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The odds for USMNT vs Trinidad & Tobago have been provided by the FanDuel Sportsbook, where you can get a $1000 no-sweat first bet.
The Americans should come out on top in this one.
The USMNT still have work to do. A 6-0 thrashing of St Kitts & Nevis in their second fixture at CONCACAF Gold Cup 2023 was welcome, coming as it did after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Jamaica on matchday one. But the hosts are not through to the knockout phase just yet.
A tally of four points from six is respectable enough and the USA do not even need to beat Trinidad & Tobago in order to make it out of Group A. But a defeat on Sunday would spell the end of their participation in the tournament. Make no mistake: the stakes are high.
Things could easily have been worse, however. In some respects the USA were fortunate to pick up a point against Jamaica in their opening encounter. Leon Bailey missed a penalty that would have doubled the Reggae Boyz’s lead, before Brandon Vazquez notched a late equalizer.
When you look only at the two starting XIs on display that evening, a draw seems like a good result for the USA, who have not selected most of their best players in their Gold Cup roster. Jamaica’s team, by contrast, contained several regular starters in England’s Premier League.
It was important that the USMNT bounced back with a handsome win against St Kitts & Nevis, one of the competition’s minnows. That is exactly what they did, running out 6-0 winners at CityPark in St Louis, Missouri.
The points were secured within the first 16 minutes, during which time BJ Callaghan’s men scored three times. But there is no doubt that stiffer tests lie ahead, starting with this crunch clash with Trinidad & Tobago.
Beating St Kitts & Nevis by six clear goals is better than par for the course, but not by a great deal. Still, the hope is that such a convincing triumph has boosted confidence within the camp going into what is a pivotal weekend, with both Group A and Group B reaching a conclusion.
Trinidad & Tobago trail the USMNT and Jamaica by a point heading into the final rounds of fixtures. With the Reggae Boyz expected to beat St Kitts & Nevis without too much difficulty, a draw would not be enough for the Soca Warriors to avoid a group stage exit.
That is largely owing to the 4-1 defeat by Jamaica they suffered last time out - quite the downer following Trinidad & Tobago’s 3-0 victory over St Kitts & Nevis.
The outcome against Jamaica was a hugely disappointing one for Ange Eve’s outfit, who were 3-0 down - and essentially out - within half an hour of kick-off at the aforementioned CityPark.
Trinidad & Tobago’s squad does not contain a comparable level of talent to Jamaica’s, with the latter having put its diaspora to excellent use over the last couple of years. Note how Trinidad & Tobago’s key players ply their trade in Major League Soccer rather than the Premier League.
There has been little for the country’s soccer fans to cheer of late. Trinidad & Tobago were knocked out in the group phase of the 2019 and 2021 Gold Cups, and they did not even qualify for the 2017 edition.
The 2019/20 Nations League saw them relegated from League A, and they failed to finish top of their League B group in the most recent version of CONCACAF’s new tournament (although they did win promotion through the back door after Nicaragua were disqualified).
The year 2006, when Trinidad & Tobago qualified for the World Cup, seems a long time ago now.
Reaching the quarter-finals is the priority for the USMNT this weekend. But they would prefer to advance as Group A winners than Group A runners-up: finishing second would probably bring about a meeting with Mexico in the first knockout round.
It could ultimately come down to goal difference. As things stand the USA lead by three. But a 1-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago, for example, would not be enough for the hosts to finish top if Jamaica were to beat St Kitts & Nevis 5-0. That is far from impossible.
The situation at the top of the group may encourage the USA to go on the attack more than usual. They should not go gung-ho from minute one, of course, but they do have an incentive to push for more goals if they are, say, 2-0 up after an hour.
That is why the USMNT to win both halves is an appealing proposition. The odds are decent compared to other wagers that one might ordinarily consider, and as we have mentioned the American team has an incentive to keep its foot on the accelerator throughout.
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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