Jurgen Klinsmann perfectly summed up the Hexagonal experience in a video released by U.S. Soccer on Tuesday:
“Yes, it’s expected [to qualify for the World Cup]. But it’s still a very, very difficult task,” he said.
The U.S. booked a spot in its seventh consecutive World Cup last week. The outcome never should have been in doubt. But the path can be treacherous. It isn’t easy, Klinsmann said, to go into Central America or the Caribbean and come away with points. Nor is it easy to re-establish momentum once it’s gone.
“I think Mexico is the biggest example for that,” Klinsmann said. “They haven’t done that much wrong. They just didn’t get enough points to kind of have a calmer environment … And they have to pay the price right now for it.”
At the conclusion of his short, post-qualification debrief, Klinsmann re-iterated his promise to take the final two qualifiers seriously. The U.S. will host Jamaica on Oct. 11 at Sporting Park in Kansas City than travel to Panama for the finale four days later.
“Our approach is six points. We want to win these two games badly and we’re going to bring in the best players,” he said, adding that he wanted to finish off a successful 2013 on a high note.
“We owe that [to] the fans,” he said. “We want a party there as well. So that’s how we approach it.”
Here’s the full video, which includes a cool shot of the U.S. locker room inside Crew Stadium at the moment qualification was secured: