BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. Clint Dempsey scored his fourth goal in four games, Michael Bradley and Brian Ching padded the margin, and the United States beat Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 in World Cup qualifying Wednesday night.
The victory was the fifth straight by the Americans, and virtually assures them of making next year's six-team regional finals. The United States is atop Group One in the semifinals of the North and Central American and the Caribbean with nine points, five ahead of T&T.
The victory was hardly a surprise. The Americans are 25-1-7 in home qualifiers since May 1985, their only defeat a 3-2 loss to Honduras in September 2001, and have outscored opponents 21-0 on U.S. soil since 2004. They're also 9-0-2 in World Cup qualifying against T&T.
The Soca Warriors, forced to play without veteran midfielder Dwight Yorke after he was recalled to his club team in England, had a second-half goal waved off on an offsides call. It was the sixth straight shutout for the United States.
Though the Americans came in with a four-game winning streak, their offense has been patchy and they eked out 1-0 victories in each of the prior three games all on the road.
No such problems against T&T.
DaMarcus Beasley earned the Americans a free kick in the ninth minute when he was tripped up as he sprinted down the left sideline. Landon Donovan lofted the kick over the scrum in front of the goal and Marvin Phillip had no chance as Bradley flicked the ball into the goal with the right side of his foot.
Donovan pumped his fist when he saw the ball go in, and the rest of the Americans mobbed Beasley. It was Bradley's third international goal, and second this year.
Nine minutes later, the Americans doubled their lead. Dempsey had the ball on the right side and fed Beasley on a give-and-go. There were four defenders in front of him, but they were lined up flat, and Beasley threaded the ball on a perfect pass to Dempsey, who put it in the far side of the net.
It was the fourth goal in as many games for Dempsey. He had two at home against Barbados, and also scored at Cuba. He did not play when the Americans traveled to Barbados.
The Americans put the game out of reach in the 57th minute after Carlos Edwards flipped Steve Cherundolo into the air and drew a yellow card. Beasley took the free kick and Oguchi Onyewu headed it back toward the goal, only to have Phillip get his hands on it as they collided.
But the rebound caromed straight to Ching, who was all alone in front of the goal and headed the ball into the net.
After managing just one shot in the first 45 minutes, the Soca Warriors got much more aggressive in the second half and actually created a few chances on corner kicks. Cherundolo and Bocanegra cleared out two, and Onyewu knocked another shot to safety just outside the goal.
The Soca Warriors' best chance came in the 60th minute, when Cornell Glenn took a hard shot from just outside the box. American goalkeeper Tim Howard dove to his left and punched the ball away and second-half substitute Anthony Wolfe collected it and quickly put it into the open goal.
Referees quickly whistled it off, and replays showed he was, indeed offsides.