USA Waxes T&T; On Hex Collision Course with Mexico
The talk in Jacksonville had little to do with tonight's World Cup qualifier, as both combatants had already clinched berths into CONCACAF's fifth and final round.
Instead, it was effusing confidence about the USA's hex on the Mex, to be continued in the Hex.
By whitewashing Trinidad & Tobago, 4-0, the Americans got their wish of meeting El Tri on Fri 11 Nov when Hexagonal matches get underway.
To summarize, when the Hex schedule is done and dusted, the top three finishers will have punched their tix to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The fourth-place side can still get there by beating Asia's fifth-place team in a home-&-home tilt.
If the T&T crew is gonna be one of these survivors, it'd better show more intensity than it did in the Jax.
Take this excellent portrayal of pinball bumpers that produced the USA's first goal, complements of accidental starter Sacha Kljestan:
As urgency didn't seem to be an issue for the Soca Warriors, Jozy Altidore took the opportunity to become the Americans' all-time leading scorer:
Simple enough for such an historic occasion.
So why not do it again three minutes later?
By this time, it seemed like the T&T was focused only on wondering where that World's Largest Cocktail Party was that they'd been hearing about.
Paul Arriola had other priorities, like being useful enough to earn another cap from Jürgen Klinsmann:
The final whistle mercifully solidified the group standings:
And that brings us to the hex on the Mex.
It involves Columbus, Ohio. That's where the USA hosted Mexico in its last four World Cup qualifiers.
On each occasion, the Americans won, 2-0.
Maybe. Maybe not. But it's on.