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U.S. continues World Cup qualification push vs. Trinidad & Tobago

The United States will continue its attempt to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia when it hosts Trinidad & Tobago in the Denver suburbs on Thursday.

Bruce Arena, who was hired to replace Jurgen Klinsmann as the U.S. national team coach in November, has yet to lose in five games since returning to the job.

He guided the U.S. to a 6-0 victory over Honduras on March 24 and followed up with a 1-1 draw with Panama four days later in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

SIG USA Trinidad & Tobago SPI 20170608
The United States has an 85 percent chance of beating Trinidad & Tobago, according to FiveThirtyEight's Soccer Power Index (SPI).

Thursday's game is the fifth for both sides in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, known as the Hexagonal. The U.S. faced Trinidad & Tobago twice in the fourth round, the group stage, drawing 0-0 away in November 2015 before winning 4-0 at home in September 2016.

The U.S. is 29-1-2 in home World Cup qualifiers since October 2001, with the only loss to Mexico in November, and 12-0-1 at home against Trinidad & Tobago all-time, having won each of the teams' last 10 meetings.

The last time the U.S. failed to defeat Trinidad & Tobago at home was on May 13, 1989 -- a 1-1 draw in Torrance, California, in the CONCACAF Championship, which then served as the region's qualifying stage for the World Cup.

SIG CONCACAF World Cup table 20170608
The top three teams in the CONCACAF final round automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Clint Dempsey enters the game having scored 56 goals for the U.S. in 133 appearances. He remains one goal shy of equaling Landon Donovan's record for the most international goals in team history.

After Thursday, the U.S. will head to Mexico for a World Cup qualifier on Sunday before participating in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and resuming qualifying on Sept. 1 against Costa Rica.

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