USA vs Trinidad & Tobago
Competition: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying
Date: 9 June 2017
Kick-off: 02:00 CET
The US started their ‘Hexagonal’ campaign so poorly (two defeats in as many games) that cost Jurgen Klinsmann his job. Bruce Arena took over, and the team picked up four points in two games back in March. Last Saturday, they drew 1-1 to Venezuela in a friendly game which Arena used as an ‘experiment’, to use his own word. The coach saw good and bad things, among others, Hertha Berlin center-back John Brooks get injured, and being a doubt for the game against T&T. Arena is expected to start captain Michael Bradley, despite the fact that he was way below average against the Venezuelans. Clint Dempsey cannot be equally sure he won’t be on the bench. The US chose Denver as home of this game, so as to get as used as possible to the high altitude conditions they will have to deal with in their next game, in Mexico City, on Sunday.
It’s common for coaches to come and go in football teams, clubs and national teams alike, but T&T have been a… special case during this ‘Hexagonal’ group stage. Stephen Hart lost his job after they started with two defeats in their first two games. Tom Saintfiet took over, but lasted about a month, before resigning, claiming that he received very little support from the country’s Football Federation. Dennis Lawrence took the job next, and the Soca Warriors earned a big win over Panama, but days later they lost at home to the USA. They are left last in the group, but just one surprise victory away from jumping into the top-four. Ironically, three MLS players are the best T&T have to show for, Minnesota United playmaker Kevin Molino, Atlanta United striker Kenwyne Jones and Seattle Sounders fullback/winger Joevin Jones. San Jose Earthquakes winger Cordell Cato got dismissed by Lawrence for disciplinary reasons, after arriving at T&T’s Denver training camp accompanied by his family, something that Lawrence had told all members of the team not to do.
USA vs Trinidad & Tobago: Head-to-head Stats
The US have an excellent record against T&T, especially as hosts. Since 1990 they have hosted them on seven occasions, and not only have they won every single game, but have done so by a total score of 18-1(!).
USA vs Trinidad & Tobago: Prediction
You don’t need to be a football expert to tell that the US are huge-huge favorites to win this game. No wonder their victory pays close to nothing.
USA vs Trinidad & Tobago: Tips
Despite looking out of tune offensively in the friendly game against Venezuela, I expect the US to do much better in this game. Not that better though, as to make this an over 3.5 goals game. I’m going with ‘USA and under 3.5 goals, at 2.10.