Houston Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark admits the US national team have learnt a lot since their experience in this year's Confederations Cup.
Bob Bradley's men were beaten in the final by Brazil and Clark admits that loss has driven them to improve further and has them on the verge of qualifying for next year's World Cup.
"For me personally and for the team we learned a lot at the Confederations Cup," Clark said.
"We were up 2-0 on Brazil [in the final] but we just couldn't hang on. If we end up in the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, we'll know how to close out the game against a big opponent. We won't get caught again."
More recently, Clark was the man the US relied upon to give them a spark in a World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago and he was delighted he could respond to the call.
"It was a good feeling, I was pretty pumped up," he said in regards to the goal he scored against T&T.
"We needed a goal and although I'm not usually the guy to get them [Clark has just three in his 27 caps] I was thrilled
"We needed those points. The last thing we want is to end up in fourth place and facing a play-off with a South American team. Every point counts and South Africa is the goal."