United States boss Juergen Klinsmann wary of Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez

The US take on Mexico in a World Cup qualifier tonight

US coach Juergen Klinsmann's motto for tonight's World Cup CONCACAF qualifier against Mexico has been “respect but not fear” but when it comes to dealing with striker Javier Hernandez, it is clear there is trepidation as well as admiration.

Manchester United striker Hernandez is by far the most deadly striker in the CONCACAF region and his two goals against Honduras, in Friday's 2-2 draw, took his national team tally to an impressive 30 in 45 outings.

"I don't like to talk about goals, for me it is points, results that count," the forward, nicknamed "Chicharito", told reporters on Monday.

Although an admirable sentiment, his ability to put the ball in the back of the net is what defines him as a player and - for the Americans - a threat to their hopes of a first ever qualifying win at the Azteca stadium.

Omar Gonzalez, the Mexican-American central defender who will line up against Hernandez, was well aware of the challenge facing him and a makeshift, injury-hit U.S. defence.

"He's just a great goalscorer. He's very mobile and is constantly on the move. During crosses, you can look back and you see him one place and the next thing you know he's somewhere else," the L.A. Galaxy defender said.

"You just have to be able to keep your eye on him, and the ball at the same time. If you can manage to do that and play tough on him, I think we hopefully won't let him get a goal."

CLINICAL FINISH

The talents of the Mexican attack were evident in the 2-2 draw in Honduras on Friday - the opening goal was a brilliant, angled, glancing header from Hernandez after a jinking run down the left and pin-point cross from winger Andres Guardado.

The second goal was classic 'Chicharito', escaping his marker, timing his run to the near post perfectly and getting on the end of a cross from the left with a clinical finish.

It was a strike that recalled Klinsmann in his prime - instinctive movement and a killer touch.

"He is a player who is fun to watch. There is a reason he is playing for Manchester United - because he is good," Klinsmann said. "So, we watch him, we scout him, we talk about him and we are sure that our centre-backs will take care of him."

U.S. forward Herculez Gomez, who plays in the Mexican league, believes Hernandez's strength is as much in his attitude as his instinctive ability in the penalty area.

"He is mentally strong, I think he has taken advantage of every opportunity that has come his way and that speaks volumes to his mental strength. When benched, when doubted he just keeps coming back," said Gomez.

"From a striker's perspective - and for me, my whole game is movement, his movements are unreal, amazing. He finds gaps, spaces, makes himself available, his goals sometimes aren't the prettiest but he is such an effective player with his movement."

Nullifying the threat Hernandez poses will require the U.S. to deal with Guardado and the other creative force, Giovani Dos Santos, a pair of players who ripped the U.S. apart in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final which Mexico won 4-2.

Hernandez didn't score in that game but Geoff Cameron, expected to start at right back for the U.S. on Tuesday, says it will require total concentration to keep him at bay.

"Get tight to him, keep close to him, his movement is fantastic - he kind of reads off your movement," said Cameron.

"He's just got a knack for goals, he's always sniffing around, you have just got to be prepared, keep an eye out all the time, because you never know where he is."

Reuters

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee