Tue, Feb
Match Report
United States Trinidad & Tobago
United States T&T flag

FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
2008-09-10Toyota ParkBridgeview, IL, United States11452

USA cruise pass clueless T&T

"If you defend, we will attack"

Three goals, 3 points for USA - Supporters apart, no one outside T&T were expecting a win for the Warriors. But one thing they probably was expecting were a better show by the men in red, white and black. Boy, were they in for a surprise.

Trinidad and Tobago were thrashed 3-0 by the United States at Toyota Park in a World Cup qualifying match Wednesday night. And everyone in T&T knows, USA is famous for scoring early goals against the Soca Warriors. Well, so said, so done, USA got on the score sheet as early as the 10 minute through Michael Bradley after he was left unmarked in the penalty box to flicked on a well taken free-kick by Landon Donovan. Clint Dempsey and Brian Ching added to the U.S tally in the 18th and 57th minute respectively.

Throughout the first half the U.S. continued attack after attack, the smooth surface allowed crisp passing for them and Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley took full advantage of that as they were very effective in getting behind the T&T defence and slipping dangerous crosses into the box that cause havoc for T&T back four. The victory was the fifth straight by the Americans, and virtually assures them of making next year’s six-team regional finals. The United States is atop Group One in the semifinals of the North and Central American and the Caribbean with nine points, five ahead of T&T. The U.S also remains undefeated to T&T at this level with 2 draws to account for.

As expected Trinidad and Tobago started off with a very defensive approached, you would swear it was Brazil- T&T were about to play. Surprisingly one of T&T's more experience and verbal defender Dennis Lawrence was left on the bench making T&T back four look very disorganized, lacked leadership and, an accident waiting to happen. The slow running Makan Hislop was his replacement who made the U.S strikers looked like T&T's track-star Richard "Torpedo" Thompson flying pass him.

The Warriors midfield play was very poor and the coaches tactics were questionable. T&T attacking third was none existent and this went on throughout the entire game without any tactical changes from head coach Francisco Maturana. Attack minded players such as Andre Toussaint, Kerry Baptiste, Jason Scotland and hardworking defenders Dennis Lawrence and Julius James were on the bench going through the pain off seeing their team-mates being devoured in every play by a side that looked superior and, at one point the U.S players were even laughing at the T&T side.

Wing players Carlos Edwards and Keon Daniel looked a notched above the rest especially Daniel with his crisp passing, Carlos didn't disappoint either but only could have done so much without any support. Densill Theobald looked flat as a pancake, Osei Telesford broke up plays however, his poor passing added to T&T misery putting T&T under instant pressure. Cornell Glen was again on the top by himself and without any service their wasn't much the striker could have done. Anthony Wolfe came on in the second half and gave the Soca Warriors outfit a much needed spark. Wolfe even found the back of the net in the 60th minute but was ruled offside by Jamaican referee Courtney Campbell and, rightfully so.

After managing just one shot in the first 45 minutes, the Soca Warriors got much more aggressive in the second half and actually created a few decent chances. However, being down 3-0 T&T looked more concerned about conceding another instead of trying to reduce the deficit. Mind you, goal difference could come into play later down the qualifiers with Guatemala close on the heels of T&T. With no subs to rejuvenate the T&T side, no clue going forward and a defence with a vacant sign up, T&T would have to count themselves lucky the final score only red 3-0.

The Warriors did have a few bright moments in the second half though. Captain Cyd Gray took matters into his own hands and led by example. He made some quick overlapping runs and actually had two decent shots at goal one which was deflected by US defender Onyewu just outside the near post. Then in the 87th minute Gray again controlled the ball just outside the area on the right side just firing his shot inches wide of US keeper Tim Howard. Talented midfielder Keon Daniel ensuing corner, a header by Anthony Wolfe which beat Tim Howard and was heading into goal was amazingly cleared off the line by Steve Cherundolo.

T&T will get a break from qualifying until the second leg of games begins for the semifinal round early October. They face Guatemala away in a must win situation after Guatemala punished Cuba 4-1 late last night and leapfrogged T&T into second place on goal difference. They will then take another shot at USA 4 days later in Port of Spain before closing off the qualifiers at home against Cuba on November 19th, a day we will never forget.

T&T: - 1.Marvin Phillip, 3.Aklie Edwards, 5.Keyeno Thomas, 8.Cyd Gray (capt), 4.Osei Telesford, 7.Carlos Edwards, 9.Makan Hislop, 2.Clyde Leon, 17.Keon Daniel, 12.Densill Theobald (14.Anthony Wolfe 46th), 13.Cornell Glen.

Subs Not Used: - 18.Jan-Michael Williams, 6.Dennis Lawrence, 10.Andre Toussaint, 11.Jason Scotland, 15.Kerry Baptiste, 16.Julius James.

Head Coach: - Francisco Maturana (Colombia).

USA: - 1.Tim Howard, 15.Heath Pearce, 3.Carlos Bocanegra (capt), 5.Oguchi Onyewu, 6.Steve Cherundolo, 17.DaMarcus Beasley, 12.Michael Bradley (4.Ricardo Clark 67th), 16.Sacha Kljestan, 8.Clint Dempsey (7.Eddie Lewis 78th), 10.Landon Donovan, 11.Brian Ching (9.Eddie Johnson 67th).

Subs Not Used: - 18.Brad Guzan, 2.Frankie Hejduk, 13.Maurice Edu, 14.Danny Califf.

Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots                    11 / 6
Shots on Goal          6 / 2
Saves                    1 / 3
Corner Kicks            4 / 5
Fouls                     9 / 12
Offside                   9 / 1

Head Coach: - Bob Bradley (USA).

Misconduct Summary:
TRI – Aklie Edwards (caution)          57th.
USA – Steve Cherundolo (caution)   59th.
TRI – Clyde Leon (caution)   

Attendance: - 11,452

Weather: - 68 degrees, clear

Referee: Courtney Campbell (JAM)
1st Asst.: Stephen Brown (JAM)
2nd Asst.: Triston Tulloch (JAM)
Fourth Official: Howard Stennet (JAM)

Forget about gritty away wins. The United States dismissed Trinidad & Tobago 3-0 at Toyota Park on Wednesday night with some spells of quality attacking football.'s Kyle McCarthy breaks down both teams.

Trinidad and Tobago (4-5-1).

Marvin Phillip: Not really at fault on any of the goals. Showed little command of his penalty area and gave up a long rebound or two. – 5

Alie Edwards: Did not make a case for displacing the suspended Avery John from the lineup. Sporadic offensive contributions didn't mask the generally ineffective defending. Reckless tackle on Cherundolo shows he's learned something by watching John from the bench. – 4

Keyeno Thomas: The calming presence in the center of the Joe Public defense turned into something considerably less stable on this evening. Needlessly wasted possession at the back during Trinidad's first decent spell of possession. Watched Dempsey surge through for his goal without reacting. Ching consistently got the better of him. And he was the better of the central defenders. – 4

Makan Hislop: The gamble to start Hislop ahead of the experienced Dennis Lawrence did not pay off. Painfully slow and all too willing to lunge in when better discretion was necessary. Looked at least one step off the pace on the evening. Even when he did well in recovery, the intervention nearly ended up creating a chance on goal before the break. – 3.5

Cyd Gray (capt.): A mixed bag from the veteran right back. At times, he looked the part when dispossessing Donovan and Beasley. On the other hand, he should have conceded a penalty when Dempsey skipped around him. – 4.5

Osei Telesford: The one safety valve in the middle of the park. Generally found someone in his own shirt once he got on the ball. Tried to put himself about defensively without much success. Active and tireless in the middle of the park while covering significant ground. – 6

Clyde Leon: Paled in comparison to Telesford. Wasteful with the ball at every turn. At one point, John Harkes commented that Leon “was not marking anyone.” The comment surely applied to his efforts on Bradley's opener. Conceded far too much space and was lucky to avoid a send-off for a reckless challenge on Donovan. – 3.5

Keon Daniel: Ten minutes of scintillating play to start the second half doesn't mask eighty minutes of ineffective play. Service from set pieces left much to be desired. Shows enough pace to be a constant threat, but wasted chances to cross and create more dangerous opportunities. – 5

Densill Theobald (off for Wolfe, 46): Horrific first-half performance showed an inability to keep possession or orchestrate the counter attack. Lucky he made it to halftime without getting the hook. – 3

Carlos Edwards: Bob Bradley would love to have a player like Edwards at his disposal on the right flank. Lots of running and impetus from him. Always looking to go forward without neglecting his defensive duties. Unfortunately for Edwards, there wasn't a ton of support from his teammates. – 7

Cornell Glen: Tough to fault Glen for much of his ineffectiveness tonight. Plowing the lone furrow against Onyewu and Bocanegra isn't an easy task. Managed to get his head down to a low cross, but could only turn it over the bar. Struggled for service, but didn't necessarily capitalize on it when it finally arrived. – 5


Anthony Wolfe (on for Theobald, 46): Added something significant with his willingness to attack. Unlucky not to get a goal when Cherundolo cleared off the line. Had another attempt ruled out for off-side. If there was an attacking move for T&T, the chances were good that Edwards and Wolfe were prominently involved. – 6.5

United States (4-2-3-1)

Tim Howard: The Everton 'keeper had very little to do and didn't look bothered by much of anything. – 6

Heath Pearce: Pearce does not inspire confidence at left back. Carlos Edwards consistently got the better of him all night. When pressured, he was frequently caught in possession or forced into a bad pass. Positional sense needs to improve. Did not impact the match offensively. – 5.5

Carlos Bocanegra (capt.): Does not inspire the confidence Onyewu does, mostly because he just isn't the type of presence to do so and doesn't always clear the ball to the right places. However, Bocanegra rarely puts a foot wrong and made a critical clearing header tonight to deny Glen a certain goal shortly after the break. Led well from the back and remains one of the first names on the teamsheet. – 7.5

Oguchi Onyewu: Onyewu simply dominates the opposition at this level and does not lose headers in the air. Onyewu's aerial win in midfield started Dempsey's goal. Challenging Marvin Phillip on a Beasley free kick set up Ching's goal. Glen didn't get much of a sniff all night. Comprehensive performance. – 8

Steve Cherundolo: Another promising attacking performance from Cherundolo. Good diagonal service and good width while overlapping. A mixed bag defensively. Correct positioning allowed him to clear Anthony Wolfe's header off the line, but picked up yet another needless booking for a rash tackle at midfield. – 7

Sacha Kljestan: Nervy start gave way to an honest shift. Imposed himself in the tackle as the match progressed and generally looked tidy in his passing. Should have done better than a meager shot when presented with a poor clearance by Makan Hislop. – 6

Michael Bradley (off for Clark, 67): This is the Michael Bradley everyone has craved. Established the tempo early. Switched the ball from side to side with sumptuous diagonal balls. Nipped in front to knock home the opener. Conducted the proceedings in midfield. A man of the match performance. – 8

DaMarcus Beasley: The expectations are high for the Rangers man. In the attacking third, he did well to meet them by chinking Dempsey through for the second and playing the free kick resulting in Ching's goal. But there were rough edges – needless offside positioning, marginal wide play, timid shooting and poor marking on Wolfe's goal-bound header – to show that Beasley hasn't hit form yet. – 7

Landon Donovan: Quiet game on the whole from Donovan. Didn't impose his will on the game like Bradley did, though one might wonder if the tactics were even set up for him to do so. The little passing combinations in the attacking third are his specialty and he always seemed to be around if Ching needed to knock the ball back. – 7

Clint Dempsey (off for Lewis, 78): A fine run and finish masked an otherwise anonymous performance. Good movement again, but there is sometimes a lack of cutting thrust to his game. Must prove more consistently dangerous against better teams. – 7

Brian Ching (off for Johnson, 67): For the system Bob Bradley has chosen, Ching is the best available option to lead the line. He's not a great finisher, as evidenced when he muffed a somewhat difficult chance supplied to him by Donovan in the first half and fired well wide from outside the box early in the second half. But Ching does so many of the little things well – holding up the ball and distributing to Donovan in midfield – that he consistently merits inclusion. Tirelessly worked for the cause and gave the Trinidad center backs fits all night. Deserved his tap-in header for his efforts. – 7


Eddie Johnson (on for Ching, 67): Johnson isn't well suited to Bradley's preferred system. He struggles with balls played into his feet and doesn't perform well with his back to goal. Two meek, sidefooted attempts that were blocked before reaching Phillip won't help his case for displacing Ching. – 5.5

Ricardo Clark (on for Bradley, 67): Will continue to contest the second holding midfield role alongside Kljestan and Maurice Edu. The late diving header blocked en route to goal would have added a nice goal to a solid twenty minutes. – 6

Eddie Lewis (on for Dempsey, 78): Will continue to play a role late in matches because he is without doubt the best crosser of the ball Bradley can find. – NR

1.Marvin Phillip
3.Aklie Edwards Yellow Card 57 '
8.Cyd Gray (capt.)
9.Makan Hislop
4.Osei Telesford
5.Keyeno Thomas
17.Keon Daniel
7.Carlos Edwards
2.Clyde Leon Yellow Card 59 '
12.Subbed outDensill Theobald
 Subbed in 46' Anthony Wolfe
13.Cornell Glen
14.Anthony Wolfe
18.Jan-Michael Williams
16.Julius James
6.Dennis Lawrence
15.Kerry Baptiste
11.Jason Scotland
10.Andre Toussaint
 Francisco Maturana
46'Subbed outSubbed inAnthony Wolfe for Densill Theobald
57'Yellow CardAklie Edwards
59'Yellow CardClyde Leon