CHICAGO, Illinois — Though it is the obvious, assistant coach Vin Blaine felt the need to reiterate that the Reggae Boyz's game plan in their campaign-rescuing encounter against the USA on Friday in Kansas City has to be one of an attacking nature.
In the pursuit of three critical points, Blaine suggested that the only way to get them is to win the game, and that goal can only be achieved by putting the ball into the back of the net -- most preferably repeatedly.
"Well, we definitely need three points first and foremost... from a coach's perspective that's what you would want... we are still hanging by a thread as it will depend on what Mexico and Panama do. We have to go out there and do what we have to do and hope we can get the three points.
"For the first 15 minutes we would want to see what they will do, but we can't just sit behind the ball... we have to go on the hunt for goals as it is better for us to lose four love than to have not tried to score at all," said Blaine in Miami yesterday as the team headed for Kansas City.
Still, the former Harbour View FC coach said while the offensive mindset is already cast as the suitable approach, the plan cannot be executed at the expense of other key elements of the tactical layout.
"When you think about all-out attack, you are talking about guarded attack also. But yes, there is only one way now and that is to go forward and score and try to pull this USA team apart," Blaine told the Jamaica Observer.
With some six players missing from the squad that faced Panama and Costa Rica in two quickfire matches in September -- including the strike pair of Marlon King and Luton Shelton -- Blaine believes that enough firepower is available in the current 23-man squad.
"I don't think it will affect us much as I think it was about two starters who will be missing, and as you can see, we have ample replacements. If these (new) guys come in they will be hungry...you have Tuffy (Jermaine Anderson), who scored in the last game and he is very confident that he can do it again.
"We have Deshorn Brown, who is playing in the US and he is doing very well as he was Rookie of the Year, so I don't think that will affect us too much... if we can attack in numbers, we should be okay," said the head of the women's programme, who was recently given added responsibility as head coach Winfried Schafer's assistant.
Meanwhile, the charismatic frontman Anderson agreed that a full-scale attacking game is the way to go. "We have to go out there and attack from the first whistle... this is not the game that we can afford to be defensive in. We have to just go out there and run at them," Anderson said on board American Airlines flight 2263 bound for Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
Blaine said the cool climes expected for the match at Sporting Park, with kick-off set for 5:30 pm, will not be a problem for the players, especially those coming out of Europe.
"We will be playing in very adverse conditions, but the English-based players are used to this kind of weather, so it shouldn't affect them that much," the assistant coach said.
In today's first training session where all players are expected to be in camp, Blaine said apart from rehearsing the tactical game plan, special emphasis will also be paid to "getting the vibe up and the players acclimatised" to the cool conditions, which could drop to as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit by Friday.
On the same day the Boyz face the USA, Honduras host Costa Rica in San Pedro Sula, while Mexico and Panama clash at high altitude Azteca in Mexico City.
Along with the USA on 16 points, Costa Rica on 15 points have also booked their Brazil 2014 World Cup spot. Honduras follow in the race with 11 points and are on the verge of clinching the third automatic qualifying spot.
Panama and Mexico, eight points each, and Jamaica are fighting for the fourth-place play-off spot.
Jamaica will close out their Brazil 2014 campaign next Tuesday in a home game against Honduras.
The top three teams will qualify directly for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals, while the fourth-placed team will play a home-and-away series against New Zealand, the winner of Oceania.