Christian Pulisic was the big story from the USMNT’s World Cup qualifying win, but the bigger takeaway was the team effort in Commerce City. The USMNT won 2-0 with Pulisic scoring both goals. Pulisic opened the scoring in the 52nd minute, knocking in a DeAndre Yedlin pass that left Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams with no chance. Pulisic scored again ten minutes later, this time taking full advantage of a Jozy Altidore service. USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard picked up the shutout.
“It just took us a little while to get going,” Pulisic told FS1. “We had some chances in the first-half but we just couldn’t put them away. Once we wore them down a little bit, our quality started to come out and we showed up again. So it was a good game.”
It was the old soccer cliche of a game of two halves, with both teams getting chances but unable to score in the first. Though T&T’s Kenwyne Jones it the bar in the 33rd minute, it was the USMNT with the bulk of the chances. The shots weren’t falling in the first, but the USMNT regrouped at halftime. Though Trinidad & Tobago had a goal called off for offside right after Pulisic’s opener, it was the USMNT creating the quality chances.
USMNT coach Bruce Arena had choices to make for the Trinidad & Tobago qualifier, working the need for three home points along with the challenge of Estadio Azteca on Sunday (8:30pm ET – FS1). That meant considering player fatigue with both games at altitude. Arena subbed off Clint Dempsey for Kellyn Acosta in the 61st and also took Altidore off for Bobby Wood in the 83rd.
Elsewhere in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, Mexico shutout Honduras 3-0 at Estadio Azteca. Osvaldo Alanis opened the scoring in the 34th minute with Hirving Lozano doubling the lead in the 63rd. Raul Jimenez finished off the scoring in the 66th minute. Guillermo Ochoa kept the clean sheet for Mexico. Costa Rica and Panama drew 0-0 with Costa Rica playing a man down after a 54th minute red card to Giancarlo Gonzalez.
— GAME REPORT —
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date: June 8, 2017
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Final Round
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. MT
Attendance: 19,188 (sellout)
Weather: 82 degrees; partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
TRI 0 0 0
USA – Christian Pulisic (DeAndre Yedlin) 52nd minute
USA – Christian Pulisic (Jozy Altidore) 62
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 20-Geoff Cameron, 6-John Brooks, 21-Jorge Villafaña; 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 23-Fabian Johnson (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 74), 10-Christian Pulisic, 15-Darlington Nagbe, 8-Clint Dempsey (16-Kellyn Acosta, 61), 17-Jozy Altidore (9-Bobby Wood, 83)
Subs not used: 12-Brad Guzan, 22-Nick Rimando, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Tim Ream, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 13-Dax McCarty, 14-Paul Arriola, 18-Jordan Morris, 19-Graham Zusi
Head coach: Bruce Arena
TRI : 21-Jan-Michael Williams; 11-Akhenaton Edwards, 4-Sheldon Bateau, 17-Mekeil Williams, 5-Daneil Cyrus; 10-Kevin Molino, 19-Kevan George, 8-Khaleem Hyland (23-Leston Paul, 76), 3-Joevin Jones (12-Shahdon Winchester, 68); 7-Nathan Lewis, 9-Kenwyne Jones (capt.) (20-Jamille Boatswain, 82)
Subs not used: 1-Marvin Phillip, 2-Aubrey David, 6-Radanfah Abu Bakr, 13-Hughtun Hector, 14-Andre Boucaud, 15-Curtis Gonzales, 16-Alvin Jones, 18-Hashim Arcia, 22-Adrian Foncette
Head coach: Dennis Lawrence
Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 9 / 2
Saves: 2 / 7
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 3 / 4
Offside: 0 / 4
TRI – Leston Paul (caution) 76th minute
USA – Alejandro Bedoya (caution) 85
Referee: Oscar Moncada (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Melvyn Cruz (HON)
Fourth Official: Raul Castro (HON)