The United States and Trinidad and Tobago are clearly the two best teams in their World Cup qualifying group and will probably go to the Hex if they avoid disaster. Since they both won their opening games, the two teams appeared to decide pretty early in Tuesday's game that a draw would be just fine. Their 0-0 draw was the most just result possible.
Hilariously, the USMNT almost conceded 30 seconds in. Kenwyne Jones nutmegged Tim Ream and squared for Joevin Jones, but he shot over the crossbar. That was the best chance T&T would get all evening, though they did end the match with more shots than the USMNT. Their second-best chance came in the 13th minute, when Jones turned Geoff Cameron and hit a powerful shot just wide.
While the USMNT was genuinely poor in the first half, they were at least decent in the second half. Gyasi Zardes should have scored in the 47th minute when Jozy Altidore found him with an excellent cross, but he nodded his shot off the crossbar. Jermaine Jones came close with a very speculative 35-yard effort in the 78th minute, actually forcing Jan-Michael Williams into a tough save.
But that was about it for the United States. In stoppage time, Altidore worked hard and did well to win a corner. Michael Bradley proceeded to hit the first defender with it. That sequence was a microcosm of the entire match.
United States: Howard, Ream (Nagbe 68'), Besler, Cameron, Orozco, Johnson, Bradley, Jones, Yedlin, Altidore, Zardes (Wood 75')
Trinidad and Tobago: J. Williams, J. Jones, Bateau, Cyrus, Bakr, Cato (Caesar 85'), Hyland, Boucaud (Cummings 82'), M. Williams (Hoyte 76'), George, K. Jones
1. Hey, El Clásico is on this weekend -- International soccer generally isn't very good except for the big summer tournaments. You'll be rescued by the highest level of club soccer on Saturday when Real Madrid takes on Barcelona. And if that's not your bag, Milan-Juventus and Liverpool-Man City are on, too. There's a lot of good European club soccer on.
2. So are the MLS semifinals! -- There's good American soccer, too! This game wasn't entertaining, but that doesn't mean there isn't good American soccer out there. New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew and FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers should both feature players actually trying to score goals, and probably succeeding.
3. The American Messi will come along someday -- Will it happen in your lifetime? Maybe, maybe not. But hey, your kids will probably get to see the American Messi!