Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bob Bradley and Players Discuss Upcoming Game Against Honduras

We trained in the stadium today, using our allotted time of one hour to run over final preparations for Wednesday's game. Following the session, Bob Bradley and a few players spoke to the gathered media:

U.S. Men's National Team head coach BOB BRADLEY
On if he prefers the Gold Cup with strictly CONCACAF teams only:
“I know they’ve done different things over the years and every time the Gold Cup comes around I think it’s a little bit different both in terms of teams but also in terms of timing. This year is different in that it fell after Confederations Cup. But what it’s done is given us the opportunity to assess some different people and I think that’s positive.”

On having Charlie Davies play in both tournaments the summer:
“I think if you look at what’s happened with Charlie this summer and the combination of both tournaments work well in terms of trying to move him forward. He finished up the Confederations Cup in good form and his club has felt that this time is good for him. So, we’ve been able to find a good balance there.”

On why Benny Feilhaber was called into the roster for this game:
“It gives us a little bit of cover in the midfield. I think after the Confederations Cup he needed a little bit of time. And like all of these guys, we need to balance our needs with the needs of his club and the ability of the player to get back to his club at a good time so that he can earn playing time and continue to move forward. So there are a lot of different factors with all of these decisions.”

On Michael Bradley’s suspension ruling:
“Obviously with a game like that and a call like that emotions are going to be high, and this is the way FIFA typically handles these things.”

On the move of Oguchi Onyewu to AC Milan:
“It’s very exciting. It’s one of great clubs of the world. I think it’s a terrific opportunity for him. Certainly, the experience he will get there will really be important as we move forward with our national team.”
On if the Honduras game will allow for a better chance of evaluation:
“This is going to be a much better. We expect that this is the game for putting ourselves in position to win the group.”

On what he sees in Santino Quaranta as a player:
“I think he has matured as a player and a person. You can tell that he’s very excited to have this opportunity at this time. We all feel like he’s shown well for D.C. during the second half of last season and early this year, and it’s very good to have him with our national team.”

On how the political situation may affect the Honduran players:
“Regardless of anything else, we always prepare for our opponent. We always have respect for what they’re all about. Honduras has a lot of talent and we certainly expect this to be a competitive game.”

U.S. Men's National Team defender STEVE CHERUNDOLO
On the importance of the CONCACAF Gold Cup as a regional tournament:
“It's our regional tournament. Every confederation around the world has their own tournament and it's nice to just have CONCACAF teams. Every two years we give somebody from this region the chance to win a championship.”

On coming through the game in Seattle without any ill effects:

“I feel good, much better. Last week was my first game and there was no pain, which is the most important thing. Now I'm just kind of getting back into the swing of things.”

On Honduras and the prospect of winning Group B:
“They are a tough team. They are doing well in World Cup qualifying and we expect a difficult game that is going to require us to go hard for 90 minutes. We want to win, especially here at home. We're expecting a tough game but we're optimistic that we can come out on top. The winner of tomorrow's game will certainly put themselves in position to win the group and that's our goal. I hope that we're standing here tomorrow night discussing the win.”

U.S. Men's National Team forward SANTINO QUARANTA
On coming back into the national team after a few years absence:
“This is the first time I've played for Bob and I really like what he does here. He really gets down to business and every player knows their role. It's not a selfish group and when we put the team first it really helps. We're a group that's really hungry and we're excited about this tournament.”

On what he's learned since his last appearance for the national team:
“I've grown as a player and I know that if you put the team first and work hard that the other things will fall into place. You can't be selfish about this thing. I just want to work hard.”

On the similarities between himself and Freddy Adu and how they've grown:
“I came in at 16 and he came in at 14. You really don't know a whole lot, but I think we thought we did. We figured out that if you don't work hard and you don't put the time and effort in, you fall off the radar.”

U.S. Men's National Team Forward FREDDY ADU
On the biggest obstacle about getting back to a high level:
“Fitness, rust, all that stuff. When you’re training in Europe, you are training with some of the best players there are. When you come back, there’s not that big of a difference. Obviously, the international level is a lot faster. When you come here you just try to apply what you’ve learned in Europe and it’s worked out so far. And now, it’s about maintaining that level. And when you do get a chance to play in a game, you’ve just got to go out there and get the job done because those chances don’t just come along. You’ve got to earn them.”

On being back in the Washington area
“It’s absolutely amazing. I’ve been looking forward to this since the schedule was announced. I know I’m going to have 100 people in the stands and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve got all the guys I played with when I was 8, 9, 10, 11 years old. Everybody’s coming with their families, so that gives you extra motivation to go out there and hopefully have a great game.”

U.S. Men's National Team forward CHARLIE DAVIES
On his busy summer playing in both tournaments:
“For me it’s about continuing to get better and I have to continue to keep playing. When I get back with my club, I’ll stay on form and stay in shape and I’m always happy to be playing with the national team.”

On any fatigue felt due to the travel:
“After a 35-hour trip, it’s a bit difficult on the body and the mind. But I feel like I’m ready to go. The game in Seattle was good to get everything out of my system and now I’m feeling pretty good and ready to go.”

On what to expect from Honduras:
“I’m expecting them to come out for the first 10-15 minutes with a flying start, really putting pressure on us. But I think we’ll settle into the game well, and we just have to play our game and we’ll be successful.”

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