After four attempts the German manager finally recorded a success, after taking over the coaching duties from Bob Bradley back in July, thanks to the Fulham midfielder's goal
A rain storm and small risk of a tornado may have kept the fans away, but the United States came ready to play in a game that was crucial for the team’s morale, putting pressure on the visitors early and often at the Sun Life Stadium.
Clint Dempsey scored in the first half, assisted by youngster Brek Shea, to help the Americans take their tally to one win, two draws and one defeat since Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley in July.
"We're happy to get our first win for our new manager and hopefully we can build on this," Dempsey told the media after the game.
Honduras had chances of their own as well, but a handful of impressive saves from USA goalkeeper Tim Howard allowed the team to hold on to the clean sheet.
It took only 18 minutes before Honduras gave the hosts their first real scare as Jerry Bengtson found his way behind the American defenders with a clear path to the goal. But Howard, in the one-on-one situation, stepped up and made a fantastic save.
Just over a minute later, Shea had an open shot on the net but watched the ball sail just over the crossbar. Another big chance followed as Maurice Edu got his head on a Steve Cherundolo free-kick only to have it turned away by Honduras keeper Donis Escobar.
It was a matter of time before the USA. finally found the back of the net.
"I think after 20, 25 minutes we took over," Klinsmann said to reporters. "We created a lot more chances and I had the feeling that it was just a question of time until we scored that first goal."
In the 36th minute, a pass from Shea trickled into the middle of the box to the feet of Dempsey, who showed great composure to gather the ball and put it away with a left-footed shot.
"I tried to hit it with my right foot and saw that it was going to get deflected so then I shifted the play to where I can get an open shot on goal," said Dempsey, who netted 23 times for his country.
The Fulham man’s powerful strike marked the first time the home side had led a game under the new management. It was also only the second goal in the team's last four games despite Klinsmann's focus on an attacking style of play.
Shea almost had a goal of his own in the 58th minute, but he slipped on the wet grass as he received a pass just a few feet away from the goal line.
"It wasn't the best condition for a game," Shea told the press afterwards.
As Honduras began to put the Americans on their heels, Klinsmann replaced Danny Williams and Maurice Edu with veterans DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Bradley, and the changes seemed to shift the momentum back to the hosts.
Dempsey had a headed goal called back in the 84th minute after the referee claimed the midfielder pushed off the defender.
"For whatever reason it was disallowed," Klinsmann fumed. "It reminded us of Belgium. Two goals now that they've stolen from us, but that's the way it is."
But, unlike in the 1-0 loss to Belgium last month, the USA got the result they desperately wanted.
"I always want to win and I want to get the results right," Klinsmann added.
Klinsmann's roster, comprised of many veteran players with a few youngsters sprinkled into the mix, seemed to be the best of any he has chosen so far.
Daniel Williams was named to the starting XI as he made his national team debut. The German-born midfielder, who certified his U.S. citizenship and obtained a passport on September 30, made an instant impact with his aggressive and physical play.
"He did the right things," Klinsmann said of the 22-year-old.
Even without Landon Donovan, who was ruled out of both friendlies this month due to a strained right quadriceps, the USA looked better than they had done since the Gold Cup.
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Matthew Spitz of usfutblog.com contributed reporting to this article