GLENDALE, Arizona – Trinidad & Tobago and Cuba meet for the first time since their 0-0 draw in a 2014 Caribbean Cup finals group stage game last November, when they square off Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Here are Three Points to consider ahead of the game:
1) Trinidad & Tobago can clinch
Following a clinical 3-1 victory over Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago now finds itself in prime position to book a place in the Gold Cup quarterfinals. With a win over Cuba, the Caribbean runner-up will clinch a quarterfinal spot for the second consecutive edition. In 2000, the Soca Warriors reached the semifinals. Another impressive performance will have observers believing that they can.
2) Can Cuba bounce back?
It was a tough start to the Gold Cup for Cuba. Outgunned and outmanned in their opener, the Cubans fell to tournament favorites Mexico, 6-0. Despite the setback, hope remains as the Leones del Caribe still control their own destiny. Midfielder Ariel Martinez, who scored three goals in a 2013 Gold Cup games against Belize, will have to be at his best. However, his talents – no matter how extensive – won’t be enough unless the defense tightens up. It has conceded five goals or more in six of its last nine Gold Cup games, including six in each of the last two.
3) Will Sunday be Kenwyne Jones’ day?
One of the most prolific strikers in the region over the past decade, Trinidad & Tobago striker Kenwyne Jones appears poised for a Gold Cup breakthrough. The former Stoke City man looked sharp off the ball in the Soca Warriors opener, but found opportunities limited as the Guatemalan defense keyed on the 2006 FIFA World Cup participant. Surprisingly, Jones only has two career Gold Cup goals, both coming in 2013. Though he’s without injured partner Kevin Molino, the towering 30-year-old has plenty of offensive this year as evidenced by that 3-1 win over Guatemala. Don’t be surprised if Jones’ talents are once again on full display Sunday in Glendale.