Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Men's National Team vs. Panama
Quotes from U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley and players after their 2-1 overtime victory against Panama in the 2009 Gold Cup.
July 18, 2009
U.S. MNT vs. Panama
2009 Gold Cup - Quarterfinals
July 18, 2009
U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach Bob Bradley
On finishing the game in regulation time or an extra time, as needed:
"As a game like this wears on, what you need is the execution on a play. You need to get the timing right, get a play right and finish the game off. I think we had some situations as the [second]half went on where we lost a little sharpness, so that's what we emphasized going into the overtime. It would be ideal to finish things off in regulation but tonight it took 30 extra minutes. It says something about the group that, at the end of regulation, they still felt that this was their game."
On the necessity of going to extra time and whether that was disappointing:
"Every game is different and tonight it took 120 minutes. Certainly the goal at the beginning of every game is to get on top of a team, take the lead and finish the game in 90 minutes. Right before halftime we gave up a goal; that's a bad time to give one up. It comes on a set piece where we lost track of things a little bit. It was a challenge to the team to be in that spot at halftime and I still felt good that the response was strong. When we didn't finish the game in regulation, you still got a sense that the mentality was "we're going to take care of this thing. The players deserve a lot of credit for that."
On facing Honduras in the semifinals:
"It will be the second time we've played them in this tournament and it was a very good win tonight for them against Canada. We know them well and we know the way they play. They play hard and have a good group of players. You can tell in this tournament the group they have has put a lot in to it, so we expect a hard game. In the first game in D.C. we had a good finish to the match after a tough 65 or 70 minutes. That [they made it difficult for us] says a lot about their organization and their discipline and we'd expect another difficult game."
On who takes a penalty kick in a situation like tonight:
"That's decided on the field. Obviously he's a player that has confidence and he's taken them for his club team. After the foul there was a discussion between Kenny and Brian and Kenny stepped up."
On what the coaching staff said to the team at halftime:
":We had certain ideas of what the game would be like. We just needed to make sure everybody understood that we couldn't lose track of what we wanted to do in the game. We had to make sure our discipline to keep moving as a unit was there, and we also talked about the fact that, in certain situations, we can play the ball faster. We talked about having a little more energy, being a little more aggressive in those situations and obviously it was nice to get a goal early in the [second] half."
U.S. Midfielder and Man of the Match Kyle Beckerman
On his goal, the first in his national team career:
"The ball went out wide and was sent across. I gambled a little bit just thinking it may pop out to the top of the box. Sometimes you gamble and sure enough the ball finds your foot. Fortunately it went in."
On giving up a goal early and the response:
"We were definitely disappointed to give up a goal before halftime; it's the worst time to do that. Bob [Bradley] told us "we are in a tough game" and he told us also that we've all been down before and had to come back to win a game before. We just felt we needed to step up and play a bit better to get our chances. If we got one, we thought the next would come."
On facing Honduras in the semifinals:
"It's going to be another tough one. This definitely took a lot out of us and I don't think many of us have played an overtime match in awhile. We're going to have to really recover quick and get right back to preparing for what will be a really tough game against a team looking for revenge. They're a talented team and we'll just try and really get ready for the game this week."
U.S. Men's National Team Forward Kenny Cooper
On the winning penalty kick:
"Obviously, its fortunate any time you can get a penalty. It obviously came at a good time in overtime. Fortunately, it snuck in and the guys did great to hold on defensively, the whole 90 [minutes], everyone from Brian Ching to Troy Perkins. It was excellent and they busted their butts. Fortunately we were able to hold on and walk away with the win."
On the match:
"Obviously from the beginning of the game everyone was hungry to do well and we all are excited to be involved here and have the opportunity to be in the quarterfinal and want to do well. The team had to work hard tonight to come through and we're advancing now and we're all hungry to do well in the semifinals."
On being able to contribute:
Obviously, I'm excited to be here and I want to contribute any way I can, whether it's getting goals or working hard or even contributing in training. I want to contribute any way i can help this team have success."