United States defender Jay DeMerit has admitted that his side could target Wayne Rooney's often suspect temperament when they tangle with England in their opening fixture of the World Cup.
However, the Watford player also acknowledges that doing so is not as easy as many think, with the Manchester United star a much matured and balanced character compared to what he was in Germany four years ago.
"How to stop him? Yeah, good question. I have thought about playing him and I've been fortunate enough to play against Rooney a few times," DeMerit told reporters in South Africa.
"We all understand the type of player he is and his world-class ability. The preparations for him in particular, of course, are going to be high.
"The team know that you try to wind Rooney up, that's been out there already.
"But I think he's learned over the years, with people telling him, that's an easy way to get at him. I don't think it's as easy to wind Rooney up as people think it is."
DeMerit was keener to stress the collective work ethic that will dominate the United States' approach to the game.
Defence will be key for the Americans against Rooney and his team-mates, and the Hornets player knows that organisation and concentration will be invaluable when they face up to the English.
"We all know them. So it is about how we defend against them as an XI and make their day as difficult as possible," he added.
"We are under no illusions as to the huge task we have in the first game but that takes nothing away from our own confidence.
"We respect England's reputations but we would love to bring them down a little. There is no point coming to the World Cup unless you go in with an attitude like that."
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