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Three things we learned from the USMNT’s controlling defeat of Trinidad and Tobago

Christian Pulisic, Andre Boucaud

United States’ Christian Pulisic (10) tries to moves the ball around Trinidad & Tobago’s Andre Boucaud (14) during the first half of a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying soccer match, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


The United States men’s national team got the job done, and then some.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s troops bashed Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 in Jacksonville on Tuesday, powered by young playmaker Christian Pulisic and a pair of goals from Jozy Altidore.

[ MORE: Match recap | Player ratings ]

Paul Arriola also scored, and Sacha Kljestan got the whole thing started with the first half’s lone goal.

But what did we glean from the win? Read on...

1) Christian Pulisic’s star power is solar -- I’m sure at some point it could get tedious to marvel at his skills, but we aren’t there yet. Even when the soon-to-be 18-year-old gave the ball away on the edge of the T&T 18, he ripped it back with style. And, to boot, when he missed a 30th minute shot off posts, you’d be forgiven for wondering why even his misses have a bit of unintentional artistry to them.

Pulisic is a freak show: intelligent, crafty, quick, nimble. I’m honestly unsure we’ve ever seen a player at his age look this good in a U.S. shirt. Lots of respect to Landon Donovan, but at this point it’s the only comparison worth considering. And if Pulisic has a career on the level of Donovan, well, that’s pretty, pretty, pretty cool.

2) Tim Howard should be your starting goalkeeper -- Look, I have nothing against Brad Guzan at all. As an American, I’m happy to have a second-string goalkeeper playing his club ball at the Premier League level.

But Tim Howard is perhaps the best goalkeeper in an incredibly deep pool of candidates for top honors in American history. Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller were outstanding, so let’s chatter about this some time.

Yes, Howard is 37 to Guzan’s 31. Yes, Howard will be 39 when the first ball is struck in Russia. Unless John Brooks and Geoff Cameron feel strongly in the opposite direction, gimme Timmy.

3) Mexico is next -- No, this isn’t about Tuesday’s win directly, only that the three points means the U.S. will face Mexico in the first game of the Hex. That’ll be on Nov. 11, and likely in Columbus. As someone who’s been to this game with the fans in the stands, find a way to get tickets and get to Ohio.

Let’s start this party right. #DosACero?

Follow @NicholasMendola