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Hart: We let them off the hook; T&T and USA finish goalless

Deadlocked at 0-0 after 90 minutes of 2018 World Cup qualifying action, the Trinidad and Tobago and United States head coaches continued to fight for an advantage in the post-game press conference at the Hasely Crawford Stadium tonight.

Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart felt his “Soca Warriors” should have sent the “Yanks” back home empty-handed.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (left) rolls the ball through the legs of United Staes captain Michael Bradley during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (left) rolls the ball through the legs of United Staes captain Michael Bradley during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I was pleased with our performance and I thought we controlled the game,” said Hart. “Even in the second half when they looked as if they were controlling the game, they didn’t really penetrate us and they only got one good shot…

“I think we let them off the hook.”

United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann disagreed slightly over the balance of play and was quick to remind everyone about which team was leading the group, even though they only lead T&T by goal difference.

“It was a very tricky game,” said Klinsmann. “I think Trinidad and Tobago started well and, after 25 minutes, we took over. There were chances on both sides (but) I think we had the clearest one.

“But a tie is alright and it keeps us first in the group.”

In truth, it is remarkable that there is even a debate about which team did better tonight—one side has a multi-million dollar annual budget, more than a handful of players with top flight European experience and a population of over 318 million to choose from while the other football association sources players from roughly 1.5 million citizens, is bankrupt and has not paid its coach in four months.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago soca entertainer Swappy tries to rouse the ground during halftime between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.  (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago soca entertainer Swappy tries to rouse the ground during halftime between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Before kick off, the stadium suffered two power outages while the battered seats and worn field looked distinctively like a hand-me-down.

But there is nothing shabby about the Warriors these days. Just maybe, whisper it, Trinidad and Tobago might be on the verge of something memorable.

There were 22,000 patrons at the Hasely Crawford Stadium today, which is the first time the venue was sold out since 12 October 2005 when the T&T edged Mexico 2-1 en route to a historic Germany 2006 World Cup berth.

And Klinsmann did not have long to discover what all the fuss was about.

There were barely 15 seconds on the clock before T&T had their first shot as a sweeping play involving Radanfah Abu Bakr, Cordell Cato and Kenwyne Jones ended with a hurried effort from Joevin Jones that cleared the bar.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (right) gets a shot off under pressure from United States midfielder DeAndre Yedlin. Trinidad and Tobago and USA played to a goalless draw at the Hasely Crawford Stadium tonight in 2018 World Cup qualifying action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (right) gets a shot off under pressure from United States midfielder DeAndre Yedlin.
Trinidad and Tobago and USA played to a goalless draw at the Hasely Crawford Stadium tonight in 2018 World Cup qualifying action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Kenwyne had a pop himself in the 12th minute but was wide at the near post while Cato dragged his shot wide of the far corner, under pressure from two US defenders, after an inviting through ball from Khaleem Hyland in the 25th minute.

Andre Boucaud was humming in midfield and Joevin and Cato, ably supported by Daneil Cyrus, were threatening down either flank. For all their promising build up play, though, there were a shortage of clear openings for the Warriors.

“(Central defenders Matt Beasler and Geoff Cameron) had Kenwyne Jones pretty much completely under control,” said Klinsmann.

Beasler and Cameron got the credit but it was Germany-born midfielder Jermaine Jones who often did the hard work, particularly on goal kicks. Mr Jones versus Mr Jones beats Mayweather/Pacquaio hands down.

On the first meeting, Kenwyne blasted the American out of the sky. The second time around, the Trinidadian ended up stooped, rubbing a sore spot on his head while Jermaine smirked.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (centre) winces after a challenge from US midfielder Jermaine Jones in 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (centre) winces after a challenge from US midfielder Jermaine Jones in 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

They never stopped. ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ was a game within a game and, for peace’s sake, one hopes they are staying at different hotels.

Klinsmann revealed after that Jermaine was carrying an injury and potential replacement, Kyle Beckerman, warmed up for the entire second half as a precaution.

“It was crucial that Jermaine played 90 minutes,” said Klinsmann.

The days of giant Americans bullying artsy but lightweight T&T attackers are long gone. It is the United States players who are in danger of losing their lunch money if things get rowdy against the robust men in red, black and white gear.

By then, though, the tourists had gotten a feel for the venue and were beginning to get ideas.

Burly striker Jozy Altidore hammered one dipping effort just over bar in the 20th minute while Zardes and Altidore failed to make the most of opportunities in the 28th and 30th minutes respectively.

Photo: United States forward Jozy Altidore (right) runs at the Trinidad and Tobago defence during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: United States forward Jozy Altidore (right) runs at the Trinidad and Tobago defence during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Zardes was an inch too short for Altidore’s cross while the latter striker displayed the touch of a construction worker, when played through by Fabian Johnson, and was stripped by the alert Radanfah Abu Bakr.

The Yanks got off to a roaring start in the second half as, within seconds, Zardes headed against the bar after another Altidore cross.

“He has the smell for it,” said Klinsmann, of the 24-year-old Zardes.

US attacker Clint Dempsey, who was left out tonight, probably scores a dozen of those before breakfast.

The moment of the match came in the 77th minute, as Jermaine uncorked one from about 25 yards that fizzed towards the top left hand corner. Somehow, Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams was able to get a touch, which diverted the effort on to the bar and over for a corner kick.

It salvaged a point for the Warriors.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams (right) enjoys a calm moment with teammate Sheldon Bateau (centre) and United States midfielder Michael Bradley in attendance during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams (right) enjoys a calm moment with teammate Sheldon Bateau (centre) and United States midfielder Michael Bradley in attendance during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Klinsmann was not wrong when he said that his team had the better chances. But then Trinidad and Tobago got into good attacking positions on multiple occasions and won more than enough set pieces to challenge for three points.

Hart suggested his players should have been bolder.

“When Khaleem was high up the pitch, their two centre backs struggled,” said Hart. “We started playing in front of them and it was possession for possession’s sake. I felt we should have put them under a little more pressure.”

On the sidelines, Hart and Klinsmann were also trying to outmanoeuvre each other.

The United States began with an old school 4-4-2 formation but captain Michael Bradley and Jermaine struggled with T&T’s excellent midfield triangle of Boucaud, Hyland and Kevan George, particularly as Jermaine had to help manage the Warriors captain.

So, Klinsmann had Jermaine drop off as a midfield sweeper while the other three midfielders played closer together in front of him.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Andre Boucaud (centre) looks for passing options under close watch from US players (from right) Jermaine Jones, Gyasi Zardes and Tim Ream during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Andre Boucaud (centre) looks for passing options under close watch from US players (from right) Jermaine Jones, Gyasi Zardes and Tim Ream during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

In the second half, it was the turn of the US coach to take the initiative as he withdrew Tim Leam and Johnson dropped to left back while Liberia-born substitute Darlington Nagbe went on the left flank.

“We’ve found a player who knows how to play and take care of the ball,” said Klinsmann. “(Nagbe) is very comfortable on the ball and he gives us a different flow in the game because he connects the passes.”

At the time, Joevin was marshalling Trinidad and Tobago’s right flank. Hart quickly switched him with Cato and then sent on the fresh legs of Trevin Caesar to boot.

“(Nagbe) could play,” said Hart, with a raised eyebrow and appreciative nod. “What they did was brought him on to take advantage of Joevin who had run himself out.

“When we switched back to Cato on that side, (Nagbe) started coming deep inside the pitch (into central midfield) and I wasn’t worried about that.”

Photo: USA coach and former Germany World Cup winner Jurgen Klinsmann cheers his team on.
Photo: USA coach and former Germany World Cup winner Jurgen Klinsmann cheers his team on.

Klinsmann insisted that his soldiers were winning the war though.

“We want to finish the group as the number one team,” said Klinsmann. “Our goal is to make a huge step in March with six points (home and away against Guatemala). It is important that you don’t give anyone an advantage.

“Getting a tie (against T&T) means you leave them behind you.”

Hart countered that the United States were ripe for the taking and his men will not be as inhibited in their next meeting.

“I felt on the first half performance alone we should have scored more than one,” said the Warriors coach. “It is a psychological thing because it is the US (and) they are a CONCACAF powerhouse and have qualified for every World Cup since 1990. I think my team doesn’t know how well they can play…

“I would have liked to be with six points (from Guatemala and the United States).”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart (right) urges his team forward during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart (right) urges his team forward during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Hart’s belief is contagious. Already local football fans are responding and they came out in their numbers today, although they were still largely reactive during the 90 minutes.

“It was fantastic,” Hart said, of the turnout. “When they began singing the national anthem, it was very emotional. It was very nice. I thank them for that.”

The Warriors do not travel to the US until next September. And 10 months is a long time in Trinidad and Tobago football.

“You don’t want that break to come when you are playing well,” said Hart.

But one suspects that the young men from the two island republic will no longer be content to finish second in the group.

The mighty United States should brace for a blast of T&T.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans get behind their team at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The "Soca Warriors" played to a goalless draw tonight against the United States in 2018 World Cup qualifying action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans get behind their team at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The “Soca Warriors” played to a goalless draw tonight against the United States in 2018 World Cup qualifying action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK), 5.Daneil Cyrus, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 17.Mekeil Williams (16.Justin Hoyte 75), 19.Kevan George, 14.Andre Boucaud (20.Keron Cummings 81), 13.Cordell Cato (11.Trevin Caesar 83), 8.Khaleem Hyland, 3.Joevin Jones, 9.Kenwyne Jones,

Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 7.Jonathan Glenn, 10.Willis Plaza, 18.Yohance Marshall, 12.Carlyle Mitchell, 15.Neveal Hackshaw, 23.Lester Peltier.

Coach: Stephen Hart

 

United States (4-4-2): 12.Tim Howard (GK); 16.Michael Orozco, 20.Geoff Cameron, 5.Matt Beasler, 3.Tim Ream (6.Darlington Nagbe 67), 2.DeAndre Yedlin, 4.Michael Bradley (captain), 13.Jermaine Jones, 23.Fabian Johnson, 9.Gyasi Zardes (18.Bobby Wood 75), 17.Jozy Altidore,

Unused substitutes: 1.Brad Guzan (GK), 22.Bill Hamid (GK), 7.Miguel Ibarra, 8.Jordan Morris, 10.Mix Diskerud, 11.Brek Shea, 14.Matt Miazga, 15.Kyle Beckerman, 19.Ventura Alvarado, 21.Alan Gordon.

Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

 

Referee: César Ramos (Mexico)

Man of the Match: Khaleem Hyland (Trinidad and Tobago)

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams (left) tips a crashing drive from US midfielder Jermaine Jones (centre) on to the bar. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams (left) tips a crashing drive from US midfielder Jermaine Jones (centre) on to the bar.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

2018 World Cup qualifiers

Group C

(Tuesday November 17)

Trinidad and Tobago 0, USA 0 at Port of Spain;

St Vincent and the Grenadines 0, Guatemala 4 (Stefano Cincotta 23, Mynor Lopez 32, Dennis Lopez 48, Gerson Tinoco 81) at Arnos Vale;

(Friday November 13)

Guatemala 1 (Carlos Mejia 90), Trinidad and Tobago 2 (Khaleem Hyland 67, Kenwyne Jones 80) at Guatemala City,

USA 6 (Bobby Wood 11, Fabian Johnson 29, Jozy Altidore 31, 74, Geoff Cameron 51, Gyasi Zardes 58), St Vincent and the Grenadines 1 (Oalex Anderson 5) at St Louis.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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166 comments

  1. T&T played as if we were playing in the US. Doe talk for the crowd………waste a time ………..for games like this they should allow the stadium to be filled by ordinary folks who are very passionate about soccer and their country and will support vociferously till the end……………..jus saying like everybody in T&T who is more coach than the real coach

  2. Klinsman still in shock!! I cannot imagine he has trained a team to be so aggressive and so full on drama queens…

  3. The team is starting to gel but its going to be tough

  4. Lasana

    I just got back to NY after enjoying what was one of the best displays by our Soca Warriors in years. I say this after traveling to this years Gold Cup victory over Mexico and loss to Panama. For me the team matched or excelled the USA most of the match but for a drop in form around the 73 minute which Hart promptly addressed. I see tremendous upside with this squad in CONCACAF, we have quality young players injured and others available for selection whereas the USA is right now playing some of its best players without a large pool unless they get citizenship for a couple UK and German players that Klinsman is eyeing.

    To me and some of the more knowledgeable can correct me but what I see is not just quality players but a group of unselfish players who believe(respect) their coach and are willing to sacrifice for each other. I had the honour of speaking with Warren “Laga” Archibald last year and he described team and the culture of the 1973 TnT CONCACAF Championship team and I sense that is what Hart is building here. This maybe a stretch, I was too young to know and I certainly don’t know the culture of the current squad but from the outside it sounds like what Archibald described.

    • Lasana Liburd

      I agree that the team is performing as well or even better than we could ask. And there seems to be an excellent team chemistry and attitude to the game.
      If there is anything I would ask for, it would be a bit more creative. I think T&T teams in the best always had a bit more flair. Not that it always served us well.
      To be fair, as you said, they are missing Kevin Molino, Hughtun Hector and possibly Ataulla Guerra too. And there are some young players knocking on the door like Aikim Andrews and, maybe a bit later, Duane Muckette, Kadeem Corbin and Levi Garcia.
      We are on the right path and the program deserves support.

  5. Reading all of the above gave me some great insight into how the game was played. Seems as though we put on a very good peformance, the team is starting to gel and Hart’s tatics are working. I forsee a bright future for TnT football. Sadly we didn’t get to see the match in Tobago. I was forced to listen on my Husband’s “me too ” phone as the bar we went to to watch the match got 5 minutes of play before losing the stream. Sigh! Was happy to see the crowd supportl though and we really missed out from all accounts. Nothing has changed since Nov 2005 Bahrain game when Jack herded us in like cattle in the stadium. When will we ever get it right?

  6. It was a good game; excellent , fluid set pieces from the guys, which really frustrated the US team, but they need to capitalize when they have possession. Their finishing should be a little more assertive and clinical which would produce more decisive shots. They read the game well and although their defense wasn’t airtight, it was solid. I must say that for me, the MVP player was # 14 Andre Boucaud…he had the midfield locked down and made it look so synchronized. I think Howard had more work cut out for him than Williams, but wasn’t too troubled (btw, it was awesome seeing him in real, he’s so foinnnne:-).
    I agree 100% with Carlos, it was disgusting and embarrassing at the same time, having to endure 40+ mins just to get in. We could do much better man..and I feel ashamed to see how run down the stadium is compared to other venues around the world. I’ve always said that the field should be a much better quality and a little painting and some advertising stands could go a long way to improve the esthetics. Have some pride nah TTFC!! Millions of people are viewing us. It’s definitely time for an upgrade. But all in all, proud of the guys.

    • Lasana Liburd

      Boucaud ran out of steam in the second half. But he did very well for the first hour or so. I cannot believe that he is playing for the bottom team in England League Two. That makes no sense.
      He should probably try to play on the continent like in France or Spain. I like him as a player.

  7. Good insight of the game Lasana Liburd especially as we didn’t get to see the match in Tobago. Sigh!

  8. From what was seen in first half T&T should’ve been at least two goals up ! T&T was lucky to get a draw. 😉

  9. we did let them off d hook. it almost cost us 2 points

  10. I agree, a change in the formation giving that offensive threat would be a great option and would add some dynamism to a team that has been traditionally offensive minded

  11. I think Molino is supposed to restart full training by January. But because of MLS schedule, he might not find rhythm til bout April or May.
    Until then he will be trying to find himself physically and mentally. But like Keith says, we can only guess.
    If the old Molino is ready, I won’t hesitate to stick him as number 10. He is a goal threat and links with Kenwyne well.
    That means one from Hyland, Boucaud and George has to go.
    Or Hart takes another stab at 4-3-3 and keeps the current midfield triangle with Joevin and Molino on either side of Kenwyne.

  12. Thanks for this Lasana… In our section by the players tunnel we had a lot of distractions… One man neglected to control his infant and when the youth was reprimanded by the police (after a warning to the parent I should add) the father physically assaulted the officer… Well I don’t have to say what happened next… Enter the Government boots. There were also some people who couldn’t hold their liquor… They were ejected too… I missed a good portion of the game because of those “Asses”… And here I was worried about ISIS

  13. ..All good questions and impossible to answer at this point. Depends on player fitness, availability, match strategy and tactics..

  14. How soon before Molino can make an impact on the team? Would it mess up the chemistry? Who will he replace? Lasana and others feel free to respond

  15. Great game. Question though….article states first sold out stadium since 2005, wasn’t it sold out for the last women warriors game against Ecuador?

  16. Cato is a Tale of Two Cities. He can be a menace to the opposition or a blessing to them.

  17. The players in the back did a much better job in possession which is key to how we hope to play…at this level your defenders must be good with the ball especially with teams dropping off and high pressing at times…coach Hart is getting the very best that he can from this group and its good to see that he has some potentially dangerous guys coming off the bench. Cesar could be a hand full for any wing back and I think we have wingers who are as good as anyone in CONCACAF – those guys must play well…when you have the resourses available to US team it’s an achievement to be able to match them at any level. Allot of their players are playing at very good clubs in Europe as well. Great result last night in the grand scheme of things.

    • I think you’re a little generous in the assessment of our wingers there Tony. They are definitely quick and work hard though.
      And things will improve when Hughtun Hector and Kevin Molino and possibly Ataulla Guerra are available next year. Maybe Levi Garcia and Rundell Winchester and Aikim Andrews too.
      Radanfah Abu Bakr and Sheldon Bateau have formed a really good partnership. And we still have Carlyle Mitchell, Yohance Marshall who have done well recently.

    • I think Jovein Jones has been very good for the team, very effective. And Cato has the ability to stretch teams with his pace…although they may not execute every time – they do present problems for wing backs…

    • Tony, come on man speed alone don’t cut it and you know it. Cato does not keep possession. I wish we had a stat to show how often he is dispossessed or makes a bad pass. I don’t rate him at all. Quite frankly I have no idea how he is still in the MLS.

    • Tony, you can’t really judge Joevin on one game because he isn’t always in the mood. But he is so talented and athletic that he is always good to have in the squad.
      I am in the middle ground between you two on Cato.
      I think he is a good hustler and he helps the squad. But I don’t think he is a threat to opposing teams yet. I would always have him around as an option. But I think Hughtun Hector would probably tie down that flank nicely.

    • As a squad man yes but the minutes he is getting is not deserved. Seeing that I am not all that familiar with the other options, perhaps he is all that we have. Although he has played enough for me to know he can’t be the best option on that flank.

    • But I agree that Joevin worries wing backs eh Anthony Sherwood. For sure. I hope he keeps trying to get behind them. Sometimes he is fired up and sometimes less so.
      Cato is by far the better option to Peltier now who looks physically in a bad place.
      Hope Lester takes care of his body if he wants to keep playing at this level. Soon, I think Levi Garcia would get a shot. But it will depend on how many practice games we get so that Hart has a no risk chance to bed him in.
      Hart is pretty conservative with his selections.

    • Banking on Molino’s return would be a mistake, his game is based on his excellent movement and with an injury of this nature it takes time to really get back up to speed. Allot will depend on how his body reacts when he is eventually cleared to play…the blessing is that he is doing his rehab in the best place possible. If anyone can get him back to where he was physically – its those guys at Orlando…Brent, as you know – pace is one of those things that you cannot teach – T&T’s wingers allow the team the ability to be dangerous on the counter. The more I see them play the more I realize that our approach is based on being very solid defensively and then being able to break very quickly. We would not be able to do that with slower more methodical players out wide…it’s one of the reasons I think Cato’s pace is important to the team, he may loose the ball a few times but he also has the ability to get behind wing backs and create problems. In fact, I believe he did just that against the US but his shot went just wide…that said, our assessments are based on the players currently available to the coach. We cyah talk about what we don’t have right now.

    • I do hope you’re wrong about Kevin Molino, Anthony Sherwood. I don’t think we can go all the way without a bit of guile and trickery in our XI.
      I think there is an alternative to breakaway pace. What about keeping Joevin on the left but then having a player like Hector on the right who can tuck in and overload the midfield and give us more passing options in there?
      Like how Beenhakker used to use Whitley off the left flank?
      Teams will get better at plotting for us and his raw speed will look limited sooner or later. If not already.

  18. I agree with Hart and Klinsman, for someone who barely managed to keep his job last night, is quite disingenuous. The only problem last night was the finishing, I really thought the Americans survived by the skin of their teeth for 65 minutes(at least three chances should have been put away last night) and the tiredness of our players in the middle of the second half. But these can be fixed. Our defense is the most astute and intelligent I have seen in years. Four years ago, some of Bradley’s crosses and passes would have split our defense in two . But he, for a big part of the game, was a virtual non-entity. If we can crush St Vincent, beat Guatemala and get a tie in the States, we will be in a very favorable position in the 5th round.

  19. He can be introverted on the field sometimes. But he is very gifted. He is a wonderful number 10 too, believe me!
    But his pace and crossing ability might keep him on the flank for now.
    Imagine he played most of his games for T&T at left back.

  20. J.Jones had my friends in the USA thinking some Brazilian , he’s highly skillful

  21. J.Jones look best player on the pitch , he needs to be in Europe

  22. Composure, composure and composure. Both teams lacked composure when it mattered most. I am quite thrilled with the play of Bocaud, Hyland and the two Jones.

  23. 1) I was happy to see the stadium filled after so many empty years. 2) Both teams would obviously have been happy with a draw, which keeps them firmly on the road to qualification for the final round. The draw piles political pressure on Klinsmann, however. And on USSF president Gulati, to fire him. 3) Our defensive performance was solid. We never let them do what they wanted – penetrate the flanks – our wing backs were very good. But we left much to be desired in attack as the team really lacks midfield inspiration and we lacked penetration, the more so as the game wore on. 4) Fitness is an issue. 5) USA is no longer the gold standard in CONCACAF and this was obviously our best opportunity to beat them in donkey years. Their team has stagnated under Klinsmann and they have lost several key players while the new generation is failing to replace them. For example, I have seen Zardes (9) many times now. He is hopeless. We failed to do it and, realistically, it will be MUCH harder in the final round..

    • I was told by a member of the US media that several of Klinsmann’s players don’t care for him too much. And who can blame them when he chops and changes so often? It looks as if he is guessing sometimes.
      I did think Zardes was more than a handful for Central FC though! Lol.
      It was a great opportunity to beat the US in truth.

    • But I actually thought our midfield three did very well. And Hyland made some astute passes and impersonated a playmaker pretty well.
      I would keep that trio until Kevin Molino is fit, barring an explosion of form and mental strength from Ataulla Guerra.

    • ..Yes. But I pine for the days of Latapy’s creativity…

    • An Aurtis Whitley would have done nicely too!

    • Keith Look Loy Agreed the USA team that was doing so well under Klinsmann circa 2012-2013 & peaked during world cup has declined. They have yet to find long term replacements for Dempsey, J Jones, Donovan, Beasely.

      Think it might have been a different game if Dempsey was playing instead of Zardes though.

      Although they were missing a few interesting players like Jon Brooks, Julian Green (youngest goal-scorer in W Cup history) and Aaron Johannsen, Bedoya, Zuzi

    • …Look, you clearly are familiar with the US team and players. Dempsey was their leading scorer in their dismal 2015 Gold Cup campaign and Klinsmann didn’t even bring him. Also, he may be the slowest player on any park but nobody keeps the US midfield ticking like Kyle Beckerman. He sat on the bench for the entirety of the match. Klinsmann also left Beasley out and he is far better – still – than any other left back Klinsmann could produce. The guy just guesses too much..

    • Beasely actually retired TBF. He only played in that recent CONCACAF match vs Mexico via Klinsmann request.

      But yea clearly USA media and fans on his case now & I was indeed surprised Beckerman didn’t start given the context of this game & that he didn’t bring Dempsey considering that Green and Johannsen are injured.

    • Jermaine Jones has a long career ahead of him still Colin. I don’t think Beckerman has ever been a regular for the US. I bet he would play regularly for almost any other team in CONCACAF. I think that is down to the style of their game.
      I’ve been a fan of his long before he even made his international debut. To leave out Clint Dempsey is hilarious.
      Jozy Altidore can’t trap a bag of cement. So where are the goals going to come for?
      I pray the US keep Klinsmann for as long as we have a chance of qualifying.

    • I really don’t understand the fuss! He got the US out of the group of death. Then they went on this winning streak. Lost a game in the gold cup to Jamaica and people go crazy. The sad thing is their isn’t much coming up right now for the US. Actually I will say all the over the world, it seems as though the standard of play has dropped. Managers are a lot more cagey! They are afraid to take risk. So long are the days for creative midfielders. Those players are stuck out wide. Creative players are stuck out wide. Where if the lose the ball it’s not in the middle. So look who plays center mid in that game for both teams, all defensive mids.

    • Jermaine jones and Bradley are not creative players that can create deadly chances. But they do help nullify other center mids. Same with all 3 of Trinidad center mids.

    • ..Klinsmann’s USA did more than lose a game to Jamaica. They stumbled their way to 4th place in a tournament played at home, and on the efforts of Guzan and Dempsey. They were hopeless..

    • Well yes ha Lasana Liburd regarding Jones since he is 34, I guess I mean’T more he has no young competition for his place – him/Bradley look set to be US first choice mid-field pairing possibly until 2018 – since he certainly doesn’t like a 34 year old on his last legs.

      I just thought he would play more of a 4-1-4-1 and let Beckerman play as DM behind Bradley/Jones.

    • Yea but we both know 3rd and 4th is a glorified friendly.

    • ..Not to Panama. Lol. I was there..

    • Collin the guy they brought into the midfield that push Bradley higher. And moved Fabian johnson to left back has potential. Hart triggered that moved because he brilliantly moved joervin jones to the right and what you think was the outcome. Left back was off in 10 minutes of the switch.

    • ..But that underlines Klinsmann’s foolishness. Johnson was his starting left back in the GC and played well. Why tinker???

    • Ye i remember that play – in a lot of ways the best part of the match was seeing Hart & Klinsmann tactical sub moves

    • Kenwyne Jones would have battered Beckerman. Jermaine Jones was the only guy that could have played that midfield anchor role. Beckerman would have had to play higher.

    • I understand USA started with four central defenders across the back four. So Klinsmann must have had something in mind there I guess.

    • Disagree. Beckerman would not have been responsible for Jones (who ran out of steam anyway)..

    • Keith Look Loy, I thought the US realised fairly early that their central defenders couldn’t cope with Kenwyne from goal kicks and long punts. So Jermaine dropped back like a fifth defender and watched him thereafter.
      Colin says he felt Beckerman should have played where Jermaine Jones was. And I don’t think Beckerman would have been able to help out his defenders in the same way against Kenwyne.

    • ..Well, it’s all speculation. I am interested to see what happens next with that side. And ours. We don’t play until late March 2016..

    • Tactical chest match! Name of the game. I may have kept him on the right

    • Look. If i were Klinsmann I would give Beasley ANYTHING he wants to continue playing..

    • Ye fair point point Bird on Beckerman having to deal with Kenwyne if he played in suggested 4-1-4-1 set-up. Well i guess a more 4-2-3-1 may have suited with Bradley further foward