The US Men’s National Soccer Team will begin their bid for CONCACAF Nations League A success, as they face Trinidad & Tobago in the quarter-finals at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas (9pm ET Thursday). Can the hosts earn themselves a first-leg lead before traveling overseas? Or will they leave themselves work to do? This USMNT vs Trinidad & Tobago preview, with betting predictions and picks, aims to answer that.
The USA men’s team picked themselves up and dusted themselves down ahead of their friendly international against Ghana and in doing so they readied themselves to deliver what was a solid effort. Greg Berhalter’s men were fast out of the gates, scoring inside ten minutes through Gio Reyna, before Christian Pulisic doubled their lead just nine minutes later. Before the first half was done, two more Team USA goals went in via new boy Folarin Balogun and Reyna again. All in all, it was a commanding performance, one that showcased what the U.S. can do offensively. The question is can they continue moving forward?
As for Trinidad & Tobago, the Caribbean side comes here off the back of a disappointing defeat last time out. Sure, they have made it this far, but they go into this game after losing their group game and they didn’t just lose. They lost and conceded five goals in the process against Curacao. That has been the theme of late too, conceding goal after goal, which ahead of a game against USMNT is a real worry.
USA shifting through the gears against lesser opposition
Sure, we saw Berhalter’s USA men come up short against the Germans recently, but they still enjoyed moments of promise in that fixture, scoring and avoiding a real hammering.
Against lesser teams, USMNT have started to do what is expected of them on a regular basis and have done so by impressing in the final third. They made light work of beating an Uzbekistan team in September that had been in defiant mood for a while, scoring three goals in the process. They went on to notch four against Oman. On that occasion, both Brendan Aaronson and Ricardo Pepi impressed. Since then, they have smashed in four against a Ghana side that we would have to rate above Thursday’s opposition. At least that is the case according to FIFA rankings, which bodes well.
The recent inclusion of Folarin Balogun, who pledged his international allegiances to the USA having played at youth level for England, has seemingly given the team a boost offensively. Gio Reyna has always had the potential to be a match winner for the US. Now fit again, the 21-year-old Borussia Dortmund player can become one of Berhalter’s key men.
Visitors Trinidad & Tobago lacking at both ends
In recent times, we’ve seen this Trinidad team hurt some of their opponents, and they must be commended for doing so. They certainly offered a threat against Curacao last time out, while they have recently scored three goals against both Guatemala and El Salvador. However, their pleasing run could come to an end here. Let’s face it, this is a rather sizable step up.
It was only four months ago that these teams met at the Gold Cup. On that occasion, there was a real chasm in class. The US bettered their opponents in every area, so it is hard to envisage Thursday’s visitors making any real headway here. They failed to score in that game and simply could not handle the pace, power and forward thrust of the likes of Jesus Ferreira and Caden Cowell.
USA’s fixture to lose
In recent renewals of this fixture, the U.S. have been able to flex their offensive muscles, which would suggest that this is very much the home team’s fixture to lose. When the teams last met, just four months ago, Thursday’s hosts scored six goals without reply, while they have now won each of their last three against Trinidad & Tobago by score lines of 6-0. 7-0 and 6-0. Interestingly, the visitors have never won on American soil, while they have not scored a goal against the USA away from the comforts of home since 1996.
Hosts USMNT to enjoy themselves once again
This must go down as a huge opportunity for the stateside players to really enjoy themselves offensively. It is also a huge opportunity to make sure that this tie is done and dusted before the second leg begins.
From a wagering point of view with the top USA betting sites, there are two angles of attack that stand out at the available odds. Firstly, ‘USA -1.5 First Half Spread’ is worth a go at +105. When the teams met at that Gold Cup back in July, the USMNT raced into a 3-0 lead at the break, and after their flying start last time out, they can be fancied to start well once again. This also would not be the first time that a Trinidad & Tobago fixture contained first half goals. They were 2-0 down against Curacao at half-time last time out, while they also went two goals down against Guatemala during the first half prior to that.
In addition to backing the hosts to make plenty of first-half headway, betting on this game to contain at least five goals is hard to resist. Berhalter’s team comes here with lots of key offensive players in form, while they have that relatively recent effort against this opposition to draw upon. Don’t be surprised if they score another six in this game. After all, the visitors have been conceding lots of goals against far worse teams. So for the predictions and betting picks for this USMNT vs Trinidad & Tobago preview, we rely on these two: