World Cup qualifiers continue during FIFA international break

Major League Soccer teams now prepare to take a hiatus for the FIFA international break following Week 14's action. While the domestic clubs receive a break from the daily grind of league play, the international stage is heating up, especially in North America. The U.S. Men’s National Team play two World Cup qualifiers during the window, hosting Trinidad & Tobago on June 8 in Colorado before visiting the famed Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on June 11.

Bruce Arena’s side, who now sit in fourth place in the Hexagonal after four matches, are in need of maximum points from their two matches, especially one in which they face cellar-dwellers Trinidad & Tobago. The Soca Warriors have never won on American soil, but are desperate for even a point in order to stay alive for the fourth spot. The U.S. hold an extremely strong all-time record against the Caribbean side, 16-2-4, while boasting a World Cup qualifying record of 12-1-3. With Mexico lurking just three days after, Arena and his team will need to take full advantage of the home fixture.

Speaking of the southern neighbors, Mexico enter the fifth match of the final round of CONCACAF qualifying in first place with 10 points. In March, El Tri earned back-to-back victories over Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago, and will face Honduras on June 8. The U.S. head to Mexico City hoping to reverse the historic trend of matches at the Azteca; the Red, White and Blue have won only once in 10 matches there, a friendly in 2012.

Both qualifiers hold immense value for Arena and the U.S., as well as their opponents. Following the international break, there will be a much clearer picture of who will be representing CONCACAF at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.  

Fifth & Final (Hexagonal) Round Standings

as of 12:00 AM ET, Mar. 29 PTS W L D GF GA GD
Mexico 10 3 0 1 5 1 +4
Costa Rica 7 2 1 1 7 3 +4
Panama 5 1 1 2 2 2 0
United States 4 1 2 1 8 7 +1
Honduras 4 1 2 1 4 9 -5
Trinidad & Tobago 3 1 2 0 2 6 -4