United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann has told his players that an urgent attitude will be the key to ensuring their qualification to next year's FIFA World Cup™ finals. The USA begin their bid to reach Brazil with a tricky trip away to Honduras in San Pero Sula tomorrow.
Klinsmann's side are widely expected to claim one of the three automatic places on offer in he six-team final round, but the Germany boss is preaching caution for now. Klinsmann wants to avoid an early upset, which could pour pressure on his side, and is wary of under-estimating a Honduras team that qualified for the last World Cup.
"Going into World Cup qualifiers, there are not only the expectations and the pressure that you've got to qualify no matter what," he told US Soccer's official website. "There's also a sense of don't let things slip through your hands, get the job done as early as possible, don't waste any opportunity right from the beginning.
We want to go in there and start getting points with urgency because that builds more confidence for the next games.
"One of our key messages to the players is to have that sense of urgency to go into Honduras and give them a fight and go for three points. We aren't calculating anything. We want to go in there and start getting points with urgency because that builds more confidence for the next games. This is really important that the players understand that it's not going to be easy. It's World Cup qualifiers and if you want to go to Brazil, be ready for it right away."
The USA have never lost at the Estadio Olimpico, but Honduran duo Roger Espinoza and Maynor Figueroa - who both play for Premier League club Wigan - are confident they can spring a surprise.
"We must profit in our home conditions," Espinoza told reporters at the airport after flying home. "We have played the United States a number of times, but we must be worried about ourselves."
Figueroa added: "It is going to be a very important match, as the remaining five will be too, but it is even more important to make a good start."