Laughably bad own goal, wonder strike have U.S. in trouble in Trinidad

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The U.S. men’s national team needs a win or a draw in Trinidad and Tobago to clinch a spot at the 2018 World Cup. Its quest to do just that is off to a terrible start.

Omar Gonzalez flubbed an attempt to clear a cross early in the first half. His mishit looped over American goalkeeper Tim Howard and into the corner of the net:


Minutes later, Gonzalez attempted a slide tackle in the box that very easily could have resulted in a penalty kick. Gonzalez was fortunate that the referee spared him further embarrassment.

Gonzalez is starting instead of regular starter Geoff Cameron. Gonzalez and Matt Besler kept a clean sheet in a 4-0 win over Panama on Friday, but his inclusion in the lineup for both games raised some eyebrows. Gonzalez didn’t exactly make manager Bruce Arena look smart with his performance in the first half.

It got even worse for the U.S. 20 minutes later when Trinidad and Tobago’s Alvin Jones nailed a sublime strike from 37 yards out. Howard was seemingly caught off-guard by the audacious attempt as the ball slipped just over his outstretched hands and into the back corner of the net.