The USA's Matt Besler (white jersey) in World Cup Qualifying action at Trinidad & Tobago on November 17, 2015, in Port of Spain. (Photo: Caribbean Action Images)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – A four-point haul from its first two matches in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup might not have been a perfect start, but it was good enough for the United States.
The Americans find themselves atop the fourth-round, Group C standings on goal difference ahead of Trinidad & Tobago, while Guatemala sits third with three points. St. Vincent & the Grenadines is last with no points.
A 6-1 win over the visiting Vincentians on Friday was followed by a scoreless draw at T&T.
“These games are always the same," said midfielder Michael Bradley after Tuesday’s stalemate. "You know that they’re going to be hard games, that they’re not always going to be pretty – the conditions, the field. If you’re able on the day to take your chance, then obviously the result can look different and you can come away with three points. If you don’t take your chance, it’s vital that you’re defensively solid and, at worst, come away with a 0-0 draw.
“In those ways, I thought it was a professional performance."
The visitor’s best scoring chances at Hasely Stadium came in the second half, when Gyasi Zardes and Jermaine Jones hit the crossbar. Trinidad had a few good looks at the goal, but didn't severely test U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was making his first appearance in a competitive international since a round of 16 match against Belgium at Brazil 2014.
“We got unlucky," center-back Geoff Cameron commented on the woodwork rattling efforts. "It’s still a great point on the road."
The USA will return to WCQ action next year with a pair of encounters against Guatemala (March 25, away; March 29, home)
"We want to go into Guatemala and get the three points and then beat them at home and make it clear that we finished the group as the No. 1 team," stressed head coach Jürgen Klinsmann. "We know that it’s not easy in any place going away in CONCACAF, but our goal here is to make a huge step in March with six points and then go through this group."