• Thursday Mar 23, 2017

    U.S. goes back to basics in search of WCQ win

    Michael Bradley (white jersey) and the USA will be looking for their first win in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on March 24, 2018, when they host Honduras in San Jose, California. (Photo: John Bacon/Straffon Images)

    SAN JOSE, California -- The United States is looking to bounce back in a imperative way as the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup nears resumption.

    After opening the deciding stage with two straight losses, the last-place Americans (0W-0D-2L, 0 points), are targeting a win against visiting Honduras (1-0-1, 3) at Avaya Stadium on Friday night.

    “For us the reality is simple,” captain Michael Bradley stated. “We let ourselves down in the first two games and that means that our margin for error is now very, very small.”

    In November, the U.S. suffered only its third qualifying loss at home in 31 years, dropping a 2-1 decision to Mexico, before falling at Costa Rica, 4-0.

    “There is zero point in continuing to look back,” remarked Bradley. “We are where we are and it is time to begin the process of moving ourselves back up the table, stepping on the field from the first minute and playing in a really aggressive way that ultimately leaves no doubt.”

    The setbacks led to Jurgen Klinsmann being replaced by Bruce Arena, who was charged with getting the U.S. to Russia any way possible.

    "Bruce has come in and done a good job in terms of re-establishing certain things, getting out a few things," Bradley commented. "The mentality and the spirit in training and around the group has been excellent.

    "We feel like we let some different things slip, and [Arena has] come in and found the right way to work and talk and show some things and make sure that we understand who we are and what we're about."

    The Americans’ sole priority – regardless of how it looks -- is to get in the win column ahead of Tuesday’s matchday four qualifier at Panama.

    "Three points -- that's our main concern," concluded forward Chris Wondolowski. "There's not going to be any beauty prizes awarded. We're just going to have to grind out the points."

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