The USA has not lost a World Cup qualifier at home since a 3-2 loss to Honduras on the eve of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, but Jurgen Klinsmann
doesn't want to consider the improbable outcome that
would knock the USA out of the 2018 World Cup.
He says his players can't underestimate the task at hand in Tuesday's Group C finale in the semifinal round of 2018 World Cup qualifying
against Trinidad & Tobago in Jacksonville. WHAT'S AT STAKE?
The USA would have to lose to T&T and have Guatemala beat St. Vincent & The Grenadines in Guatemala
City by a margin of 12 or more goals in order for the USA not to advance to the Hexagonal.
“We are looking at the strongest lineup in order to beat Trinidad and Tobago,” he told reporters in Jacksonville
. “This is it. This is World Cup
qualifying. This is not the time to experiment. We can talk about that if everything is done about next month’s friendlies, but not in World Cup qualifying. We take this very
seriously.” WCQ: T&T
clinches berth in Hex, USA close
Klinsmann added that the goal was to win the group, which would set up a date at home against Mexico in the opening game of the Hexagonal on Nov. 11.
If the USA finishes second, it will also open at home, likely against Costa Rica. WHO'LL PLAY?
The USA will make at least three changes from the team that beat St. Vincent
& The Grenadines, 6-0, on Friday.
Klinsmann said before Friday's game that Tim Howard
would start in place of Brad Guzan
in goal on Tuesday, while DeAndre
is suspended and Matt Besler
, who scored his first goal for the USA on Friday, was released after his wife gave birth to their first child the morning of the game.
Howard's next appearance will be his 32nd World Cup qualifying cap, setting a U.S. record he shares with former goalkeeper Kasey Keller
Klinsmann has made it clear that Howard and
Guzan will remain his 1-2 choices in goal, saying no one else is in contention to push them.
“We are obviously blessed with Brad Guzan and Tim Howard,” Klinsmann said during a Facebook live chat on Sunday
. “As long as the younger ones are not stepping it up even more and
pushing them -- kind of pushing them out, basically -- these two will defend their spots. And in order to have both always available and in good spirit, here and there we can rotate."
: Captain Michael Bradley
and Michael Orozco
are back after being suspended for the SVG match. Bradley will surely start
in midfield while Orozco is an option to start at right back or center back.
T&T coach Stephen Hart
says he'll make some changes from the team that had to settle for a 2-2 tie
with Guatemala at home on Friday. One forced change will be at center back, where Sheldon Bateau
is suspended for collecting his second yellow card against Guatemala. THE
Klinsmann downplayed the chance of starting 17-year-old Christian Pulisic
even after he had two goals and an assist off the bench against SVG. Mike Woitalla: Christian Pulisic must start on
“Christian came in against St. Vincent and did a fantastic job. He kind of really made it look all easy,” Klinsmann said during the Facebook chat.
“Obviously, we know he has tremendous talent and that’s why he’s with Borussia Dortmund. We’re going to build him one step at a time. A lot of people are anxious that we start
him from the beginning. That day will come there is no doubt about it. But for us it’s important that we build him with patience, with not too much hype and expectation either." USA Roster. GOALKEEPERS:
Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough/ENG), Ethan Horvath (Molde/NOR), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids).
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Fabian Johnson (Borussia
Moenchengladbach/GER), Michael Orozco (Tijuana/MEX). MIDFIELDERS:
Paul Arriola (Tijuana/MEX), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley
(Toronto FC), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Sacha Kljestan (NY Red Bulls), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz/LIE), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC). FORWARDS
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht/NED), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER). Trinidad & Tobago Roster: GOALKEEPERS:
Marvin Phillip, Morvant (Caledonia AIA), Greg Ranjitsingh (Louisville City), Adrian Foncette
(Police FC). DEFENDERS:
Aubrey David (Dallas FC), Radanfah Abu Bakr (JK Silame Kalev/EST), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E-Land FC/KOR), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Yohance Marshall
(Murcielagos/MEX), Mekeil Williams (Colorado Rapids), Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders). MIDFIELDERS:
Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge/ENG), Hughtun Hector (W Connection FC), John
Bostock (Lens/FRA), Levi Garcia (AZ/NED), Kevin Molino (Orlando City), Khaleem Hyland (Westerlo/BEL), Neveal Hackshaw (Charleston Battery), Jomal Williams (Murcielagos/MEX), Kevan George (Jacksonville
Shahdon Winchester (Murcielagos/MEX) Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes), Kenwyne Jones (Central FC), Trevin Caesar (Orange County Blues).