The United States men’s national team is in the driver’s seat to qualify directly to the World Cup from the Hex round of CONCACAF qualifying, but they have to win their match against Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday to do it.
Anything less than a win leaves the USMNT vulnerable to falling into the inter-confederation playoff qualification spot or worse, failing to qualify entirely. If the U.S. lose on Tuesday and both Panama and Honduras win, they’re out. Period. Full stop. A draw would likely see them through, but a win for either Panama or Honduras puts them at risk of falling into playoff spot depending on the exact outcome of that match. Either outcome is far from desirable for the USMNT, so they must focus on winning first and foremost, because nothing else matters right now.
Improving the USMNT’s chances is Trinidand & Tobago’s seven-match losing streak in all competitions, with losses in ten of the thirteen matches they’ve played in 2017. The U.S. have two straight wins over Trinidad in their recent history as well, a 2-0 win earlier in the Hex and a 4-0 win a little over a year ago in the last round of qualifying to seal their spot atop that group going into the Hex.
But there’s also the mess that is the pitch in at the Ato Boldon Stadium, which looked practically flooded while the USMNT tried to practice on Monday. The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association claimed that they United States made it sound worse than it was and that the field would be ready in plenty of time, though that seemed … optimistic at best, given the state of what we did see. Of course, the USMNT are responsible for the Snow Clasico happening, so they hardly get to complain about pitch conditions.
Match Date/Time: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Trinidad and Tobago
TV: beIN Sports (U.S. – English), Universo (U.S. – Spanish), Flow Sports (Trinidad and Tobago)
Online: beIN SPorts Connect, Universo NOW (U.S.)
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