RICH FIDLER - Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The United States went to Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday night and escaped with a one goal victory and the full three points thanks to a spectacular second half strike from Ricardo Clark.

Head coach Bob Bradley only made two changes from the starting eleven that beat El Salvador 2-1 on Saturday evening. Defender Oguchi Onyewu returned from his yellow card suspension to replace Chad Marshall while Aarhus' Benny Feilhaber was replaced in the midfield by Clark.

The home team nearly put the first goal on the score board in the 27th minute but goalkeeper Tim Howard came up with the save after Kenwyne Jones powerful header over Gooch was stopped on the doorstop.

San Jose Earthquake striker Cornell Glenn chipped Howard two minutes later after turning captain Carlos Bocanegra but his shot bounced off the crossbar.

Trinidad continued to push forward with the better opportunities, and Howard once again had to come to the rescue in the 37th minute. A free-kick from Trent Noel cleared the wall and forced Howard to dive to his right to save the shot destined for the back of the net, though the free kick would not have counted since it was indirect.

The US nearly scored in stoppage time when Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan played a fantastic "one-two" before Donovan's left-footed strike from inside the penalty area was saved by 'keeper Clayton Ince.

The US would score in the 62nd minute when Donovan played a ball to Clark 25 yards from goal. The Houston Dynamo midfielder took one touch to the top of the arc and slammed the ball past Ince with the outside of his right foot.

Immediately after the goal Bradley went to the bench and brought in Feilhaber for Altidore, pushing Clint Dempsey up top with Charlie Davies. Just 13 minutes later Brian Ching would replace Davies for the second change of the evening at Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Stuart Holden would join his two other Houston Dynamo teammates, Clark and Ching, in the 81st minute was the Americans' final substitute replacing Dempsey.

The late sub played a cross to Donovan just minutes before the full-time whistle that Donovan just skipped high of Ince's goal, in what would have been the visitors' second goal.

The Americans will convene for the final two games of the hexagonal at Honduras on Saturday, October 10th before finishing the qualification round at home on October 13th against Costa Rica with a birth to South Africa on the line.
Brad L
Thursday September 10, 2009 10:42 am
TH -Bradley has to go eventually, so let's just qualify and then send him to that NY Red Bull job. he'd fit right in - they play in NJ and call themselves NY, so pop bradley will fit right in, cos he doesn't know where he is half the time either!
Thursday September 10, 2009 10:32 am
I said I would accept a 1- nil match and Bradley didn't disappoint me. Glad to move past this match with 3 pts. Would someone tell me whats with Cherundalo not playing? As the games get more important I fear a Bornstein flub is more likely to happen. Gooch looked a little out of sorts but along with Boca played an acceptable match (lucky it was T & T). I am not a Ching fan but felt Bradley used him at his best to control things, just don't expect him to score. Now we get to Dempsey? He is playing with confidence but is not helping very much. I don't think we can sit him for the next 2 matches but move him a little more forward along side Altidore and use Davies slightly behind them both. Continue to pump the ball out wide for a Donovan cross. I also believe for the US to improve to the level we all want...we do need Klinsman....NY Red Bulls have an opening Mr. Bradley!
Thursday September 10, 2009 10:23 am
Dempsey is in, because, at any time, against anyone, he can (and often does) score goals. He's also capable of playing good defense. True, especially against weaker opponents, he likes to work on his Ronaldo-isms, and often gets lazy tracking back, and it'd be great to sit his butt on the bench to get his attention EXCEPT who's got the same flair and the same ability to, again, score goals with his head, with either foot, on set pieces, from distance, from turning defenders and creating, from poaching. You name a way to score a goal, and I'll bet I -- or someone with more free time than I -- can find a Youtube of Demps scoring that way

For the poster that said Howard is not "world-class": What is your definition of world-class? He's a starting keeper on the 6th best side in the best league in the world with an impeccable club and international record. He would probably start on any international or club side, except a handful. Does world class mean the very best in the world at this time, or can you be 10th best out of the world of 7 billion people (well maybe only 400 million of them have ever played keeper...)?
Know Nothing
Thursday September 10, 2009 9:59 am
I am in no way a Bradley apologist, but calling for his head at this time would be suicidal because there are only two matches remaining and there is nobody of quality to replace him who knows the talent pool.

Like it or not, the team as it is now is best when it absorbs pressure and counter-attacks. We have no world class players (Donovan being closest and no Tim Howard is not a world class keeper...he plays too far off his line at times and let's in some goals he should stop).

Perhaps with Jermaine Jones we can adopt a 4-3-3 with Bradley and Feilhaber or Dempsey in the midfield, allowing Donavan an even more free roll.
Ed C.
Thursday September 10, 2009 4:15 am
all interesting comments which leads to the most important one - BRADLEY MUST GO!!!

how can we take the team and soccer in the USA seriously when we have this bozo running the team? how did he get the job in the first place? he was supposed to be a "place holder" until we found a new coach after Arena left but since US Soccer couldn't get their crap together or couldn't be bothered, they let Bradley keep the job.

after we get embarrassed at the WC next year (if we make it) US Soccer will do the same thing when they get rid of Bradley and maybe bring in the assistant coach of buddy holly junior high in lubbock texas or something!

it just irks me when a bunch of friggin' idiots are allowed to control OUR national team!
Thursday September 10, 2009 3:44 am
1)Ok we all know Dempsey should have been pushed forward or subbed between the 55-60th minute.
2) At least Bornstein is a faster LB than Bocanegra
3) It is evident that DeMerit is a better choice than Boca for CD and Spector could do better at LB than anyone else currently on the roster and Cherundolo shoud be RB until Castillo is on the team to play LB. Then Spector is the RB.
4) For subs to make a real impact, I believe the 60th minute is the best time to bring on players like Holden or Torres
5) When are you going to start subbing out your own son BOB?

I like the Klinsman idea as a coach with no favorites.
Thursday September 10, 2009 3:21 am
well i can see 2010 world cup already becoming a failure with Bob Bradley, so world cup 2014 in Brazil we will have a better coach at least from europe. What we need is coach that suits the US style like from England, Germany, or Holland. Oh by the way why the hell is Bradley how till using Ching, Marshall, Bornestien?! we will lose against Honduras with the way theyre playing by at least 3 goals to none, especially watching them play against Mexico today.
Thursday September 10, 2009 2:28 am
i knew bob would come through and turn a easy win into a rocky nail biting mess.bob takes pride in calling himself a defense oriented manager but he continues to use jb at leftback instead of inserting spector on the left and cherundo on the right.i admire our players for playing hard but unless bob develops a brain qualifying for the WC will turn into another 3 and out
Charlie G.
Wednesday September 9, 2009 11:08 pm
Perhaps these last two games will quickly be forgotten...but let's hope not. Glad to get the points, but I believe our players, the team are better than this. It's really difficult stuff to watch - not controlling the ball, easy give-aways, opposing runs seemingly end to end down the middle of the field.

Guess Bob was happy with the first half, as he opened with the same line-up. Why not shake things up with Benny and Stuart after the half ?

Guess the goal will seem like redemption for the tactics, but only thanks to Tim. Don't like the sub ideas after the goal - think Dempsey should have come off, and Holden on, with only Davies up top. We needed some control in mid-field as a defense. Ching is a good MLS player like Casey, its just that they don't seem to offer much when they're on the field at this level. If you're running two up top, its got to be Jozy and Charlie...and Dempsey perhaps, but he's hard to figure.

There's a feeling of the US playing down to the opponents level - where's the cohesiveness, team play and effort that was on the field against Egypt, Spain and first half against Brazil ?

More than ever I'm appreciating Claudio Reyna ! While Landon fulfills some of this role, he's not a true No. 10 in the sense of taking control of the pace of the game, being a "quarterback" feels like this team is run by a committee...
Wednesday September 9, 2009 11:03 pm
Thanks to Salvador we are in. It's enough to tie with CR in the last round. Anyone happy?
In SA BB will put 3 holding mids, or 4.
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