US to face T&T Soca Warriors in friendly international Sunday

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore (17) during the second half against the San Jose Earthquakes at Earthquakes Stadium on Feb. 29, 2020.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports, file

United States Men’s National Senior Team soccer coach Gregg Berhalter, as expected, has named a young, largely inexperienced 25-man roster to face Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors in a friendly international at the Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fl. on Sunday, Jan. 31.

According to Wired868.com, the outing, which will be Terry Fenwick’s first international as Soca Warriors head coach, comes at the end of a three-week camp for the Americans, in which Berhalter looked at 12 senior and 26 under-23 players.

The game itself falls outside the FIFA international match window, with both nations only able to use players willingly released by their respective clubs, reported Wired868.com on Sunday.

“The Warriors will need to keep their eyes on 31-year-old forward Jozy Altidore and 25-year-old winger Paul Arriola, though,” Wired868.com said.

It said Altidore, who has an international tally of 42 goals from 115 caps, is USA’s third highest scorer of all time – 15 items shy of Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan.

He has scored five times in eight appearances against the twin island republic, although he failed to hit the target in his last three of those contests, Wired868.com said.

It said Arriola has six goals from 35 international appearances, with two of those items coming against Trinidad and Tobago, including one in USA’s 6-0 mauling of the Warriors at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

The USA coach said the Trinidad and Tobago match gives his players the chance to stake their claim for competitive playing time, “with the Concacaf Nations League semifinal round, the 2021 Gold Cup and the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying series all stuffed into this calendar year,” Wired868.com said.

It said USA will also be involved in the Concacaf Olympic qualifying championship in March—a competition that Trinidad and Tobago withdrew from during the David John-Williams-led administration.

“These last two weeks have been an absolute pleasure,” Berhalter told the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) media office. “The hard work and determination demonstrated by the entire group confirms that the player pool is [heading] in the right direction.

“As we transition to Orlando, we switch gears and focus on competing as we prepare to face Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.

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