The United States Men’s National Team takes on Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, September 6th, with first place in Group C on the line.
Both the USMNT and the Soca Warriors have already advanced to the Hexagonal, but neither team will want to conclude the Fourth Round of World Cup 2018 Qualifying with a loss.
Trinidad & Tobago, like the U.S., can afford to rest players, and it’s unclear whether coach Stephen Hart will put out a first choice lineup. One thing Hart will certainly be mindful of is the confidence boost an away victory against the U.S. would give his side.
Hart used a 4-5-1 against Guatemala and is expected to do the same against the U.S. The central midfield will likely consist of a triangle, with two defensive midfielders and one attacking midfielder.
Trinidad & Tobago Projected Lineup:
Target man Kenwyne Jones will be the focal point of T&T’s attack. The 6’ 2’’ Jones is known for his physicality and aerial prowess. He will likely be the lone striker and will need excellent service from his teammates in hopes of breaking down the U.S.
Several Trinidad & Tobago players feature in MLS including Joevin Jones, Kevin Molino, Cordell Cato, Mekeil Williams, and Aubrey David.
Midfielders Joevin Jones and Kevin Molino will work to compliment Kenwyne Jones in the attack. While Joevin Jones typically plays as a defender for Seattle, he is usually deployed as a midfielder for his country.
He scored 2 goals in the recent draw with Guatemala and is known for his dribbling, speed, as well as crossing ability.
Wide midfielder Kevin Molino has been having an excellent year for Orlando City, scoring 9 goals and chipping in with 7 assists in 23 MLS matches. Molino is equally comfortable scoring or creating and can pick apart defenses with his incisive passing and dribbling skill.
While Trinidad & Tobago is certainly not a pushover, its defense is rather weak. The Trinidadian defense will be led by veteran centerback Daneil Cyrus. Cyrus is the most capped Trinidadian defender on the roster (57 caps) and plays for W Connection in Trinidad. His strengths are intercepting and blocking passes. Despite being listed as 6’ 3’’, Cyrus struggles in the air.
Trinidad & Tobago will have a significant height advantage over the U.S. Seven of the thirteen T&T players who appeared against Guatemala this past Friday, are listed as over six feet tall. Look for T&T to bombard the U.S. with crosses and expect aerial duels to be key to the outcome of the match.
While the USMNT may have more collective talent than Trinidad & Tobago, the Soca Warriors have been in fine form and this game should be close.