Jacksonville, FL- The U.S National Team dragged it out into the second half, but eventually made good work of Trinidad and Tobago, winning 4-0. Jozy Altidore bagged a brace, Christian Pulisic starred, Sacha Klejistan cemented his spot in the squad, and Paul Arriola made a case for future involvement in the win.
US Takes Care of Trinidad and Tobago In Style
The first goal came from a great combo play between Pulisic and Fabian Johnson. They combined for a few passes on the left hand side of the 18-yard box. A square ball to Kljestan got deflected and a failed clearance was sent straight into his stomach. The New York Red Bulls captain promptly slotted home with his left, giving the US a 1-0 lead.
With the opening goal being the only bright spot in the first half, things were much better when the two teams came out of their respective locker rooms after halftime. A great ball from Johnson found Altidore. With Pulisic continuing his run around the left hand side, he drew a the second defender away from Altidore. The TFC striker took possession and with some nifty footwork, created space to get a shot off. Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Marvin Phillip left too much room to his near post, and Altidore exploited it, firing a shot into the lower right corner.
This time Pulisic played creator for Jozy’s second. Michael Bradley sprayed the ball out wide to Pulisic from a free kick. Pulisic beat his man and got inside, firing a ball across the goal mouth. Altidore made the necessary run to the back post, and made a sliding finish to make it 3-0.
Arriola came on for Alejandro Bedoya in the 66th minute. In his few appearances, the Club Tijuana midfielder has recorded a goal and assist for the US. Pulisic fed Altidore on the left side of the box, who then found Jordan Morris in the middle. Morris’ shot was saved, but the rebound caromed out to the right where a wide-eyed Arriola pounced. Arriola’s second goal for the U.S just may have earned him a roster spot when the the Hexagonal begins in November.
Pulisic had the offense flowing through him and showed he has no problems doing it. He had the primary assist on Altidore’s second, and made a good run to attract attention away from him for his first. He did have a shot ring off both posts in the 30th minute. At 17 years old, he completely took hold of a significant competitive match. Potentially, this performance could vault him into the conversation to start for the U.S in the Hex.
This win gives the U.S. the top spot in Group C, guaranteeing they advance to the Hexagonal Round of Qualifying. Their first match will be against Mexico on November 11th which US Soccer announced after tonight’s game will take place in Columbus, OH.