"Realistically, we've given ourselves every chance to advance. We are where we want to be right now," Howard told ESPN.
"We harped over and over again for Kyle [Beckerman], Michael [Bradley] and Jermaine [Jones] to be the engine. My hat goes off to them. They have a tireless work ethic and we'll never lose that.
"Football is cruel sometimes. It ebbs and flows. We'll try to give ourselves 12 hours or so to ponder the result. We have a good chance to go through and we're excited."
The USA only need a point from their final group game with Germany to progress to the last 16.