If not for a 3-0 win in Austin last Thursday, the reigning, and so far only, CONCACAF Nations League champions may have found themselves out of the tournament.
The U.S. Men’s National Team suffered a 2-1 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago in the second leg of the 2023-24 CONCACAF Nations League quarter-final in Port of Spain. But despite the loss, the USMNT advanced to the semi-finals with a 4-2 aggregate win over two legs. This victory also secured the USMNT a spot in next summer’s Copa América, which they are hosting but somehow still had to qualify for.
On Monday, Trinidad and Tobago, who were trailing 3-0 after the USA’s first-leg win in Austin were pushed back into their own defensive third early on. The USMNT took the lead in the 25th minute with a goal from defender Antonee “Jedi” Robinson, who scored in consecutive games for the first time in a USA shirt.
Sergiño Dest provided the assist for the opening goal but was shown a red card in the 39th minute for kicking the ball away after a throw-in was awarded to the hosts and arguing with the referee. His dismissal left the USMNT with 10 men for the rest of the game and Dest will also be suspended for March’s Nations League semi-final.
Related read: Sergiño Dest red card nearly costs USA a Nations League semi-final berth, leaves USMNT angry
Boosted by the man advantage, Trinidad & Tobago equalized just before halftime and took the lead in the 57th minute. Despite losing the match 2-1, the U.S. still advanced to the semifinals with a 4-2 aggregate win. This marked only the fourth time in history that the U.S. has lost to the Soca Warriors.
The USA will face one of Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Canada, Honduras, or Mexico in the semi-finals at AT&T Stadium in March, the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.