Colorado Rapids defender Mekeil Williams switched from club to country on Thursday as he joined up with Trinidad and Tobago a week out from their World Cup qualifier against the USA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Williams enjoyed his first practice session with T&T at the team’s training camp in Boulder, and is already looking forward to facing his Rapids teammate Tim Howard in next week’s encounter.
Howard, who is seen as first-choice for the USA by head coach Bruce Arena, kept his second shutout of the MLS season last weekend in the Rapids’ 1-0 home win over Sporting Kansas City.
Anything less than a clean-sheet for Howard could have him sitting with the rookie goalkeepers in the Rapids locker room until the end of the season, for he and Williams have injected a little extra competition to this key qualifier. A T&T win will mean the rookies have Howard alongside them. A win for the USA will have Williams moving his locker to the one nearest the bathroom.
All a bit of fun, but the serious stuff resumes next Thursday, and both teams have work to do if they are to improve their chances of reaching the World Cup finals in Russia next year.
Each nation has 10 games to play in the CONCACAF region’s final round. After four games, the USA sits fourth in the six-team standings, with a 1-2-1 record. T&T are bottom, having managed a 1-3-0 return.
The USA has featured at every World Cup since 1990. T&T, on the other hand, have only qualified once for the World Cup, back in 2006.