minute– Chile just beat Argentina, 1-0, in CONMEBOL qualifying. WOW.

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48th minute– Nice passing by the americans but offside is called. Wow, another blown call. Torres to Altidore should have been a goal. The linesman is having a shocker.

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46th minute– We’re off.

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HALFTIME– Looks like it’s the same 11 for the Americans to start the second half.

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HALFTIME– Look forTrinidad & Tobago to make some attacking subs. Stern John is one option who could give the Americans trouble.

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HALFTIME– It looks like the comments section is working properly again so thanks to all of you who stuck it out and kept commenting.

I do have to say that while the field has kept both teams from doing much, Russell Latapy has shown some flashes and just might deliver the winning pass in this match. Also remember that Keon Daniel is a nasty free kick specialist so if there are any free kicks in front of goal for T&T Guzan will be in trouble.

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HALFTIME– So what’s the problem? First off, the field is absolutely terrible. No sure footing and the ball doesn’t roll true. That makes for an ugly match. That said, the Americans are too timid. Edu was a mess the first 30 minutes and Torres has been up and down. Kljestan was forgettable while Adu was solid.

What needs to change? Inserting a second forward, like Charlie Davies, could open up the T&T defense. I also think we need to see Marvell Wynne in the second half. Frankie Hejduk has looked terrible.

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HALFTIME– What an ugly half. A lot of people wanted to see the kids, thinking they would get on the field and dominate. So much for that.

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46th minute– Whoa, Latapy nearly springs Scotland with a nice pass. Scotland goes wide.

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45th minute– Edu has settled down and made some good passes lately.

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43rd minute– Two subs I would LOVE to see at halftime are Marvell Wynne for Hejduk and Danny Szetela for Edu.

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42nd minute– The field really is a mess tonight.

Cuba is leading Guatemala. WOW.

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41st minute– Edu completed two passes in a row. Nice work.

Adu with another good pass but Hejduk’s trademark bad crossing rears its ugly head.

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40th minute– You can certainly tell these guys aren’t that used to playing together. I do like what I’ve seen from Orozco.

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39th minute– Edu turnover AGAIN. Okay, this is getting painful. he’s better than this.

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38th minute– Feel free to mix in some water in the Edu drinking game. I don’t want anybody throwing up.

Overall, I like what I see from Adu, but not from Kljestan.

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37th minute– Edu with two turnovers in less than a minute. DRINK TWICE

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36th minute– Maurice Edu looks really confused out there. I know he hasn’t been playing for Rangers, but he looks really bad tonight.

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34th minute– Keyono Thomas looks to be leaving the match with a calf strain. USA corner kick

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33rd minute– Wow, saw a lot of empty seats on the opposite side of the field from the camera. Where are all the Trinidad fans?

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32nd minute– Edu turnover. DRINK

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31st minute– Altidore fouls Yorke. Not every day you see an 18-year old foul a 36-year-old. Well, okay, so maybe you see it in MLS. Quite a bit. Just kidding.

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28th minute– Edu with another turnover. Might be time for a Maurice Edu turnover drinking game.

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28th minute– I will say one thing. For all the pull Jack Warner has with FIFA you would think Trinidad’s home stadium would have a nicer field.

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26th minute– Looks like an Altidore pass to Beasley was incorrectly ruled offside. Nice pass from Altidore. Good idea.

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26th minute– Some of the young Americans look sluggish out there.

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25th minute– Edu gets stripped of the ball, leading to a counter, but Trinidad can’t capitalize.

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24th minute– T&T with a stretch of possession but can’t make anything happen with it.

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21st minute– Anybody seen Maurice Edu?

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20th minute– Beasley looks good tonight. The youngsters in attack haven’t been as sharp save for Adu.

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17th minute– Wow, Keyono Thomas just had a clear look at goal that he sent over the crossbar from close range. USA got lucky there.

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16th minute– A Trinidad corner earned by Scotland against Pearce.

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15th minute– Hey folks,not sure what the deal is but not all the comments are showing up on the page. Please be patient while I try to sort that out. Just keep sending your comments along.

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14th minute– Some good work from Adu here, very good touches and passes.

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13th minute– Kljestan’s free kicks have been terrible early on.

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12th minute– Adu draws a foul and good free kick.

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11th minute– Birchall gets the better of Torres, brushing him off before putting a good shot on goal that Guzan stops.

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9th minute– Hejduk and Kljestan are the MLS players. Torres and Orozco the Mexican League players.

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8th minute– Interesting sidenote. There are as many U.S. starters who play in the Mexican First division as play in MLS. Two apiece.

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6th minute– Still waiting for some prolonged possession from the U.S. midfield. Altidore is still looking for a good pass.

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4th minute– Good save from Guzan on a Daniel free kick. Orozco clears the rebound.

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4th minute– Torres with a silly foul for a T&T free kick.

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3rd minute– We’re under way and the Americans have the early possession.

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PRE-GAME– Those of you wondering about Jose Francisco Torres playing "d-mid" should relax. Torres is playing a central midfield position that will allow him to get into the attack while also giving him some defensive responsibilities. He played the same role against Cuba and looked good. He’s got a good motor and is willing to defend.

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PRE-GAME– Jozy Altidore is going to have his hands full today with 6-foot-3 defender Dennis Lawrence. Actually, Altidore’s speed and quickness could cause problems for the 34-year-old defender.

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PRE-GAME– I have to say I’ve never heard a steel-drum version of the American anthem. Not bad.

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PRE-GAME– Now I don’t want to say T&T has some old guys in the lineup, but the 40-year-old Russell Latapy is old enough to be the father of more than half the U.S. national team. Dwight Yorke (36) isn’t young either. In fact, both Latapy and Yorke played in the 1989 World Cup qualifier the U.S. national team won to reach the 1990 World Cup.

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PRE-GAME– Here is Trinidad & Tobago’s lineup:

——————-Jason Scotland———–

Daniel—————-Latapy—————Edwards

—————Yorke———-Birchall—————

A. Edwards—–Lawrence—-Thomas—–Spann

————————–Ince————————

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PRE-GAME– Michael Orozco gets the nod in central defense, his first national team start. Most folks will remember his shaky work at left back in the Olympics (and The Elbow) but you should also remember his solid work in central defense during Olympic qualifying.

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PRE-GAME– Torres gets the start and it will be fun to watch him work his way into the attack from a deeper position, while Adu pushes deeper and looks to find the cracks in T&T’s defense.

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PRE-GAME– Here is the USA lineup for tonight’s match:

———————-Altidore———————–

Beasley—————Adu——————Kljestan

————–Torres———Edu ——————-

Pearce—–Califf——–Orozco——-Hejduk

——————–Guzan—————————

For those of you keeping track, it’s the same exact formation and lineup I called on Sunday for this match, with the difference being Michael Orozco is in for Pablo Mastroeni, who is injured and stayed home.

362 comments
  • Aquaman

    Then I retract my statement and replace it with: playing any sort of meaningful game without the likes of our known commodities is always a dumb choice. It would be nice to eventually get some youth players with the veterans to get them to gel and to stop throwing some vets out there simply because they’re more experienced (but not necessarily more skilled).

    Like

  • Brokenbil

    I was disappointed by the result, but I expected too much thinking the US would win. The B-teamers need more playing time together. I’m glad Coach Bradley gave so many young guys a chance in this game. I’d love to see the B-team against Guatemala, but I hope the US ties that game. I’d prefer to see T&T go through to the next round.

    Like

  • Peter S in MD

    mabe now we could fully appreciate the tough play of Michael Bradley in the midfield. it has nothing to do with nepotism he’s just a strong, capable, knowledgeable athlete who makes good passing and defense a strong point of our midfield. it certainly wasn’t visible tonite!

    Like

  • Mike Caramba

    Seriously, when have the supporters of the youth been calling for Hejduk, Califf, Torres, and Kljestan starts?

    If someone can tell me with a straight face that Bradley was right to keep calling in EJ instead of Altidore or Cooper, I’ll give it to you–we supporters of the youth are wrong.

    But come on. Saying this game proves young players shouldn’t play in qualifiers is no more reasonable than saying the loss proves Beasley, Hejduk, and Califf are washed up–this game proves that “experienced” players can’t hack it!

    Like

  • brett

    Mike Caramba – lol i dont think anyone said that young players shouldnt play in Quals… simply having too many youth players is a receipt for inexperienced mistakes…

    i think many people were hoping for Kljestan and torres to start and play… as for Hejduk and califf, i agree i would have prefered neither there…

    Like

  • Tom R

    Adu plays small. Thats fine if there is space for his style of play but that does not happen very often. Torres at 5-5 is simply tougher and more willing to get stuck in.

    I did not expect a win. Its good BB is playing the youngers. Too bad Rogers was not available.

    Like

  • brett

    Brokenbil – the good news is with T&T getting the win and Guat getting the loss, all T&T has to do to move to the hexs is not LOSE TO CUBA…. with a win or a tie, T&T move on…. if US beats or ties Guat then T&T moves on

    only way T&T doesnt move on is if the US loses to Guat and T&T loses to Cuba

    Like

  • Mike Caramba

    Brett:

    I wasn’t talking about last night’s game–yes, a lot of people would have liked to see Kljestan and Torres start there.

    My point is, a number of people are saying “you got what you wanted, and you were wrong.” No one said last night’s squad should be our A team. When people were calling for youth, they were calling for a few, very specific players, to be included in the rosters and not even necessarily start. Best example: Jozy/Cooper for EJ. It seems completely reasonable to me and last night’s match didn’t prove anything to the contrary.

    Like

  • Aquaman

    Tom R – I’ll attribute Torres’ toughness to the fact that he’s a Texan…but that’s just because I’m a Texan also.

    Like

  • Joeypav10

    Bad outcome but good experience. You can’t win a world cup in just one qualifier…let’s hope it was a great learning experience and something to build on.

    Like

  • Joeypav10

    Bad outcome but good experience. You can’t win a world cup in just one qualifier…let’s hope it was a great learning experience and something to build on.

    Like

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