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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

Sept. 10, 2008
ON THE DOORSTEP
U.S. blanks T&T 3-0 in World Cup Qualifying, moves closer to final round

By Michael Lewis
BigAppleSoccer.com Editor

Michael Bradley scored the first U.S. goal Wednesday night.
Michael Bradley scored the first U.S. goal Wednesday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Bridgeview, Ill. -- Scoring woes? What scoring woes?

After recording three consecutive 1-0 road wins, the U.S. National Team broke loose against Trinidad & Tobago to register a 3-0 victory in a World Cup qualifier at Toyota Park Wednesday night.

The Americans (3-0-0, nine points) moved within a tie of clinching a berth in next year's final CONCACAF round. They can clinch against Cuba in Washington, D.C. Oct. 11. Trinidad (1-1-1, four) were in danger of falling into third place in the group, pending the outcome of the late game between host Guatemala (0-1-1, one) and Cuba (0-2-0, none).

Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Brian Ching found the back of the net in front of 11,452 spectators.

The addition of former Seton Hall standout Sacha Kljestan certainly did not hurt the U.S., which had trouble finding the back of the net in victories over Barbados, Guatemala and Cuba. Kljestan replaced Maurice Edu at one of the central midfield positions.

More than just the goals, the U.S. applied a ton of pressure at goalkeeper Marvin Phillip. The Trinidad side gave the U.S. more space as the Americans looked a lot more comfortable in this match than in the previous three encounters.

Landon Donovan and Bradley teamed to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute. Donovan sent a 28-yard free kick from the left side to the far side of the penalty area. An onrushing Bradley, who broke free of his man, volleyed the ball off his right foot past Phillip from three yards.

The U.S. continued to attack and only nine minutes later the Americans doubled their lead. This time DaMarcus Beasley fed a racing Dempsey on the right side past a stationary T&T backline. Dempsey had little trouble depositing the ball into the lower left corner for a 2-0 advantage.

The Americans scored against the run of play in the 57th minute after the visitors failed to score in five corner-kick attempts in the opening minutes of the second half. Trinidad defender Akile Edwards fouled defender Steve Cherundolo at midfield. DaMarcus Beasley sent the ensuing free kick into the penalty area. Defender Oguchi Onyewu beat his man in front of the net and sent a header to an unmarked Ching, who easily headed it into the net.

The U.S. has not given up a goal in five qualifiers this year.
   
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