Altidore starts at forward with Dempsey for US vs. Trinidad

USMNT goal difference against Mexico before 1980

USMNT goal difference against Mexico before 1980

But the current schedule - which sees the US host Trinidad and Tobago outside Denver on Thursday, followed by a visit to Mexico on Sunday - is nothing close to a normal pair of games for the team.

They've also had to master another discipline: compartmentalizing. This match comes before the looming match on Sunday night against Mexico at Estadio Azteca.

Until they've completed a more immediate task, however, they can't afford to turn full attention to their longtime nemesis. "We are not in any way looking past tomorrow night".

Christian Pulisic, of course.

"The Mexico game isn't in our head at all yet".

With five goals, Altidore is the team's leading scorer against Trinidad. The Galaxy are off this weekend for the global break and return to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Cal State Dominguez Hills track and field stadium in a U.S. Open Cup fourth-round game against USL team Orange County SC. Tickets are $10.

While the venue is famous for the Snow Clasico, Trinidad & Tobago will nearly certainly not have to deal with any cold weather when they take on the US.

But Arena admitted he has begun strategizing for Sunday's game just the same, a necessity given a quick turnaround that will leave the US with less than 70 hours to prepare for Mexico.

Trinidad and Tobago are known as the Soca Warriors. "We came into camp pretty early on".

"We've stressed for 10 days that the focus has to be Trinidad", he said. Four days out, the focus has only been on Trinidad. "I don't think (DaMarcus) Beasley and (Clint) Dempsey are going to get much better in six months".

San Jose Earthquakes player Cordell Cato even had the temerity to treat the national team's training camp like a holiday camp and showed up with his wife and kids.

Arena said there would be some tweaks to his team's attacking approach, though he declined to elaborate. This is the third time since 1990 the USA has had less than four days between qualifying games.

What is he going to do against Mexico? "We'll have to know where these guys are, understand quickly how exactly they are playing and make sure we take care of things in a good way".

Traditionally, the red, white and blue has fared well against Trinidad and Tobago, a country with a population around 1.4 million. We need to be resilient defensively.

"They won a game against Panama", said Arena, referring to the team's 1-0 home win March 24. Bobby Wood played hurt down the stretch for Hamburg and was not sharp in Saturday's friendly against Venezuela. The U.S. faced Trinidad & Tobago twice in the fourth round, the group stage, drawing 0-0 away in November 2015 before winning 4-0 at home in September 2016.

"When the whistle blows and the game's over, then you think about Mexico".

"Just improve the things we want to do tactically on the field", he said. "It's positive for us that we have two systems that we can also switch during the game". It'll be a challenging game.

The bet goes something like this: Should Howard's side win the World Cup qualifier Thursday night in Commerce City, Williams has to sit at a locker next to the bathroom. The 12-1-3 against Trinidad and Tobago in World Cup qualifying, including a 7-0-1 record in home games. Both teams advanced to the final round. While T&T may not be considered a big rival by the U.S., the USA is a game that the Soca Warriors will always get up for.

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