Not Out of the Woods Yet, USA Still Has Work to Do In Order to Qualify
After surviving a scare against El Salvador, in which the US appeared at times to be the team who shocked Spain in July and at other times the inconsistent team who crashed out of Germany '06, the US now face Trinidad & Tobago who is another team that qualified for Germany in '06, but are highly unlikely to qualify for South Africa as they stand on just five points and would need to win their last three games to have a chance.
Nevertheless, the US cannot overlook the bottom-dwelling island nation.
T&T may just be a shell of the '06 squad that qualified with only two players having double digit appearances for the Soca Warriors, but the addition of Jlloyd Samuel of Bolton and Bobby Zamora of Fulham add some talent to this squad. (Zamora is on the roster, but may not play on Wednesday.) They also still have Cornell Glen, the forward for the San Jose Earthquakes, and Kenwyne Jones, the Sunderland forward.
Those two may pose a threat to the USA back four which at times appeared sketchy at best, but the US will benefit from Onyewu's return as he will bring the stability to the defense that a good center back brings. The US will need a much better performance from the left back spot where against El Salvador Bornstein's terrible clearance led to the El Salvador goal.
In the midfield, a better effort is required from Dempsey who at times got over technical leading to turnovers, but he did atone by scoring the equaliser but should've scored a second on a 1 v. 1 with the goalie in the second half. Bradley and Feilhaber were decent. Bradley made himself more of a threat with his long range efforts. Feilhaber didn't do anything good nor bad. As for Donovan, he atoned for a sloppy first half free-kick by playing another superb game.
Up front, the stanky legs were superb again although Davies coming off injured in the second half is cause for concern, but his usual high octane, aggressive play helped spark the US come back especially after the El Salvador goal as he almost scored while being closely marked by two men in the area.
Altidore played well too with a superb finish for the game-winner although he was not marked. His technical play and football sense have improved quickly and will continue to improve provided Phil Brown gives him good playing time at Hull City and he should be under good hands with former Celtic and Dutch striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink recently signing for the Tigers.
Lastly, Tim Howard did well to direct the defense, but part of the blame for the first goal goes to him as he had went off his line and guessed far post only to be fooled as the header went out of his reach. All-in-all he did his job.
For Wednesday the US just needs slight improvements in the midfield and a new leftback or a much better Bornstein to ensure victory.
Prediction: USA 2 T&T 1
Back four will give one up just to raise everyone's heart rate.
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