Kasey Keller says that is is greatly encouraging that the USA were able to take advantage of ragged defending by Portugal and make the World Cup impact that escaped them in 1998.
The USA suffered a wretched campaign in France, but put all that behind them with the stunning first half destruction of highly-fancied Portugal in Suwon. If all was not well in the Portugal camp, the Americans certainly made the most of it.
"Exactly, and that's what it's about for us," said Kasey. "We've been kinda unfortunate in the past in those sort of circumstances, the ball has done exactly the opposite for us and bounced the wrong way - it did in 1998 definitely.
"This time it went for us. It's the first game though, we'll revel in it tonight and then back to work."
Their next assignment is co-hosts South Korea, who created such an impression in dismantling Poland on Tuesday.
"Korea looked very tough against Poland the other day and are an extremely hard working team that has the whole nation behind them. We've got a tough task in that game and it would be a real pity for us now to win the first game against the favourites and then kinda screw it up and not advance.
"Our goal has been to advance all along and we've set ourselves up pretty well after the first game. Now we've got a lot of work to do."