The U.S. is level with Jamaica on four points but holds a three-goal lead in goal differential. If the United States wins the group, they would be placed on the opposite side to Mexico in the knockout-stage bracket. If the U.S. finishes second, it sets up a possible semifinal match against its fiercest foes.
“We do understand that there’ll be an eye on the goal differential, but we’re confident that if we play our style and we remain aggressive and pressing and dominating with the ball that we’ll be able to score the goals and get the result that we need,” U.S. interim coach B.J. Callaghan said.
The Americans need at least a draw against Trinidad and Tobago at Bank of America Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and MLS’ Charlotte FC, to be sure of reacing the competition’s knockout phase. Jamaica and. St. Kitts and Nevis will kick off at the same time, 7 p.m. ET.
“We’ll clearly have a group of people that are watching the other game to give us updates as needed if it comes to that,” Callaghan said.
The U.S. will likely be without winger Jordan Morris and midfielder Alan Soñora. Morris has not returned to team training since suffering a minor knee injury in the opening 1-1 tie against Jamaica, while Sonora strained his hamstring in Wednesday’s 6-0 rout of St. Kitts and Nevis and has not trained since.
If it is determined neither player is able to contribute in the knockout stages, Callaghan said they would consider bringing in replacement players, but that decision won’t be made until after Sunday’s game.
Trinidad and Tobago opened the tournament with a 3-0 win against St. Kitts and Nevis before losing 4-1 to Jamaica.
“Nobody expected us to come out of the group, nobody,” T&T coach Angus Eve said. “Because both teams that we play in the group are ranked higher us, have better quality players than us. So anything that we do is a bonus coming out this group.”
USA eyeing goals, top spot in Gold Cup group stage finale