USA Today Sports Louis van Gaal

Manchester United is one of the world's most traditional, white-collar sports clubs. For Americans who don't know soccer, Man U is the Yankees of global football.

So when second year manager Louis van Gaal says he wants his players to play "horny," people are going to turn their heads..

On Wednesday, van Gaal was asked about the desire his team would need to have in its must-win Europa League return leg versus Midtjylland, a Danish club.

"You are right," van Gaal began. "Your word is fantastic. Desire! Hungry! I often use the word 'horny' with my players."

Horny is not a common word athletic coaches use in press conferences with a wall of sponsors plastered behind them. Van Gaal is Dutch, so you might ascribe the comment to a problem of translation. But he gives a little chuckle and confirms he said what he meant.

Man U's Juan Mata, a Spanish midfielder, also laughs at the podium. He, too, confirms that this isn't the first time van Gaal has used "horny" to get through to his players.

The Europa League is a step below the Champions League in UEFA's continental club soccer competition. In American terms, Man U is in the B Playoffs this year. This explains their lack of focus and desire in second-tier competition.

Apparently, Manchester United got the message and played horny. On Thursday, the team defeated Midtjylland, 5-1, to move to the Round of 16.

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