USA World Cup Qualifying Underway

zardes and yedlin

The United States recently began their road to the 2018 World Cup. USA are looking to get revenge in the next World Cup after a disappointing Gold Cup and 2014 World Cup after being eliminated in extra time in the round of 16 against Belgium. The groups for the fourth round of qualifying have been decided and the United States are in a group with Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The United States were in terrible form going into their first match against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, with their last win before this match coming on September 4th against Peru.

The United States got off to a great start in their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 6-1 win against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. USA found themselves 1-0 down after just five minutes, but soon rallied back and were 3-1 up at half time with Bobby Wood, Fabian Johnson and Jozy Altidore scoring the goals. The United States kept up their momentum in the second half and convincingly won the game 6-1 with Geoff Cameron, Gyasi Zardes and Jozy Altidore providing the goals in the second half. This game may have been an “easy” win, but it was crucial for the United States to get momentum going into the rest of the World Cup qualifying.

After a 6-1 demolition against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the United States’ next game was against Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago were also in good form coming into the game after a 2-1 win against Guatemala. United States had a very similar team to the one in their previous game, apart from one big change with Tim Howard replacing Brad Guzan as goalkeeper. Tim Howard has had very little game time for the United States in 2015, so this was a huge test to see how he would perform.  Trinidad and Tobago dominated the first half of the game but failed to score. USA came back in the second half and produced some chances of their own, but they too were unable to capitalize. The game ended in a 0-0 draw with Tim Howard getting an extremely important clean sheet. This was a great result for Tim Howard, but not good for the United States as a whole. This draw now puts the United States level on points with Trinidad and Tobago, and only one point ahead of Guatemala. Jurgen Klinsmann now is under even more pressure to get a win in the United States’ next game.

The United States must wait over 3 months to play another qualification game, giving Jurgen Klinsmann a lot of time to decide on his roster. USA will have a chance to get back on a winning streak with their next game away at Guatemala on March 25, 2016. This is an extremely important game for the United States to win to give themselves a cushion moving forward in qualifying, and for Jurgen Klinsmann to prove that he is still the right man for the job.

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