How will Bruce Arena line up the USMNT vs. T&T?
Here we go.
Or, given the hilarious and scary state of partially underwater Ato Boldon Stadium ahead of Tuesday’s massive World Cup qualifier between the USMNT and Trinidad and Tobago, perhaps we need to use the Heath Ledger as Joker voice.
And. Here. We. Go.
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The United States men’s national team can feel pretty good about its chances to advance to the 2018 World Cup after thumping Panama 4-0 on Friday, but now turn to a probably soggy pitch surrounded by a
track possible moat to clinch.
We’ve gone over the scenarios to clinch a spot, but a win is the most straight-forward way and T&T is the bottom team in the Hex. Even given the USMNT’s penchant for playing down to competition on the road, life feels sunny for the Yanks (or at least much sunnier than Friday at about 6:29 p.m. ET).
There are questions for the U.S., including how Christian Pulisic’s bruised calf has healed and whether Bruce Arena will rotate any of his full backs after three of the four had interesting at best matches against Panama (DeAndre Yedlin was quite good).
Arena was able to remove Pulisic and Jozy Altidore early thanks to the Americans’ strong start, and both will start should the phenom’s leg live in good standing (and running).
It feels likely Arena will turn to the same crew again, however. If he was willing to omit Geoff Cameron from the Panama visit, then he’s likely more confident in Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler than the Stoke City mainstay (I don’t get it, either, but I’m editorializing).
So, we predict, it’s going to look exactly the same should Pulisic come through unscathed.
Yedlin -- Gonzalez -- Besler -- Villafana
Arriola -- Pulisic -- Nagbe
Altidore -- Wood
Now should Arena change anything, it seems like we’d see Cameron next to Gonzalez as he doubles down with size in the middle. Perhaps Alejandro Bedoya enters for Nagbe, and if it could be a rare start for Clint Dempsey.