USMNT led by Jozy Altidore’s 2 goals defeats Trinidad & Tobago

Written By Kayla Castleman


Jacksonville, FL -With an electric atmosphere, 19,140 in attendance, it was all Red, White & Blue Tuesday evening at EverBank Field. The U.S. Men’s National Team faced Trinidad & Tobago for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Semifinal match. The USMNT had never lost to an opponent in Jacksonville, and by their performance, they were definitely not ready to start. The U.S. annihilated Trinidad and Tobago with a 4-nil victory to clinch Group C.

After the whistle had blown, the majority of the first 10 minutes of the match the ball dominated Trinidad’s possession.  The U.S. had a few key plays they were not able to take advantage of early on. There were a few new starters for the USMNT, due to recent suspensions and injuries,  with that, it took them the beginning of the first half to gel. Once the U.S. became more in sync, they came out of the gates blazing.  In the 44th minute, Midfielder Sacha Kljestan rocketed the ball past the keeper to give the U.S. control of the match. This put a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard for the U.S. at the half.

The USMNT were on fire from the start of the second half.  To say they looked like a different team, from first to second half is an understatement. Luckily for the U.S., they kept their fire burning consistently throughout the rest of the match shutting out Trinidad and scoring three more goals.

U.S. Forward Jozy Altidore who has battled injuries on and off in his career looked healthy as a horse in this match, especially the last 45 minutes of play. Altidore pushed himself into high gear with two goals and an assist all back to back in a matter of 12 minutes. Jozy scored in the 59th minute after receiving the ball from teammate Fabian Johnson to put them up 2-nil over Trinidad. A short 3 minutes later, Jozy crashed the goal with intensity and again found the back of the net. Lastly, in the 71st minute, Altidore was awarded the assist when Paul Arriola maneuvered the ball past Trinidad’s keeper, Phillips to give the U.S. their 4th goal. This goal was extra special for Arriola making his World Cup Qualifying debut. The U.S. finished the match with a 4-0 vital win over Trinidad and Tobago to place them in first overall in their group.

“We will continue to move ourselves forward, and anytime you can use this experience in a positive way I think it’s a big help. We have a group of guys that are very motivated to continue proving themsleves. It’s a hungry group, and I think there is some big stuff on the horizon.” Said U.S. Captain Michael Bradley after the match.

The U.S. Men’s National Team is scheduled to play a friendly against Cuba on October 7th in Havana at the Pedro Marrero Stadium. The time is TBA.

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