OnScene: Updates from the US' World Cup qualifier vs. Trinidad and Tobago

US, Pulisic poised to seal their place in World Cup

US eliminated from 2018 World Cup after shocking loss to Trinidad and Tobago

Despite being clear favourites to secure qualification, the US were not taking anything for granted, when they spoke prior to their visit to Trinidad. Arena predicted a slow and sloppy game. True Panamanians and Honduras are only two points lower, so it's too early to relax the Bruce Arena team, it's impossible to lose today, but because of the serious gap in the goal difference, the United States is quite satisfied with the draw, it's unlikely that Panama will be able to defeat Costa Rica at seven -Ave of balls.

"If after inspecting the field tomorrow morning the field conditions are not playable, then a decision will be made", U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said.

Bruce Arena's team does have a solid goal differential at five that will most likely secure a spot in the next World Cup with just a draw. When the pair come together in Panama City, only a win will do for maintaining the hosts' automatic hopes but simply matching Honduras's result - without a hefty defeat to Los Ticos or landslide home win in San Pedro Sula - will guarantee them a meeting with Asia's play-off candidate.

Trinidad is already out of Cup contention, but USA defender Matt Besler still expects a tough game.

The US national team had to train a little harder earlier today when the field they were going to practice in was partially flooded.

As it stands, the U.S.is third with 12 points in the CONCACAF Hexagonal table with Panama and Honduras behind them tied with 10 points each. "It is what it is and we're going to play the game".

"Tomorrow is going to be challenging... it's going to look a heck of a lot different than the game we just played", he added after the USA beat Panama 4-0 in Orlando on Friday. There isn't a lot of drama or intrigue, unless of course the USA gives up an early goal and Keylor Navas trips and Panama lucks into a goal.

Faced with missing the World Cup again, Caligiuri took the initiative.

Fortunately for the US, they'll be the heavy favorites on Tuesday.

"It was all instinctive, the way it played out", Caligiuri said. "At this point we're playing". The only defeat in Trinidad was in the semifinal round in 2008, after the American team had already qualified for the Hex.

Arena put the U.S.in a very aggressive posture on Friday, rolling out a 4-4-2 diamond formation created to put five players - strikers Altidore and Wood, No. 10 Pulisic and wingers Darlington Nagbe and Paul Arriola - into the attack as often as possible. "You only experience it when you get there, you need players with the right experience, teams with the right kind of balance, and a little bit of luck in World Cups".

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