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2023 Nations League Quarterfinal: USA 3-0 Trinidad & Tobago - job half done

It took a while but once the breakthrough came the USA scored in bunches

Trinidad & Tobago v United States: Quarterfinal - Leg One - CONCACAF Nations League Photo by Elizabeth Kruetz/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF

The USA faced Trinidad & Tobago in yet another “just don’t totally screw it up” matchup between the teams. For those unfamiliar, there’s history between these teams in matches like this. In this rendition, the USA needed to advance to the semis in order to get to the Copa America next year. The first step would be winning the first leg in Austin, Texas.

The USA lined up in a 4-2-3-1 with Gio Reyna playing the no. 10 role and Cameron Carter-Vickers paired with Tim Ream at center back.

Trinidad set up in a 5-4-1 as they clearly stated their intentions from the beginning about playing a lot of defense.

In the end it would take a while but the USA got the job done. A trio of late second half goals ensured that the Americans were in a strong position heading into the second leg of the round.


The game started with the USA controlling the ball and Trinidad & Tobago camped out in and around their own 18. That would be the story of the half. The Stars and Stripes held most of the possession, completed a huge percentage of passes and didn’t get a shot on target.

In the 37th minute there was a highlight worthy play when Noah Powder earned his second yellow of the game and was told he was no longer welcome at this establishment.

Just before the half the USA did something noteworthy and made it scary for Trinidad’s keeper.

The second half began with the Red, White, and Blue again dominating possession and trying to defeat the Trinidad bus. It seemed more promising as the home team started getting looks on goal. Gio Reyna nearly found the back of the net in the 55th minute but his shot wasn’t enough to get past Denziel Smith.

Yunis Musah also had a long range effort on goal that forced a save but it wasn’t too difficult for the keeper to push it away from danger.

In the 66th minute, Ricardo Pepi and Brenden Aaronson entered for Timmy Tillman and Kevin Paredes.

As the game wore on the Americans kept searching for a go ahead goal and it nearly came in the 78th minute. After working a shot, the ball fell right between the US forwards and Smith and the Soca Warriors keeper pounced on it.

The breakthrough finally came in the 81st minute off of a brilliant flick by Ricardo Pepi off of a well placed cross from Jedi.

Jedi would return and score the second goal in short order on a long range shot that would have had no problem bulls eyeing a womp rat in his T-16.

Things would get worse for Trinidad as Folarin Balogun laid a ball off to Gio Reyna to make it 3-0 in the 89th minute.

That would be it for the evening as the USA got part 1. of the job done by taking care of Trinidad & Tobago with the late goals.