2018 World Cup Qualifying, Featured, October 2017, USMNT

Trinidad and Tobago defeat USA 2-1, Eliminate USA from 2018 FIFA World Cup

The United States warm-up before a decisive World Cup qualifier in Trinidad and Tobago Tuesday night. The Americans would lose, 2-1, and be eliminated from the World Cup.

Neil W. Blackmon

Trinidad and Tobago scored two first-half goals, an own goal from US defender Omar Gonzalez and the below wonder strike by Alvin Jones, and held on to defeat the United States 2-1 Tuesday night at Ato Bolden Stadium in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago. Jones’s goal was the first of his international career.

Christian Pulisic pulled one back for the Americans in the opening five minutes of the second half, and Clint Dempsey hit a post a short time later, but the US ultimately couldn’t find an equalizer over the next 43 minutes and stoppage time, stifled by a compact Soca Warrior defense and some capable goalkeeping by Trinidad and Tobago’s Adrian Foncette.

In the end, the US lost to what was certainly the better team at Ato Bolden Stadium Tuesday night. The Americans simply played terribly in the most important game of the cycle, and looked very much like a team that, as Bruce Arena admitted last Thursday, “hadn’t thought about or looked at Trinidad and Tobago at all.”

While all the talk Monday focused on a manufactured dispute about a flooded, muddy Ato Bolden pitch and potential for bad weather, the reality is the US were just outplayed, outhustled and outcoached.

And now, thanks to Panama’s 2-1 win over Costa Rica and Honduras’s 3-2 victory over Mexico, they are also out of the 2018 World Cup.

Much more on this surreal, surprising and crushing night for US Soccer shortly.

Neil W. Blackmon