Klinsmann not fazed by high expectations

United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann believes his country's supporters should expect the team to go far in the FIFA World Cup.

The Americans get their campaign up and running on Monday as they meet Ghana in Natal, but they face an uphill battle if they are to get out of the tough Group G.

The clash with Ghana is followed by games against Portugal and Klinsmann's native Germany, both of whom will be fancied to make progress to the knockout stages.

However, Klinsmann is in high spirits and optimistic ahead of their opening match, and the 49-year-old believes that the American public are right to expect big things this year.

"I booked my flight home after the final," he said. "Expectations now in the United States are very high.

"We are growing the game better not only on the national level. The (domestic) league is more and more competitive, in every area the game is growing. We want to drive this as the locomotive, as the national team.

"No matter what the circumstances are, no matter how the game goes this group is ready to make it happen.

"If it is snowing or thunder and lightning this is about playing football.

"There is nothing better than starting against a team that beat you in the last two World Cups. There is nothing like starting the World Cup like it's a final."

Clint Dempsey, Klinsmann's captain, echoed the coach's thoughts regarding what should be expected of the Americans, insisting there is no reason why they cannot remain in Brazil until well after the group stage if they play to their capabilities.

"Every time you come to the World Cup it's a fresh slate," the former Fulham man said.

"Our preparations have been very good and we are excited. If we play to the best of our ability we have the quality to go far in this tournament."