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Post-Match Quotes from the United States' 3-1 Victory Against Australia

U.S. MNT vs. Australia
International Friendly
Roodepoort, South Africa
June 5, 2010

U.S. MNT Head Coach Bob Bradley
On the match:
“I think in all ways it was an excellent final tune-up. These matches are always tricky with a week to go, but the spirit of the match, the competitiveness of the match I think for both Australia and ourselves was exactly what we needed.”

On the play of Australia:
“We watched them a fair amount. We think they’re a good team, well organized, good solid understanding of how to play, a number of good players. We also always recognize Tim Cahill as being the special one in terms of his ability to move around, get in the box and get chances, and he did that again today.”

On what the team needs to work on:
“The area that I would look at the most is just some of the poor clearances. Again, when we talk about just adjusting to the conditions, the ball, the ball flight, I think that caused some trouble for both teams today. It’s just something that you work on every day.”

On the goalkeeping:
“There were chances on both sides. I think we had some advantages that could have been handled better. Mark Schwarzer made a couple good saves, and Tim Howard and Marcus Hahnemann made some good saves."

On whether he had any concerns about possible injuries occurring during the game:
“Of course, it’s normal. It’s a double-edged sword because you need the match and you need the adjustment to the altitude, the adjustment to the conditions, the fitness, but clearly you want to make sure that you are careful with how you make decisions. When you play it as an international friendly as opposed to a closed-door match, you’re limited to six substitutions. We’re pleased we could come out of it in good shape.”

On whether Edson Buddle will start in the World Cup:
“No decisions will be made on Edson starting, but Edson continues to get more comfortable within the group. Today you saw really the things that have highlighted his MLS season so far – taking chances well, good finishing, scoring a goal off a direct, hard shot and scoring with his head, so good things.”

On what Bocanegra said to him as he came off the field:
“Just that he’s feeling pretty good and he felt like he could have gone the full game today, and feels like he continues to make progress on all sides.”

U.S. MNT Goalkeeper Tim Howard
On what the team needs to improve on before facing England:
“We can always get better at everything. I can’t pinpoint just one thing, but things are starting to click. We’re feeling good about our last two results, coming behind against Turkey and in this one we kind of controlled things. Training has been good, and like I said we’re very excited and have a very positive spirit.”

On Edson Buddle and Robbie Findley:
“Edson and Robbie have both played fantastic. Everything Edson touches is a goal and Robbie creating so many chances, so those guys are exciting for us. In a three-game tournament like this in the first round you’re never going to play the same lineup twice, so it’s really important that everyone is clicking and those guys are.”

On Rio Ferdinand getting hurt and not playing for England:
“I’m devastated for him as well as I’m sure most of his friends and his teammates are. How will it affect the team? I don’t know. I think they’re all very strong characters, and as the week goes on they’ll be fully prepared. We’ve had a good teammate of ours go down and not make the World Cup. That was a little while ago, but it still hurts.”

On if the team’s performance was a confidence booster going into the World Cup:
“From the first friendly in the Send Off matches, we just wanted to build and build as each match went on. We did well against Turkey to get the win there, and came out here and showed some good stuff, too. It’s just taking those steps forward and getting ready for next weekend.”

On Edson Buddle:
“As I’ve been saying all year, the goals are great, but what he and Robbie did otherwise are what helps you win games. You need to score goals to win, we understand that, but had they not scored today they still both did a great job of helping our team.”

On how the team played today:
“I think we started the game better than we did last week, and that was a big plus. The biggest problems that were caused were just the way the ball flew at times. It puts your defenders under a lot of pressure. Even balls that are comfortable coming into your defenders are challenging at times, and with crosses and things like that it’s very difficult. We’re going to have to spend some more time dealing with that, but overall I thought we played very well.”

On whether the friendly game was a little too intense:
“Maybe. But you’re a week out from the World Cup and its your last chance to earn a spot. Everybody wants to play next weekend, so you can understand why it was a little chippy.”

On trying not to get injured in the last game before the World Cup:
“On one hand, you can’t not play the game the way it is supposed to be played, because you put yourself at risk that way. On the other hand, you’re also somewhat aware of stupid challenges or chasing a ball that you would chase next weekend and need to be smart about that.”

On scoring his first two international goals:
It builds a lot of confidence for a forward and I am proud of myself, and I am pretty sure my dad is especially [proud].

On finishing his chances:
“Sometimes it’s like that and sometimes it’s not. And today it was on my side.”

On pairing with Robbie Findley:
“It’s going to take some time but we don’t have a lot of time. It felt good out there with him. I’m a target player and he’s a pacy player and it’s easy to find him over the top.”

On the game’s first goal:
“The night before we noticed they play a lot with their defensive midfielders and we wanted to put a little bit of pressure on them. I think that he had a mis-touch and I was able to get on the end of it and, like I said, Robbie has pace. My first option was to go to him and I think everyone overcommitted, so it freed me up and I got a good strike on goal.”

On the pace of today's friendly:
“I thought the first half the game was a little bit quicker. The second half people seemed to be coasting a little bit. We were able to get a little more fitness at a higher altitude, and we won the game. That’s a good step.”

On the health of his knee:
“I’m feeling good. This is the third game back since my injury, and I’m progressively feeling better. Since the camp started, there haven’t been any issues.”

On the goal he scored:
“I saw Landon get the ball, and when he has it you have to be on your toes because he can put the ball in some nice places. I was going to make a run, but I saw him lace it up so I held, lost my mark and tried to make good contact on it.”