The USA begins its path towards a third CONCACAF Nations League title and official qualification to the 2024 Copa America as the USMNT matches up with Trinidad & Tobago in the 2023/24 Nations League quarterfinals.
Qualification to the Copa America isn’t automatic, as countries must reach the Nations League semifinals to secure an automatic spot.
The quarterfinals are played over two legs, with the U.S. hosting Trindad & Tobago at Austin tonight before visiting the Caribbean nation on Tuesday. That visit will be their first trip to Trinidad & Tobago since the 2017 disaster that eliminated the United States from 2018 World Cup contention.
With Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah out injured, the USMNT must push forward and book a place in next summer’s massive tournament.
The Sporting News is following the USA vs Trinidad & Tobago match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. local (9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT)
Location: Q2 Stadium (Austin, Texas)
Referee: Oshane Nation (JAM)
USA (4-3-3, right to left): Turner (GK) — Dest, Carter-Vickers, Richards, A. Robinson — McKennie, Musah, de la Torre — Reyna, Balogun, Aaronson.
Trinidad & Tobago (4-2-3-1, right to left): D. Smith (GK) — A. Jones, A. David, J. Garcia, Russell — Hackshaw, Rampersad — Telfer, Poon-Angeron, Auvray — L. Garcia.
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.
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 projected starting lineup (4-3-3): Turner (GK) — Dest, Carter-Vickers, Richards, A. Robinson — McKennie, Musah, de la Torre — Reyna, Balogun, Aaronson.
USA subs: (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)
AEK Athens striker Levi Garcia missed the October international break due to a concussion but should return here, replacing Reon Moore.
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 projected starting lineup (4-2-3-1): D. Smith (GK) — A. Jones, A. David, J. Garcia, Russell — Hackshaw, Rampersad — Telfer, Poon-Angeron, Auvray — L. Garcia.
Trinidad & Tobago subs: (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)
The English-language stream will be exclusively available on Paramount+, which offers a free trial.
The match will be televised on Universo. The Spanish-language channels can be streamed on Fubo, which is available to new users on a free trial.