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Howard: 'Bold' U.S. Team Can Make History

  • FIFA.com, Monday, August 10, 2009 4 PM
"Like Tony Meola, Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller before him, (Tim) Howard is preparing to accept one of the toughest assignments in all of world soccer: Mexico at their Estadio Azteca," reads the introduction to an exclusive interview on FIFA.com, but the Top Goalkeeper recipient from the Confederations Cup is confident and cautiously optimistic about this U.S. team's chances to end the 0-18-1 winless drought in Mexico City.

"For so long Mexico dominated our region, dominated us. Now, and for some time, we have been the dominant team. So there's a lot of anger and hurt feelings between the two of us," said Howard, in explaining the intensity of the rivalry for those outside of Cconcacaf. "Let's face it, for they kicked our butts for a long time. And when the tide turned, they didn't like it. Why would they? It's just a pure and natural rivalry."

"Practically no one but Mexico wins at the Azteca [only Costa Rica, in 2001, has ever won a qualifier in Mexico City], but I've always had this feeling that this group of players, this U.S. team, can do something special there," predicted Howard. "We, to a large extent, are a brash young team with a blend of naivety and boldness. We're thinking 'why can't we win?' I think we can do something special, something no other team has done before."

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