USA vs Trinidad & Tobago score, result, highlights as USMNT nabs lopsided first leg win despite frustrating start in Nations League

Needing a big first leg scoreline to put the U.S. in good position with a chance to advance through the CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinals and qualify for the Copa America, the USMNT ran away late to win 3-0 over Trinidad & Tobago in Austin.

After Noah Powder was sent off for a second yellow card before halftime, it seemed goals were inevitable against the Trinidad & Tobago low block. Yet as the 80th minute came and went without the opener, frustration spread rapidly through the fans who were nervous about what would be a massive disappointment.

Yet after Ricardo Pepi’s 82nd minute opener, the floodgates gave way. Antonee Robinson backflipped his way to a second for the U.S. and Gio Reyna finished it off in the 89th minute to take a 3-0 score into the second leg.

The USMNT struggled to create chances through the opening hour of the match, failing to generate a shot on target through the first 55 minutes and failing to find a way through. Yet the tide began to turn as the U.S. got the ball in wide areas more and troubled the visiting back line with crosses and cutbacks, and it again began to feel inevitable.

Weston McKennie seemed to win a penalty in the 70th minute, but it was chalked off on VAR. Denzil Smith was excellent in goal, producing a few brilliant saves to increase the tension, but he was finally beaten 10 minutes from full-time.

The Sporting News is following the USA vs Trinidad & Tobago match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.

USA vs Trinidad & Tobago final score

  Score Goal scorers
USA 3 Pepi (82′),
A. Robinson (86′),
Reyna (89′)
Trinidad & Tobago 0

Kickoff: 8 p.m. local (9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT)
Location: Q2 Stadium (Austin, Texas)
Referee: Oshane Nation (JAM)

Starting lineups:

USA (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Turner (GK) — 2. Dest, 3. Carter-Vickers, 13. Ream, 5. A. Robinson — 8. McKennie, 6. Musah, 17. Tillman (B. Aaronson, 65′) — 7. Reyna, 20. Balogun, 16. Paredes (Pepi, 65′).

Trinidad & Tobago (5-3-2, right to left): 22. D. Smith (GK) — 14. S. Gomez, 6. Raymond, 17. J. Garcia, 16. A. Jones, 2. A. David — 8. D. Phillips, 18. Rampersad (J. Williams, 65′), 8. Powder — 7. Telfer (Hackshaw, 46′), 19. Shaw (L. Garcia, 65′).

USA vs Trinidad & Tobago live updates, highlights, commentary

FULLTIME: USA 3-0 Trinidad & Tobago

The first 80 minutes were extremely frustrating for U.S. fans, but in the end they managed to run away with a convincing victory, setting up an elementary second leg in Port of Spain on Tuesday.

Gregg Berhalter used a unique formation and it lacked width, but he got the full-backs on the ball more in the second half and eventually they broke through.

USA vs Trinidad & Tobago: Second Half

90+3 min: Folarin Balogun is dispossessed in the penalty area on what initially looked like a good tackle by a Trinidad & Tobago defender. Yet on replay, it showed that he never got a touch on the ball and just clattered Balogun to the turf. That should be a penalty, but VAR doesn’t have a look and play continues.

90+1 min: A yellow card is shown to Neveal Hackshaw for hauling down Folarin Balogun in transition.

89th min! GOAL! USA! GIO REYNA HAS A THIRD FOR THE US! They’re flying to the final whistle! Folarin Balogun’s dummy has Reyna through on the vertical ball, and he finishes calmly with a left-footed shot that ripples the back of the net.

Six minutes of stoppage time are shown, and Gregg Berhalter is furious that there’s not more after all the Trinidad & Tobago “injuries” and other shenanigans.

88th min: Chance, USA! Folarin Balogun now has a bad miss! He gets a cross from Antonee Robinson but blasts it over from close range!

87th min: Chance, USA! How did Ricardo Pepi miss!?!?! He has a massive chance at the top of the six yard box but puts it wide! The U.S. are pushing for more as this game winds down, and there will be plenty of stoppage time to come.

86th min: GOAL! USA! Antonee Robinson has put the U.S. 2-0 up, and does a double backflip in celebration! It’s a long-range deflected effort that suddenly has the USMNT with a very good advantage going into the second leg!

His left-footed effort from outside the top of the penalty area took a slight deflection off the head of a defender, and the U.S. are in a great spot!

82nd min: GOAL! USA! RICARDO PEPI FINALLY PUTS THE US IN FRONT! The substitute has a massive goal for the United States as they take the lead over 10-man Trinidad & Tobago!

It’s sent in to the near post from Antonee Robinson on the left flank and Pepi deftly flicks it in. The goalkeeper got a hand to it but can’t keep it out.

79th min: Chance, USA! Brenden Aaronson puts a header wide! Sergino Dest floats it to the far post and Aaronson is there, but he flashes it beyond the far post! Ricardo Pepi was waiting behind Aaronson had he let that ball go, but the Union Berlin man had to take the opportunity.

73rd min: Chance, USA! Sergino Dest the latest to be denied by Denzil Smith! He cuts onto his left atop the penalty area and has a go with his left foot, and forces a diving stop from the Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper! It’s a centrally located shot, but it had enough knuckle that the keeper couldn’t do anything but parry it out.

Smith, unsurprisingly, needs treatment but is up and will continue. Then moments later Andre Raymond is down injured and needs treatment. The crowd is very unhappy here, they can smell time wasting from a mile away.

68th min: Chance, USA! Nearly an immediate impact from Brenden Aaronson! Gio Reyna finds him with an outside-of-the-foot pass from the left, and Aaronson has a rip that goes just wide of the far post! Not far off!

65th min: Gregg Berhalter makes his first two changes of the game as Ricardo Pepi and Brenden Aaronson come on the pitch, replacing Kevin Paredes and Malik Tillman. The two young starters didn’t have the impact they’ll have hoped.

Also a double swap for Trinidad & Tobago as Levi Garcia and Jesse Williams come on, replacing Andre Rampersad and Malcolm Shaw.

60th min: PENALTY, USA! Weston McKennie is taken down in the penalty area by Daniel Phillips, and the referee points to the spot! The moment the USMNT was waiting for, and they have a chance to take the lead! It’s a pretty clear decision!

But NO! The referee is going to the monitor for a review! Replay shows that Phillips did get a slight touch on the ball, but it’s still a bad tackle through the legs of McKennie. VAR overturns the decision, which is quite generous to the visitors. Re-refereeing the game here, on a bad tackle.

57th min: Chance, USA! ALMOST A STUNNER FROM YUNUS MUSAH! He rips a howitzer from about 25 yards out, nearly picking out the top corner, but Denzil Smith makes a sensational full-stretch diving save!

On the ensuing corner, it’s put right to the head of Tim Ream, but his effort goes agonizingly wide. MUCH better from the U.S. now!

55th min: Chance, USA! The hosts finally get a good chance on frame, as a ball from wide left is cut laterally to Gio Reyna on the penalty spot with his back to goal. The Dortmund youngster collects and spins to his left, creating space and generating the first U.S. shot on target.

Unfortunately, it’s hit straight at goalkeeper Denzil Smith, who collects down low quite simply. Not the finish they’re looking for, but that’s much better than anything else the U.S. has produced so far.

51st min: Just like in the first half, the U.S. have created a few good attacking moves up front here to start the second half, but they do not result in a shot on frame. At some point, they need to get shots on goal rather than trying to pass the ball into the net.

Kickoff: We’re under way in Austin for the second half.

One change for Trinidad & Tobago as Ryan Telfer is withdrawn for Neveal Hackshaw, but no changes for Gregg Berhalter as of yet, which is a bit uninspiring given the amount of options on the USMNT bench.

HALFTIME: USA 0-0 Trinidad & Tobago

The U.S. held nearly all the possession across the first 45 minutes, but barely troubled the Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper. They failed to produce a single shot on target, and lacked creative precision throughout the first half.

Still, Trinidad & Tobago are down to 10 men thanks to the double booking to Noah Powder, and that will leave the visitors with their backs against the wall the rest of the game.

The 4-2-2-2 formation from Gregg Berhalter has lacked any width, but the U.S. creative midfielders, specifically Gio Reyna, have misfired on a lot of their incisive deliveries when the doors did open up.

USA vs Trinidad & Tobago: First Half

45+3 min: Maybe the most dangerous move of the first half sees Sergino Dest get free down the left flank and blaze a dangerous low cross in front of goal, but Denzil Smith gets down to smother the ball before Folarin Balogun can meet it.

41st min: Now Kevin Paredes is down needing treatment. He skipped around a defender and took a late step from Aubrey David right to his shin. The referee, oddly, let it go without calling a foul, but both players were down and he had to stop the match.

37th min: RED CARD, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO! Weston McKennie is hacked in midfield, and Noah Powder is off! It’s a totally wild tackle and extremely late, a blatant second yellow card. The referee took ages to make his decision, but that was an extremely obvious call, he had to send Powder off.

The U.S. will now work against 10 men the rest of the match!

31st min: For all the possession the U.S. has been able to control, there’s been very little end product. They have yet to generate a shot on target, and very few buildups have crafted any true opportunities up front. The 4-2-2-2 from Gregg Berhalter has lacked creative impetus. The players are working hard to create attacking moves, but they haven’t been able to work through the Trinidad & Tobago low block.

28th min: Chance, USA! Antonee Robinson fires wide! A speculative ball forward to Folarin Balogun is cleared off the back of a U.S. player, and it falls right into the lap of Jedi who rips a shot from distance, but it goes wide right.

22nd min: Malik Tillman blazes a chance miles over the crossbar, having been played in laterally by Folarin Balogun and Kevin Paredes. Good combination but the wrong finish.

80 percent possession for the U.S. so far. Trinidad & Tobago playing in a very low block, but doing well to step up and challenge the U.S. buildup.

17th min: Trinidad & Tobago starting to get a bit foul happy. First Kevin Paredes is fouled on the wing, Cameron Carter-Vickers is fouled on an aerial duel, and then Weston McKennie is hacked in midfield.

The last one, by Noah Powder who goes over the ball in possession, draws an early yellow card. Powder is beside himself, but it’s the right call as he botched a spin move and stepped on McKennie’s ankle. The Juventus midfielder needs treatment and looks in some pain.

12th min: Gio Reyna, playing the central midfield role, sends in a looping vertical ball to the far post where Malik Tillman is making a wonderful run, but he just can’t quite get his head to the ball under pressure from a defender and the goalkeeper.

7th min: Chance, USA! Sergino Dest denied a worldie by an exceptional save from Denzil Smith! It looked like Dest was looking for the cross, but his lateral delivery gave the Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper plenty to think about, and he was forced to leap high in the air to tip the ball out for a corner!

2nd min: The U.S. is pushing hard straight from kickoff and Folarin Balogun has an early touch inside the six-yard box, but it’s too hard off his chest with his back to goal and Trinidad & Tobago can clear.

Kickoff: They’re under way in Austin! We’ll see how defensive Trinidad & Tobago will be, and if the USMNT can break them down without the injured Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah.

USA vs Trinidad & Tobago: Pre-match commentary, analysis, stats, and more

15 mins to kickoff: With tonight’s match almost under way, a reminder that this two-legged matchup with Trinidad & Tobago is huge for the United States, beyond just the CONCACAF Nations League.

Advancement to the semifinals would qualify the USMNT for next summer’s Copa America — nope, the U.S. has not qualified for the competition despite the fact they’re hosting. If they lose, they can still make it through with a playoff win in March, but that’s obviously less than ideal.

30 mins to kickoff: The U.S. will be wearing their blue kits in tonight’s match!

45 mins to kickoff: Looks like Trinidad & Tobago could be playing a back three, as they’ve included a whopping five defenders in the lineup as compared to just one natural forward. A lot of attacking responsibilities fall on the shoulders of Malcolm Shaw up front. He contributed heavily last window as the Soca Warriors topped Curacao.

1 hour to kickoff: The U.S. lineup is in. With Malik Tillman included, the biggest question is whether he or Gio Reyna will play in midfield, while the other is out wide. Previous experience suggests Tillman in the middle and Reyna out wide, but recent chatter in prematch buildup incidates that it could actually be the opposite.

Yunus Musah dropping back into the No. 6 role usually occupied by Tyler Adams. Wolfsburg youngster Kevin Paredes starts on the wing, a big opportunity for him.

1 hour 15 mins to kick: Gio Reyna will likely start tonight for the U.S. and could be used in a number of positions. Gregg Berhalter said that while Reyna may not be playing much for Borussia Dortmund at the moment, he will not have any minutes restrictions in this match.. He was limited in the last international window due to his recent return from injury, but here, Gio is a full go.

1 hour 30 mins to kick: The two Aaronson brothers Brenden and Paxten are with the United States senior team for the first time in their careers for this match. It remains to be seen whether they can both see the field, but it’s a cool moment for the two as they continue their development.

1 hour 45 mins to kick: One player who could be getting more looks for the United States moving forward is 20-year-old Joe Scally, who has received recent praise from German publication Kicker for his last few performances for Borussia Monchengladbach.

“Joe Scally has also taken a step forward and can now also defend in a back three,” said Gladbach manager Roland Virkus after the 4-0 victory over Wolfsburg just before the break.

Scally is a quality two-way player in the mold of Antonee Robinson, who doesn’t excel at attacking or defending but provides good service forward and has mightily improved his defensive capabilities. Could he get a chance for the national team this break, despite the presence of first-choice full-backs Robinson and Sergino Dest?

2 hours to kickoff: The USMNT, nor any other CONCACAF nation, is not guaranteed a place in next summer’s 2024 Copa America. They must qualify, doing so via the Nations League.

The easiest way to qualify is by securing a spot in the semifinals, but that’s not the only way. The four quarterfinal losers will be drawn together in a playoff round, with the two winners also reaching the Copa America. While the U.S. can still reach next summer’s CONMEBOL tournament if they should be struck down by Trinidad & Tobago again, it would be a big blow and put them on the precipice of embarrassing disaster if they fall.

USA vs Trinidad & Tobago lineups & team news

Notably, Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah are both out injured for the United States, having picked up hamstring injuries with their clubs in recent weeks. Gio Reyna has excelled in midfield for the United States over the last few months, but due to the aforementioned absences, he may have to move out wide to plug the holes.

With Tyler Adams out for a number of months with a hamstring injury, Johnny Cardoso has stepped into the No. 6 role, but he also picked up an ankle injury, forcing him out of the squad. That means either Yunus Musah or Luca de la Torre will have to take over at defensive midfield.

USA starting lineup (4-3-3): Turner (GK) — Dest, Carter-Vickers, Ream, A. Robinson — McKennie, Musah, Tillman — Reyna, Balogun, Paredes.

USA subs (12): Horvath (GK), Slonina (GK), Richards, M. Robinson, Scally, Lund, Maloney, de la Torre, P. Aaronson, B. Aaronson, Zendejas, Pepi.

AEK Athens striker Levi Garcia missed the October international break due to a concussion, and while he’s back in the Trinidad & Tobago squad, it’s Malcolm Shaw who starts up front.

Miami FC winger Ryan Telfer has developed into an important player for Trinidad & Tobago, including a goal and assist in a 3-2 win over El Salvador that proved massive in their qualification push to the Nations League quarterfinals.

Trinidad & Tobago starting lineup (4-2-3-1): D. Smith (GK) — S. Gomez, Raymond, J. Garcia, A. Jones, A. David — D. Phillips, Rampersad, Powder — Telfer, Shaw.

Trinidad & Tobago subs (12): Sandy (GK), Biggette (GK), R. Russell, Hackshaw, J. Williams, Moore, N. James, Poon-Angeron, Lee-Him, Gill, Auvray, L. Garcia.

How to watch USA vs Trinidad & Tobago

Tonight’s match will be viewable on TNT, as part of the USMNT’s long-term rights deal. The rest of the CONCACAF Nations League is broadcast exclusively on Paramount+, which offers a free trial.

This USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago will also be televised on Universo in Spanish. The Spanish-language channels can be streamed on Fubo, which is available to new users on a free trial.

USA vs Trinidad & Tobago betting odds & lines

Draw T&T
Both teams
to score Y / N
Over / Under
4.5 goals
-20,000 +1900 +3,000 +235 / -360 +105 / -155 -130 -115

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