US plays Trinidad on soggy field, hopes to secure World Cup berth


Barring a huge outpouring of goals by Los Canaleros or Los Catrachos, a draw against Trinidad will probably be enough for the snag CONCACAF's third and final automatic spot in Russian Federation next summer. However, on the road against Trinidad and Tobago in soggy conditions, things could get tricky.

Already eliminated, Trinidad has lost six straight qualifiers. They're at the bottom of the Hex and haven't played their best brand of soccer.

The day after that game, while explaining his surly postgame news conference in Pittsburgh, coach Mike Zimmer said, "Where I get frustrated, is I want to protect my players".

"We've played in all sorts of conditions", Gulati said. The top three teams at the end of this final qualifying round will earn berths to the World Cup while the fourth-place team must play a home-and-home playoff against the fifth-place team from Asia.

Members of the US men's football team train yesterday at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.

United States coach Bruce Arena has rejected the idea that a waterlogged pitch will hamper his team in Tuesday's crunch World Cup qualifying match away to Trinidad & Tobago and said sloppy conditions in Couva would be the same for both sides.

TTFA General Secretary Justin Latapy-George said the water which was recorded occupied only part of the stadium, and that this was a result of heavy rains over the weekend. "I know these guys like brothers, and it felt like everyone was a little timid".

"I would love to see one of these hotshot teams from Europe come here and play in our CONCACAF qualifying and really get a taste of this and see what that's about", Arena told reporters on Monday.

"It was all instinctive, the way it played out", Caligiuri said.

"A World Cup is different". The island nation actually took the lead in the 66th minute, when Shahdon Winchester scored to give the Soca Warriors a 1-0 lead.

Getting to the World Cup, though, ushered in a new era for the USA program, which has appeared in every tournament since and hosted the 1994 event.

"It would've been an embarrassment", Murray said, "to be awarded the 1994 World Cup [in 1988] and not qualify for 1990".

There were plenty of laughs, and jokes, to be heard when the US saw the stadium on Monday, but the consensus was the visitors would be able to handle the adversity that might be awaiting on Tuesday night.

"However the TTFA continues to work alongside Stadium Management to prepare the facility for tomorrow's planned game and all parties are confident the game will be contested". A draw, and the team would likely still advance, but a loss could doom them to missing the World Cup for the first time since 1986.