Tampa Bay Sports Day

SOCCER: US Men Handle Trinidad and Tobago 4-0

Photo by Nancy Beecher/Tampa Sports Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After a slow start, the US Men’s National Soccer Team found its rythym and defeated Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 before 19,410 at EverBank Field in a World Cup Qualifying match.

The US went into halftime with a 1-0 lead

Sacha Kljestan took control of the ball off a poor clearance and scored the game’s first goal.

The goal was Kljestan’s sixth of his national team career. This was the first time  that he has scored in consecutive games. It is also just the second time he has scored more than one goal in a calendar year for the USA; the last time he did so was in 2009 when he scored three.

In the 59th minute Jozy Altidore steps around a defender and rolled an assist from Fabian Johnson it into the bottom left corner of the net for the US team’s second goal.  Altidore put a crossing pass from Christian Pulisic into the net to increase the lead.

Altidore is now the USA’s leader in World Cup Qualifying goals with 16, surpassing Clint Dempsey who has the second most with 14.

Paul Arriola accounted for the final tally when he scored on  a rebound.

Arriola’s goal is his first in . He has now scored in both of his senior appearances. He also scored in the USA’s 3-1 win against Puerto Rico on May 22.

Arriola’s appearance is his first in World Cup Qualifying for his country. Arriola has been a member of the U.S. Youth National Team Program since the U-14 age level. He is a product of two U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs: Arsenal FC (2011-2012) and then the LA Galaxy Academy (2012-13).

The US had 10 shots on goal compared to Trinidad and Tobago. Tim Howard made five saves for the US.   Howard earned his 32nd World Cup Qualifying appearance, moving past Kasey Keller for the most all-time among goalkeepers and into fourth in team history. Howard is now 22-7-3 all-time in World Cup Qualifying.

Marvin Phillip recorded six saves for Trinidad and Tobago. The US outshot their opponent 17 to 14.

The men’s national team returned to Jacksonville’s EverBank Field for the fifth time in Tuesday night’s semifinal round World Cup Qualifying finale. With the win, the team finished first in its group and will open the final round of qualifying against Mexico on Nov.11.