The U.S. men’s team closed out its Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal series against Trinidad and Tobago with a 2-1 road loss on Monday, which was enough to win 4-2 in the global and qualify for the Copa América 2024.
Held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, the match started promisingly for the USMNT, who took the lead in the 25th minute with a goal from Antonee Robinson. Things seemed simple as the United States already led 3-0 from the first leg, but the match took a turn after fullback Sergiño Dest earned consecutive yellow cards and a subsequent red due to an argument with the referee.
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Galvanized by the man advantage, Trinidad and Tobago tied in the 43rd minute after a goal from Reon Moore. After the break, the hosts made it 2-1 when Alvin Jones found the back of the net in the 57th minute. Needing at least three more goals to win on aggregate, Trinidad and Tobago continued ahead in the closing stages, but in the end he fell short.
While the USMNT will now prepare for the Nations League semi-finals in March, Trinidad and Tobago will have one last chance to qualify for the Copa América through a single-elimination match taking place in the same month.
Manager rating (scale of 1 to 10)
Gregg Berhalter, 4 years old. Although Dest’s red was an unexpected curveball for Berhalter, the coach could not find a way to quickly reinforce his defense and avoid defeat. With his weakened team under increasing pressure, Berhalter was unable to change the momentum that remained in Trinidad and Tobago’s favor until the final 5-10 minutes.
USMNT Player Ratings (0-10; 10 = best; 5 = average)
Goalkeeper Matt Turner, 5 — The Nottingham Forest goalkeeper could have done better in the two goals he conceded, especially the second.
DF Sergiño Dest, 1– You have to give him credit for his assist and forward runs, but Dest completely lost his composure with consecutive unnecessary yellow cards. A strange and shocking moment for the 23-year-old, who will have to be sharper and more disciplined in the big moments.
Defense Cameron Carter-Vickers, 6 — Some good defensive interventions, although it was questionable at times when the hosts put pressure on the USMNT defensive line.
Defenseman Tim Ream, 7 — The USMNT captain worked well with Carter-Vickers and looked strong in their aerial duels.
Defense Antonee Robinson, 8 years old — Despite losing possession a couple of times in dangerous areas, Robinson emerged as one of the most active players of the night. His goal in the 25th minute was the icing on the cake of a great performance.
MF Yunus Musah, 6 years old — Musah was great with his distribution but left room for improvement in his one-on-one duels.
MF Luca de la Torre, 6 — He made good forward runs, but like Musah, the midfielder did not always have full control of his area of the pitch. Having to deal with having one less man obviously didn’t help in this regard.
MF Brenden Aaronson, age 7 — Aaronson, one of the more energetic players, posed early questions to Trinidad and Tobago through his dangerous shots. Beyond that, his distribution was also impressive.
M.F. gio reyna7 — Reyna was an intelligent playmaker for the USMNT, often pulling the necessary strings in the final third before being substituted due to Dest’s red.
Forward Ricardo Pepi, 6 years old — A promising partnership was building between Pepi and Balogun, but he still failed to get off a single shot in his 65 minutes.
FW Folarin Balogun, 6– Balogun took advantage of the early opportunities and dived deep to win the ball back, but ultimately had to play a more cautious game in the second half.
Substitutes (players introduced after 70 minutes do not obtain qualification)
Defenseman Joe Scally, 5 — Quiet afternoon for the player who could gain many minutes in the not too distant future after Dest’s red card.
MF Malik Tillman, 6 years old — He did well to finally help the USMNT close the deal and win the ball back in the closing stages.
MF Lennard Maloney, NR — He came on in the 90th minute and didn’t show much.