"You only experience it when you get there, you need players with the right experience, teams with the right kind of balance, and a little bit of luck in World Cups".
A lot is on the line for the USA squad: The team has made the last seven tournaments. People don't understand how big qualifying for the World Cup is, how much blood, sweat and hard work goes into a qualifier. The USMNT would likely still advance to the World Cup but Wondolowski would be given a lengthy ban from Federation Internationale de Football Association. Only six other countries can say the same.
209 nations are vying for just 32 spots.
So yeah. A draw will absolutely put the United States through. It's the reality of qualifying for a World Cup for us. "But the game that actually does it".
The only way the USA gets completely eliminated is if both Honduras and Panama win and the US loses.
They will be playing against Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday (Oct 10) in their final World Cup qualifying match and their last chance to secure a spot at next year's World Cup finals in Russian Federation. But this one might be different.
Twenty-eight years ago, the USA needed a win and T&T would have reached its first World Cup with a draw. Most of the team trained behind the goal to not ruin the conditions of the field even more.
Especially given they will be going up against runaway leaders Mexico. "Our mentality is to go to Trinidad and win".
But while Arena was struggling to remain diplomatic, it was clear that he and the rest of U.S. Soccer weren't happy with the conditions.
Kicked in the calf by Panamanian defender Michael Murillo and forced to leave Friday's game early in the second half, Christian Pulisic was limping noticeably as he left Orlando City Stadium, making him a question mark for Tuesday night. The 19-year-old midfielder has scored scored or assisted in 11 of the 16 US goals in the final round of World Cup qualifying. "We took care of business tonight". The game was moved from the Trinidadian capital of Port of Spain to a smaller stadium in Couva.
The playing surface in Couva was heavy after torrential rain in the Caribbean and the US were not able to train properly on Monday.
The US would qualify with a win while a draw could also end up doing the same as the two teams behind need to score plenty of goals.
The U.S. loses at Trinidad and Tobago -AND- Honduras and Panama both draw/lose vs. Mexico and Costa Rica respectively.
- Lose, and Honduras does not beat visiting Mexico and Panama does not defeat visiting Costa Rica. If both Central American rivals fail to win, the US would qualify even with a defeat.
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