The USA will look to send a message to Costa Rica when they face them in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday, Juergen Klinsmann has said.
Both teams have already secured quarter-final spots but will still want the three points to finish top of Group C.
Winning the section could mean avoiding a last-eight encounter with Honduras, who are in good form having won three of their last five games.
However, USA head coach Klinsmann has indicated that even more importantly, a victory and a good performance could give his side a psychological edge over a team they will do battle with for FIFA World Cup qualification later in the year.
“There is enough time between this game now and the quarter-finals to get everybody regenerated and back to full-fitness,” the German said.
“This game is like the final for Group C. This is the team we’re going to fight for World Cup qualifying points in September, so we want to send them a signal.”
The incentive to finish top of Gold Cup Group C is clear, with that country facing a team who only placed third in the group stages, which is likely to be Martinique or El Salvador.
And American winger Damarcus Beasley, who made his international debut in 2001, echoed the sentiment of his coach as he considered the importance of the fixture.
“It’s a game where they want to implement their superiority against us and we want to do the same against them,” he stated.