Preview: USMNT Travel To Port of Spain for WCQ match vs. Trinidad and Tobago

IMAGE, USSOCCER.COM

by DENY GALLAGHER

The United States will look to grab another three points when the side squares off with Trinidad and Tobago Tuesday night in Port of Spain. While the first match provided some challenges, the second will be considerably harder as the Americans look to answer many unresolved questions against a team that is currently in terrific form.

Know The Enemy: Trinidad and Tobago

Tuesday night’s opponent is fresh off a 2-1 victory over Guatemala in the opening match of World Cup Qualifying. That result is only the tip of the iceberg for a side that has been on an incredible run of form in the second half of 2015. In fact, the squad has not lost in regulation since June 16th. The current stretch has seen the nation go 4W-3D-1L, with the one defeat coming on penalty kicks against Panama in the 2015 Gold Cup. Also during that stretch, Trinidad and Tobago have tied Mexico twice in matches that saw a combined 14 goals.

Trinidad and Tobago are led by their captain and leading goal scorer Kenwyne Jones. The 31-year-old is currently on loan at Bournemouth from Cardiff City. This season alone, the striker has scored one goal in six appearances. Much like the United States, Trinidad and Tobago rely on a relatively young side mixed with some veterans. Much of the midfield traffic will go through Khaleem Hyland of Belgium side Westerlo and Joevin Jones of the Chicago Fire. In total, this Trinidad and Tobago team features five players that play professionally in the United States.

In past encounters in Port of Spain, the games have been tightly contested and low scoring. Expect this one to be a good test for a United States team that is looking to find its form.

The (Actual) Return of Howard

Last month, Tim Howard made his return to the Stars and Stripes for the first time since the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After disappointing recent performances by the United States, the New Jersey native is back between the sticks for the side’s first significant test of World Cup Qualifying. While Klinsmann has gone back and forth between Brad Guzan and Howard since the Everton man announced his return to international duty, it is difficult to view this as anything but Howard winning back the starting job. This is not to say Brad Guzan did a bad job. Given the fact that the Aston Villa keeper never had a consistent back line ahead of him through most of 2015, his performance exceeded expectations. Tuesday night will mark Howard’s 30th career World Cup Qualifier.

Projected Starting XI

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The match is set to kickoff at 6:25 PM and can be seen beIN Sports and NBC Universio.