The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

September 10, 2013

US looks to clinch World Cup berth against Mexico

(Continued)

Mexico will be playing its first game since coach Chepo De la Torre was replaced by Luis Fernando Tena following Friday's 2-1 defeat to Honduras at Azteca Stadium.

"You can't expect many changes in the team that played a game three days ago and now has to play again," Tena said in remarks translated from Spanish, adding he did not plan to bring in Real Socieded forward Carlos Vela or any other new players for Tuesday.

After this, the Americans play Jamaica at Kansas City, Kan., on Oct. 11 and finish four days later at Panama.

"You don't want to be waiting until the last game and wanting other teams to do you a favor because you're not able to get the job done," U.S. captain Clint Dempsey said. "So ideally, we'd like to get that wrapped up as soon as we can."

The U.S. is 23-0-2 in home qualifiers since losing to Honduras in September 2001 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and 37-1-7 in qualifiers on American soil since losing to Costa Rica in 1985 at Torrance Calif.

The defeat to the Catrachos prompted then-coach Bruce Arena to pronounce: "Only in America, I guess, we're fighting for a home-field advantage."

Since the 2001 loss, the U.S. Soccer Federation has focused on selecting sites for home games likely to produce a pro-American crowd, sometimes giving up revenue that could have been collected at larger grounds.

Earlier qualifiers this year included a 1-0 win over Costa Rica at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in suburban Denver, a 2-0 victory over Panama at Seattle's CenturyLink Field and a 1-0 win over Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium outside Salt Lake City.

"If every time we came here, the crowd was great and we lost, it wouldn't mean nearly as much," American goalkeeper Tim Howard said.

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