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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Tim Howard is expecting a tough double-header when the United States face Jamaica twice within the space of five days.

The two nations resume their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign on Friday when Howard's side head to Kingston, capital of the Caribbean island.

A return fixture in Ohio quickly follows on Tuesday - and the Blues goalkeeper believes that confidence is high in the US camp after a historic victory over bitter rivals Mexico last month.

"That win meant everything to us," he said. "We’d never won there before and over the years we were all hoping that we would be the group of players to finally get over the hump.

"To be a part of the generation that finally won at the Azteca fills us with so much pride. It’s definitely one of the biggest moments of my career.

"Mexico had just won the gold at the London Olympics. Almost none of the talk on the game was about us.

"That kind of made it more special. We banded together. It was about grit and determination. We had a lot of excuses to lose that game but we overcame them."

With that friendly being anything but, Howard is keen to continue the competitiveness that the new Premier League campaign has provided in the forthcoming qualifiers.

He said: "Jamaica are a tough team and it’s tough to play them at ‘The Office’ in Kingston. We’re hoping we can keep up the momentum from the win in Mexico and get one there, where we rarely win.

"They’re a lot like us. In fact,Jamaica, Canada and the USA are very similar and match up very tightly. They have strong, athletic players and a few guys who know how to move the ball around.

"When you play a team that cancels you out like that, you need to get the tactics right. We need to find a rhythm and dominate the areas we can dominate on the field."

Midway through the third qualifying round, the United States sit above Jamaica at the top of the four-team group on goal difference.

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