KANSAS CITY, Kansas (AP):
Jurgen Klinsmann promised to bring an attacking style to the US national team when the former Germany striker took the reins of the programme more than a year ago.
His approach won't change even when a tie would suit the Americans just fine.
The US merely need to draw with Guatemala tonight for both teams to advance from Group A in the semi-finals of World Cup qualifying, while a result one way or the other would give Jamaica an outside chance of squeaking through to the final round.
Don't expect either team to bunker down, though.
Especially the Americans.
"Our approach to the game is clear. We want to win this game. You can only win a game if you attack and go forward, and that's what we're going to do,'' Klinsmann said before a final training session at Livestrong Sporting Park yesterday. "We're not going to look for a tie.''
Even though that might be the prudent move.
The US set up the enviable situation with a ragged 2-1 victory over Antigua and Barbuda on Friday, a game that was played on a tiny cricket pitch-turned-quagmire.
The performance wasn't a thing of beauty, either. The Americans struggled through the wind and were hampered by the tight quarters of the field, and needed a pair of goals from Eddie Johnson to beat the last-place team in its group. Johnson's header in the 90th minute secured the victory.
"We're honest enough with ourselves to look at things and say, 'This needs to be better,'' midfielder Michael Bradley said. "I can assure you the mentality, the spirit within the group is really good. A quality of a big team is to come away with points, to come away with wins, on days when you don't play your best, when conditions aren't perfect. We take great pride in that.''
Johnson's big night in St John's, Antigua, certainly came at an opportune time. The roster at Klinsmann's disposal keeps shrinking due to injuries and suspensions.
Midfielder Jermaine Jones returned to his German club during the weekend after receiving a yellow card Friday night that meant he would be suspended for the game against Guatemala.
Landon Donovan has been out with a knee injury, Brek Shea with an abdominal strain and Edgar Castillo with a foot injury, while Fabian Johnson did not make the trip to Kansas City because of flu so severe that he was briefly hospitalised with concerns it might be salmonella-related.
That means Klinsmann has just 16 field players available for Tuesday night's game. "We think this group being together more than a week gives us enough options to deal with those problems that came up,'' Klinsmann said, when asked whether he considered bringing in help.
"We feel we're strong enough to deal with Guatemala with the players that are here.''