Defender Jay DeMerit believes the United States' never-say-die attitude demonstrated against England will be crucial in their battle to reach the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup™.

Bob Bradley's side trailed after only four minutes to a clinical finish from England skipper Steven Gerrard but hit back to snatch a point via Clint Dempsey's 19th goal for his country. It was the latest example of their determination to bounce back from adversity.

Last summer the United States faced elimination from the FIFA Confederations Cup after two matches but recovered to reach the final. DeMerit, who has just parted company with Watford, said: "The good thing about us is that we've shown in the past when bad things happen to us, we don't really put our heads down and bow.

"We seem to move into the next gear and that is exactly what we did again against England. We showed a lot of character in coming back against a team like that. It is very easy after going a goal down early on like that to say 'it is going to be a long day. This team never seems to do that. That is part of our characteristics and we are going to need that now as the tournament progresses."

DeMerit believes USA deserve credit for the way they stifled the threat of Wayne Rooney and stopped any fluency in England's play for lengthy periods. He said: "Going into the game, if you let a player of Rooney's calibre turn and run at you, you are going to have a long day.

The good thing about us is that we've shown in the past when bad things happen to us, we don't really put our heads down and bow.

USA defender Jay DeMerit on his side's 'bounce-back' ability.

"We knew negating as much space as we could in front of him, so he couldn't do that, would give us the best chance. It is easy to say how disjointed England were but we contributed to that in not letting them play. Put the best players in the world under pressure and they are maybe not going to pass as well as they normally do. That was the game plan coming in and we did a good job in doing that and we more than deserved that result."

Defender Oguchi Onyewu, who played his first competitive game for eight months after injury, said: "I think we were flat early on in the game, especially when they got the early goal. Once we picked it up as a team, and we were able to get the momentum going, we got more comfortable as the game went on.

"I think it's important for us to use our momentum from the England game and to push it towards the next two games. It's going to be very difficult, even more difficult as the tournament goes on and the results get more crucial."