A trio of late goals gave the Yanks a 3-0 victory in match one, extending their unbeaten at this tournament to 11 successive matches, while the Soca Warriors have lost two successive Nations League contests after winning their opening three this season.
In the first match of this series, the tactics for Trinidad were clear, put 11 players behind the ball and stop the Americans at any cost.
Deep into the second half, it appeared that strategy would prove successful, with Angus Eve's men keeping the reigning two-time Nations League champions at bay for over 80 minutes despite being reduced to 10 men in the 37th minute of play.
In the end, though, the backline would succumb to the pressure, conceding three goals from the 82nd to the 89th minute in a match where they had a mere 24% possession, while failing to register a single shot on target.
The Soca Warriors won their previous two Nations League fixtures at Hasely Crawford Stadium and have not lost a game there since October 2019 (2-0 versus Honduras).
Over the past six years, TNT have lost every match they have played against a North American opponent, failing to find the back of the net once versus that region during that stretch.
Their odds of advancing are long, but Trinidad should have a glimmer of hope knowing that they have suffered just one defeat to the Americans in their previous four home matches against them, claiming two victories in that time.
It took much longer than anyone could have expected, but belatedly, the US quality shone through when it mattered, as the Yanks extended their winning run at home to four matches in all competitions.
Ultimately, the second-half substitutions made the difference for Gregg Berhalter's men, who have now held the Soca Warriors off the scoresheet in 11 successive home fixtures.
Given the considerable disparity between the two sides, with the Yanks 88 places above Trinidad according to the FIFA world rankings, it was surprising that the home team struggled to find a way through TNT's wall for so long as they rarely tried to stretch the field.
Individual quality in the end, though, proved decisive, and if they can avoid defeat by three or more goals on Monday, they will officially book a place at the 2024 Copa America, which will take place in the United States.
Since losing 1-0 to Jamaica in a 2019 friendly, the Americans are unbeaten in their last 17 matches versus Caribbean opponents, scoring four or more goals in 11 of those encounters.
The US have not lost a match by at least three goals since England beat them in a friendly at Wembley, 3-0 in 2018, while they have not suffered a defeat to a CONCACAF opponent by more than two goals since losing to Costa Rica 4-0 in November 2016.
TNT will be without Noah Powder after his silly challenge when he was already on a caution got him sent off in the opening match.
Alvin Jones had the winning goal in their previous home game against the United States, when the Soca Warriors triumphed 2-1 in 2017, preventing the Yanks from qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
The loss of Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah with hamstring injuries opened the door for Kevin Paredes to collect his first cap in official competition, while Yunus Musah joined some elite company by making his 32nd international appearance before the age of 21, with Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan and Pulisic the only other American internationals to achieve that same feat.
Weston McKennie made his team-leading 12th Nations League appearance, Tim Ream captained the side on Thursday, a day short of his first cap with the US on November 17, 2010 and Matt Turner featured for the 12th time this year, the most among American players, while also moving past Arnie Mausser for sixth in all-time caps among US goalkeepers (36).
In 2023, Ricardo Pepi has scored five of his seven goals with the national team as a substitute, the most by a US men's player off the bench in a calendar year, Antonee Robinson netted his third international goal, Gio Reyna has scored in consecutive games and Folarin Balogun has contributed to at least one goal in his first seven international appearances, the third player to do so with the Yanks along with Brenden Aaronson and Eddie Johnson.
Trinidad and Tobago possible starting lineup:
Smith; Gomez, Jones, David, J. Garcia; Telfer, Hackshaw, Phillips, Lee-Him, Rampersad; Moore
USA possible starting lineup:
Turner; Dest, Richards, Ream, A. Robinson; Musah, McKennie; De la Torre, Reyna, P. Aaronson; Balogun
We say: Trinidad and Tobago 0-4 USA (USA advances on aggregate)
Field conditions in the Caribbean seem to give the home teams an edge, but expect the Americans to be more determined to make a statement after struggling for so long in the opening match of this tie.
If Trinidad want to advance into the next round, they have to be a lot more aggressive and take chances, which plays right into the Americans' hands as they have plenty of speed and deadly attacking players who thrive in transition.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
body check tags ::
Previews by email