GUATEMALA CITY - During Monday's press conference in Guatemala City, Landon Donovan resisted constant assertions from local media that the United States goes into Tuesday's World Cup qualifier as the favorite.
Donovan instead assured that the USA will not indulge in any overconfidence in their visit to the Mateo Flores.
"[The U-20 team's] elimination helped us wake up a bit. We learned from that and got better, and it's clear to us that teams in the region are getting better too," said Donovan in Spanish to the assembled reporters.
Last year, the US under-20 team fell in Guatemala in a tough match that also meant the Americans would miss out on the World Cup in Colombia the following summer.
Donovan highlighted Paraguayan coach Ever Hugo Almeida's work with the Chapines, stating that he has gotten more out a group of players that had been with the team for years.
"Many of the faces are the same, if you look at 'Pescadito' Ruiz or [Marco] Pappa, I think that now with their new coach they're more organized and for me, this is a better team than before. We saw the match against Jamaica, and we know that at home this is a different side," said Donovan.
The USA has not lost a match against Guatemala since 1983, when they dropped a Pan American Games group stage game in Caracas, Venezuela.
Mike Slane contributed reporting from Guatemala City
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