Five Takeaways from USMNT vs Trinidad and Tobago

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The USMNT qualified for the Hex in spectacular fashion on Tuesday, defeating Trinidad and Tobago in a commanding 4-0 victory. Jozy Altidore had a brace, and Paul Arriola and Sacha Kljestan scored once each.

Five Takeaways from USMNT vs Trinidad and Tobago

Michael Bradley looks Rusty

In Michael Bradley’s return to the USMNT, he captained the US to a thundering victory. However, he himself didn’t look too sharp. The usual commanding midfield presence was not crisp on the ball and didn’t have that final ball the US needed to get going in the first half. Frankly, Kljestan and Christian Pulisic dwarfed him in the midfield.

Jozy is Back

Jozy Altidore has been struggling with a hamstring injury as of late. Even though he scored in the last game, it came via a penalty. In this game, he cemented his place as the top US forward. He had two classic Jozy goals. One was a clean up in the box, and another with a great back post run. Altidore also held up the ball very well. In a game where Bobby Wood didn’t play that well, he definitely stood out.

Pulisic Justifies His Selection

In the first half, Pulisic was the United State’s most dangerous player. However, he was putting himself in good positions, but not serving good balls. That all changed in the second half. He started connecting his passes and was playing better in every aspect. Pulisic was instrumental in the US blowing the game wide open.

Kljestan: Making the Case for a Starting Role

At the end of the first half, the US was playing poorly, and it seemed as if Trinidad and Tobago were going to steal a cheap goal. Enter Kljestan. His goal at the end of the first half gave the US the lead and paved the way for the US to play better in the second half. This game cemented Kljestan’s case for starting regularly.

Don’t Forget About Paul Arriola

Paul Arriola has quietly been building a case for himself in Liga MX. Even with the cracking down on US players, he has managed to stay with his club. His first senior appearance was in the Copa America tune up against Puerto Rico, where he scored and got an assist. This game was no different, as he scored a goal. His playing shows why he deserves more extensive looks and maybe even some starts.

Tuesday’s decisive win means the US will finish first in Group C of CONCACAF semifinal World Cup Qualifying. That sets up a mouth-watering opening match of the Hexagonal round against Mexico on Friday November 11th. US Soccer confirmed post-game that it will take place at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, OH. This marks the fifth straight occasion the two sides have faced off in the final round of World Cup qualifying at the venue, with the US winning by a 2-0 scoreline in all previous matchups.