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U.S. coach not worried about World Cup qualifier

© Reuters Limited 2001

By Chris Cowles

FOXBORO, Massachusetts, June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. soccer coach Bruce Arena says he has no worries about facing Trinidad and Tobago in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier. The two sides meet with the Americans top of the six-nation CONCACAF qualifying group and their opponents rooted to the bottom of the table. "I'm not worried about Trinidad and Tobago," said Arena after the U.S. training session on Monday.

"I'm more concerned about ourselves right now. I'm concerned with taking three points on Wednesday and helping us get into the World Cup." Defeat for the Caribbean side would put an end to their remote chances of qualifying for their first-ever finals in Japan and Korea next year. "They (Trinidad and Tobago) have one nail in the coffin right now," Arena said. "They have to get three points - this is their last chance." The U.S. lead with 10 points, followed by Costa Rica on seven points after their surprise away victory against Mexico on Saturday. Honduras and Jamaica are level on five points, Mexico have four and Trinidad and Tobago are bottom with just one point after losing 4-2 at home to Honduras at the weekend. The top three finishers qualify for the finals.

The U.S. need just five points to seal third place in the group. They have lost only once in their last 10 qualifiers, conceding just three goals and scoring 18. "We're going to be more aggressive on Wednesday," Arena said. "We want to get three points, that's our objective and goal."

Few changes are expected in the U.S. team, but Everton forward Joe-Max Moore, who missed Monday's training with a stomach virus, could be replaced by Jovan Kirovski or Ante Razov. Blackburn's Brad Friedel could also get a start in goal in place of Kasey Keller who played in last weekend's 0-0 draw with Jamaica in Kingston. Midfielder Cobi Jones is also available following a two-match suspension for a red card in the United States' victory in Honduras in March. Defender Jeff Agoos was already bracing for the visitors' strike force, saying: "Guys like (Dwight) Yorke and (Russell) Latapy, some of them are the best forwards we will play against in the region.

"As a defence, we know that keeping them off the scoreboard helps us to qualify." Despite having a handful of chances against Jamaica, the Americans were unable to score although they twice came close in the dying seconds. "It doesn't matter how many chances we get against Trinidad," said Glasgow Rangers midfielder Claudio Reyna. "What matters is that we get the result. "We have to play good defence, Trinidad are a team that can get a goal and you don't want to be in the situation where you are a goal down and chasing. "We want the three points, but we're not going to come out and try to win the game in the first five minutes."

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