KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The United States is fully aware that it likely stands in the way of Jamaica's slim World Cup hopes.
After losing to Mexico at home in Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier, the Reggae Boyz only have two points in the CONCACAF hexagonal and would need a win against the Stars and Stripes to have any chance of making it to Brazil in 2014. It is very likely that Jamaica will go all out in attack and U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann hopes that his team can use that towards their advantage.
"They have to do something really badly on Friday night [against the U.S.], which leaves us with a huge opportunity," Klinsmann said. "It might be more dangerous because they have their backs against the wall. Or they might be vulnerable [as] things are not going their way.
"It is about us – what we are going to do, how we want to execute our game plan.”
However, Jamaica has proven tricky in the past. The last time the U.S. faced the team at its home ground known as "The Office," Jamaica was more incisive scoring two goals in a 2-1 upset of set plays despite the U.S. controlling the game. Graham Zusi and Terrence Boyd were on the U.S. roster during that match and both believe the U.S. learned from its mistakes.
"I think we kind of woke up after we lost," Boyd explained. "We know what's waiting for us now. We are aware of what they are able to do. So we're paying attention to those things in training."
Zusi revealed that Klinsmann briefly discussed the team's previous result in Jamaica and the message was clear.
"We touched on it, saying that we need to right the ship and get a win here," Zusi said. "Basically, remembering that feeling that we had the last time we were here. We lost and it wasn't a good feeling. We felt that we should have done better. Making sure that it didn't happen again."
Zusi said that the U.S. has been focused on not allowing Jamaica to have easy chances to score, especially with set pieces. The U.S. arrived a day earlier than usual to acclimate to the conditions in Kingston and have an extra day of training to focus on its next opponent. If the U.S. asserts itself both Zusi and Boyd expect the team to do well on Friday night.
"We expect them to be in a do or die situation on Friday. It's probably a must win for them. I think its our job to match that," Zusi said. "If we can put them under pressure and make them uncomfortable, a team like that who maybe doesn't have a lot of confidence in themselves, we can get after them. Break their spirit."
Boyd added, "We know that we have much more quality as a team and we play the ball. We just have to keep the ball moving."
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