It's not often that you see a team on four points, fresh off a six-goal win, facing a must-win game. And yet here the U.S. men's national team is, knowing that their path to another Gold Cup trophy may just need another three points, and a few more goals, on Sunday evening.
The U.S. heads into the match with Trinidad and Tobago with a chance to win their group. Win without Jamaica making up three goals in their all-but-assured clash with St. Kitts and Nevis and the U.S. is good. A draw, though, leaves the U.S. second in the group, most likely. A loss? Well, that would be another dark, dark day at the hands of the Soca Warriors as the USMNT would almost certainly crash out.
Winning the group is vital. Whoever finishes top will be placed on the opposite side of the bracket from Mexico, a team that very much looks like the favorites. The second-place team, though, would get El Tri in the semis in what will almost certainly be a marquee match.
Because of that, B.J. Callaghan can't quite mess around in this game. He can rotate, sure, and he can play some younger players against a T&T team that should be pretty overmatched. But the U.S. can't get complacent, especially knowing that goal difference could easily come into play.
So, how does Callaghan handle it? How hard does he push for a top-of-the-group finish? And which players, ultimately, give the U.S. the best chance of achieving exactly that? GOAL takes a look...
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