July 1 – US interim coach BJ Callaghan says the United States will “stick to their own identity” as they go in search of goals against Trinidad and Tobago to ensure top spot in Group A.
Unbeaten after a 1-1 draw with Jamaica and a 6-0 thumping of debutants St. Kitts and Nevis, the United States is not guaranteed of first place in the group. The Jamaicans defeated Trinidad and Tobago 4-1 which means that if both teams finish on the same number of points goal difference will decide the group winner, but that hasn’t deterred Callaghan from focusing on what his team must do. His team enjoys a three-goal lead in goal differential as well.
“We want to continue to remain true to our identity,” said Callaghan at a news conference. “We do understand that there’ll be an eye on the goal differential, but we’re confident that if we play our style of play and we remain aggressive and pressing and dominating with the ball, we’ll be able to score the goals and get the result that we need.”
Callaghan warned for Trinidad’s speed in attack, but the team from Port of Spain has had mixed results – a 3-0 win over St Kitts & Nevis followed by the defeat to the Reggae Boyz – and the United States should be comfortable on home soil in North Carolina. The Americans will probably not be able to count on winger Jordan Morris and midfielder Alan Sonora due to injury.
The winner of Group A will most likely avoid Mexico in the semi-finals with El Tri shooting for a third straight win against Qatar on Sunday.
“In terms of what we are, messaging with the staff all the way through to our players is that we want to be ourselves,” repeated Callaghan. “We want to play to our identity and we feel confident that if we’re able to do that, the result will take care of itself.”
History is on the US side. The teams have met off four times in the Gold Cup, with the Americans winning all four encounters. In 2019, in their last encounter, they breezed past Trinidad and Tobago 6-0.
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