USMNT's scoreless draw in Trinidad and Tobago a positive sign moving forward
By Daniel Rubens
There’s a small segment of the U.S. Men’s National Team fanbase that will be upset following Tuesday’s scoreless tie at Trinidad and Tobago. That group is wrong to be disappointed. In truth, the Americans earned a valuable and, ultimately, very good point with the draw in Port of Spain.
The USMNT was always facing an uphill battle Tuesday. A loss would have looked really bad to the fans back home, particularly after a lengthy cold spell that Jurgen Klinsmann has had to navigate through. A win wouldn’t have done a whole lot for the supporters, as most felt this was a game the U.S. should have been expected to win. But it wasn’t. This was always going to be the most difficult game of this round of qualifying for the Americans, and they dealt with a tough matchup quite well.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing. The first half was dominated by Trinidad and Tobago, with the Soca Warriors controlling play and earning the majority of chances. Tim Howard was tested a few times, and the back line wasn’t exactly in sync through a tough opening 45 minutes.
But the Americans held firm. It was far from pretty, but when the teams left the field after the first half, the 0-0 scoreline was a major positive for the USMNT. The fact that they were able to hold onto a draw into the locker room was something good to take away from what was otherwise a difficult half of football, and it gave Klinsmann more than a few talking points to try and spark his team for the second half.
That happened. The Americans came out of the break on fire, with Gyasi Zardes hammering the crossbar in the early stages of the second half. As the Americans slowly started to take control of the contest, they began to get the better of the chances. Jermaine Jones smacked the post, and substitutes Bobby Wood and Darlington Nagbe added a bit more impetus to the USMNT’s attack. They weren’t quite able to break through a sturdy Trinidadian defense, but the signs of improvement were there.
While they won’t be too happy with a scoreless draw, the Americans also won’t be disappointed with one. This was a difficult matchup against a team that was always going to come out with a point to prove. By holding one of CONCACAF’s better teams to a road draw in a game the opposition desperately wanted to win, the USMNT showed off its backbone. It’s not something they’ve displayed often in the past year, but it’s certainly something they’ll have to use in the coming months. And, in that regard, Tuesday should be viewed as a successful night for the USMNT.