NATAL, Brazil (AP) U.S coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been impressed by CONCACAF’S good start at the World Cup with opening-match victories by Mexico and Costa Rica, and says his team is aiming to push the region’s success further when it plays Ghana on Monday.
”It’s exciting to see Mexico win, to see Costa Rica win … We want them to do well because we are all representing CONCACAF. We want to follow up on that.”
Mexico beat Cameroon 1-0 in Group A and Costa Rica had the biggest upset of the early games with a 3-1 win over Uruguay in Group D on Saturday. CONCACAF’s good run ended Sunday when France beat Honduras 3-0 in Group E.
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The U.S. team’s runs at the previous two World Cups have ended with losses to Ghana.
Klinsmann said qualifying in CONCACAF, where teams often face less-than-ideal conditions such as rough fields and poor stadium lighting, prepares the players for anything the weather might throw at them Monday night.
Heavy rains soaked Natal from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, flooding roads and causing mud slides in the coastal city.
”No matter what happens, this group is ready to go … If it’s raining or snowing or thunder and lightning,” Klinsmann said. ”Going through CONCACAF, we’re not complaining, we just go into the countries and make the best out of it. If it goes great, OK. If it doesn’t go great, you learn your lesson.”