Trinidad And Tobago

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USMNT learns Gold Cup group stage opponents

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The United States men’s national team gets its a formal chance to take a measure of vengeance against the two teams which knocked it out of the last round of World Cup qualifying.

Trinidad and Tobago, of course, is the nation whose B-teamers beat the USMNT in Couva, allowing Panama to clinch a World Cup berth via a ghost goal.

[ MORE: UCL summations for each quarterfinalist ]

The Yanks will also meet Guyana in the first Group D match, which will be June 18 at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota.

It’ll be T&T versus the U.S. in Cleveland four days later, before the Yanks wrap up group play with Panama in Kansas City on June 26.

That’s about the only good news, as the Yanks are in arguably the toughest group of the bunch (though they should surely advance to the knockout rounds as a top seed).

Group C is also tough, with El Salvador joining Jamaica, Honduras, and Curacao.

Group B sees Costa Rica drawn with Haiti, Nicaragua, and Bermuda.

Group A is a great draw for Mexico and Canada, who will have to get past Martinique and Cuba.

Sources: FC Motown to sign former Trinidad international Julius James

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FC Motown has been busy in 2018, adding notable names like Dilly Duka and Hunter Freeman into the fold ahead of their inaugural NPSL season, and the club isn’t done just yet.

Pro Soccer Talk has learned that the New Jersey-based club has signed former Trinidad & Tobago international Julius James, who last played in 2017 with USL side Sacramento Republic FC.

James, 33, made 16 appearances for the Soca Warriors from 2008 to 2011 and has played for a number of clubs throughout the United States during his professional career.

The University of Connecticut product featured for various MLS teams, including Toronto FC, the Houston Dynamo, D.C. United and Columbus Crew, prior to ending up in NPSL in 2018.

Motown will begin its run of competitive matches on Wednesday, as manager Sacir Hot and Co. host the New York Red Bulls Under-23 side in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Drew University’s Ranger Stadium.

Player ratings: USMNT’s World Cup dreams are dead

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The U.S. national team has been eliminated from contention for the 2018 World Cup. It’s a dark night in the history of American soccer, one that will surely cost this sport in this country a healthy heaping of momentum.

These are the men, along with Bruce Arena, Jurgen Klinsmann and Sunil Gulati, who will bear the brunt of the backlash over the coming days, weeks, months and years…

[ MORE: Three things we learned | Arena: “No excuses. We failed.” ]

GK — Tim Howard: 2 — We’ve known all along that Howard would be 39 when the next World Cup rolls around, yet very little has been done to usher in his replacement. Even Brad Guzan, admittedly largely through fault of his own, has been cast aside in favor of a 36-, 37- and now 38-year-old Howard. He showed his age like never before in the first half.

RB — DeAndre Yedlin: 5 — Yedlin was the USMNT’s lone danger man in the first half, as he bombed forward and caused problem’s for T&T, but the final ball was ultimately lacking in quality. His goal-line clearance early in the second half kept the score 2-1.

CB — Omar Gonzalez: 3 — His early own goal aside, Gonzalez was a colossal disaster for the second straight game. Geoff Cameron clearly wasn’t fit enough to go in either of these two games, and while that’s understandable, it’s equally frightening to consider Gonzalez will be one minor injury away from starting games with such consequence.

CB — Matt Besler: 4 — Here’s a snippet of what I wrote about Besler on Friday: Didn’t struggle as badly as Gonzalez, mostly because he’s more accustomed to playing in open space, but playing alongside Gonzalez really highlights his most problematic deficiency: a minor lack of pace and athleticism. Yup.

LB — Jorge Villafaña: 5 — Hey, now we’ve got almost five full years to find the left back of the future.

[ RECAP: USMNT eliminated from World Cup contention ]

CM — Michael Bradley: 5 — No man can play the entire central midfield on his own, but here we are, asking Bradley to do it again and again and again.

CM — Paul Arriola: 5 — Arriola’s role in this midfield is to win second balls, and harass and harry when he fails to win second balls. He did neither in this game, and he was understandably sacrificed at halftime.

CM — Darlington Nagbe: 4 —It was Nagbe who was criminally out of position in the build-up to T&T’s second goal, giving Alvin Jones an uncontested 30-yard buffer in midfield. Nagbe’s inclusion as a central midfielder is warranted when the USMNT has plenty of meaningful possession, but in a game like this one where it’s disjointed and all about the second ball, he’s kind of just… out there.

CM — Christian Pulisic: 6 — His early second-half goal brought the USMNT back into the game, but that was it from the wonderkid on Tuesday. T&T forced him deeper and deeper — often times 20 and 30 and 40 yards inside his own half — just to get on the ball. There’s not a whole lot he’s going to do for you back there.

[ VIDEO: Gonzalez’s early own goal | Howard caught napping ]

FW — Jozy Altidore: 4 — Pulisic being forced deeper and deeper has a knock-on effect for Altidore, who then must drop deeper and deeper to find the ball himself. He’s a playmaker and a good link in the hole, but what’s there to link inside the center circle when your no. 10 is far deeper himself?

FW — Bobby Wood: 4 — Just as there’s a knock-on effect between Pulisic and Altidore, there also exists one between Altidore and Wood, who relies on Altidore circulating the ball in dangerous areas to make his own channel runs useful. Without that meaningful possession and passing from Altidore, Wood is left to do a whole lot of standing around.

SUB — Clint Dempsey: 5.5 — Dempsey was less a tactical change, and more a “please just go make something happen” halftime sub. He took up unexpected spots in the final third, which caused a few problems, and hit the post with 15 minutes to go, but that was about it.

SUB —Kellyn Acosta: 5 — Brought on for Villafaña, Acosta essentially played alongside Bradley and left the defense in a back-three setup. Why Dax McCarty, the man who so successfully partnered Bradley late in the game on Friday, wasn’t brought on instead is known by Arena and only Arena.

SUB —Benny Feilhaber: N/A — Brought on six minutes from the end of regular time, Feilhaber had insufficient time to make an impact.

Please save us, Mexico! USMNT 2-0 down to T&T at HT

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The U.S. national team’s already-no-good night has gone from bad to worse.

[ MORE: 3rd? 4th? 5th? USMNT scenarios on the final day of WCQ ]

Down a goal after 17 minutes (thanks to an Omar Gonzalez own goal — WATCH HERE), Bruce Arena’s side now finds itself 2-0 down to Trinidad & Tobago with just 45 minutes remaining in which they control their own 2018 World Cup destiny.

[ MORE: Gonzalez’s own goal puts USMNT down early ]

Eight minutes before halftime, Alvin Jones unleashed a thunderbolt from all of 35 yards out, catching Tim Howard in no man’s land and slow to react. At this point, it’s all in Mexico and/or Costa Rica’s hands.

Trouble brewing: USMNT trails T&T after early Omar OG (video)

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All the U.S. national team had to do to officially qualify for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday was to avoid falling flat on its collective face.

[ MORE: 3rd? 4th? 5th? USMNT scenarios on the final day of WCQ ]

Through 30 minutes of Bruce Arena’s side’s Hexagonal finale, it’s not gone according to plan. After failing to control the game through possession whatsoever, the USMNT went a goal down when Omar Gonzalez looped the ball high over the head of Tim Howard and into the back of the Yanks’ goal in the 17th minute.

[ MORE: Player ratings from USA 4-0 PanamaThree things we learned ]

Gonzalez looked lost on the botched clearance, but Howard has never before shown his age so severely… or so costly.