October 6 and 10 could very well define our 2018 without having even celebrated the turning of the new year. Matches against Panama in Orlando and Trinidad & Tobago in Couva will decide the USMNT’s fate with regards to the world’s biggest sporting event. For those that like to measure the time between their birth and death with the probabilities of how many more World Cups they’ll be able to enjoy, failure to take anything less than four points could prove catastrophic.
The final match in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s quest for a World Cup berth will be played in a 10,000-seat stadium. Trinidad & Tobago announced Friday it would host the Americans at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva instead of the nation’s normal ground in Port of Spain. The match will be played Oct. 10.
Alexi Lalas brought it up; we’re here to answer it. Is Tim Howard still the right man in goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team?
Three years ago Tim Howard was the meme king of the World Cup, dual-handedly keeping Belgium at bay for 90 minutes while his USMNT teammates flailed around defensively. Howard made a World Cup record 15 saves that day, ultimately allowing two goals in extra time in a 2-1 loss that would have been a 1-0 win had Chris Wondolowski been able to put a shot on target from six yards out.
With “El Tri” officially qualified to the World Cup, will we see a full-strength Mexican starting lineup facing Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras in October? Or will Osorio make the kind of wild, unexpected and at times outright illogical lineup changes he has gotten us used to?
With only two more matches to be played, Mexico aim at securing the first place in the qualifiers and don't have much to lose. For the rest of the teams, however, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Move aside Sydney Leroux and Dom Dwyer, Jozy Altidore and Sloane Stephens are the new hot couple in American sports.
The two childhood friends have reportedly been dating for at least a couple months and both had big wins on Saturday. Stephens won her first grand slam by taking down Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 in the U.S. Open. Altidore scored a brace in Toronto FC’s 4-0 victory over San Jose.
The United States came into this international break hoping to get at least four points, maybe all six from two matches against Costa Rica and Honduras in World Cup qualifying. You wouldn’t blame the Americans for their confidence, coming into the break with a 14-match unbeaten streak. That confidence is in tatters now thanks to some USMNT defensive struggles, which proved to be contagious for the rest of the team.
Booby Wood, on as a 73rd minute substitute for Darlington Nagbe, salvaged a point for the USMNT against Honduras by scoring his nation’s lone goal in the 85th minute. It took a superbly struck Kellyn Acosta free kick to trouble the staunch Honduran defense, and Wood was on hand to keep the U.S. in the automatic qualifying places — at least for now.
A Panama victory over Trinidad and Tobago later tonight would see the U.S. drop to fourth in the Hex, the spot that necessitates a dreaded inter-confederation playoff with Asia to determine who advances to Russia.
The United States hadn’t lost in 14 matches since November. Then Costa Rica put a New Jersey beat down on the Yanks at Red Bull Arena, winning 2-0 in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on Friday evening.
Costa Rica pressed, harassed and fought its way to a deserved win that all but assures Los Ticos a spot in next summer’s World Cup. The USMNT played like they did when they got Jurgen Klinsmann fired in November.