Graham Zusi 3 - USA vs Costa Rica - June 7, 2016

The U.S. Men's National Team is on the brink of the Hexagonal.


Jurgen Klinsmann's side will look to secure their spot in CONCACAF's final World Cup qualifying round when it hosts Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida (7 p.m. CT, FS1 & UniMas).


Coming off Friday's 6-0 demolition of St. Vincent and the Grenadines — a match in which Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler scored his first international goal on the day his daughter Parker Rhea was born in KC— the U.S. MNT occupies second place in Group C of CONCACAF's semifinal qualifying round, trailing Trinidad and Tobago by a single point and three points clear of third-place Guatemala. The Americans would finish atop the group with a win on Tuesday, while a draw would see them finish second behind the Soca Warriors. Klinsmann's men could even progress with a loss, given the following scenarios:


  • Lose to Trinidad and Tobago AND St. Vincent wins OR draws vs. Guatemala
  • Lose to Trinidad and Tobago AND Guatemala win where the 13 goals are not made up between los Chapines and the U.S. MNT


WCQ: CONCACAF SEMIFINAL ROUND GROUP C STANDINGS

<strong>Team</strong>
<strong>W</strong>
<strong>L</strong>
<strong>T</strong>
<strong>PTS</strong>
<strong>GF</strong>
<strong>GA</strong>
<strong>GD</strong>
1. Trinidad and Tobago
3
0
2
11
13
5
+8
2. United States
3
1
1
10
16
3
+13
3. Guatemala
2
2
1
7
9
8
+1
4. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
0
5
0
0
3
25
-22

Besler and his club teammate Graham Zusi both played 90 minutes in Friday's comprehensive victory, but only Zusi remains with the U.S. MNT ahead of Tuesday's test in Jacksonville. Besler has returned to Kansas City following the birth of his daughter and will be unavailable for selection.


The U.S. will be bolstered by the return of midfielder Michael Bradley and defender Michael Orozco — both of whom served one-game suspensions on Friday — but will be without explosive full back DeAndre Yedlin, who misses out through caution accumulation.


Group C leaders Trinidad and Tobago held the U.S. to a 0-0 draw when the sides met in the second match of the semifinal qualifying round last November. The Yanks hold a 16-2-4 all-time advantage against the Soca Warriors, including a near-perfect 11-0-1 mark in home matches.


Following Tuesday's slate of action, all six places in the Hexagonal will be set. The Hex will see all competing teams play home and away in a double round-robin format from November 2016 to October 2017, with the top three finishers punching a ticket to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Tuesday's outcome vs. Trinidad and Tobago bears great importance, as it will determine which opponents the U.S. will face out of the gate.


  • If the U.S. finishes first in Group C, they’ll open the Hexagonal at home to rivals Mexico on Nov. 11, then travel to face the Group B winner (likely Costa Rica) on Nov. 15.
  • If the U.S. finishes second in Group C, they’ll host the Group B winner on Nov. 11 before traveling to face the Group A runners-up (likely Honduras) on Nov. 15.


U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals)


GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough;11/0), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC; 0/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 31/0)


DEFENDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 1/0), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United; 1/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City; 18/2), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca; 9/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach; 12/1), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana; 5/1) 

MIDFIELDERS (9): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; 0/0), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake; 8/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 5/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 28/5), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls; 16/1), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 3/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund; 2/2), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz; 0/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 14/3)


FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 30/14), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 2/0), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht; 0/0), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV; 5/2)