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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. vs. Trinidad and Tobago

Post-Match Quote Sheet:
U.S. vs. Trinidad & Tobago
2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Final Round
Sept. 9, 2009


On the importance of the victory:
“For us it was a very important three points. We felt that it was well earned because tonight was a difficult game. A lot of credit goes to Trinidad & Tobago. I felt they put a great effort out tonight and made it very hard. We spoke at halftime and we understood the game we were in. We felt we could raise the level in the second half and we're pleased with the win.”

On what allowed the U.S. to break through and score:
“As the game wore on, our fitness was key. When the game opened up, we were able to take advantage of some of the space. We did a better job in the second half of passing the ball and keeping the ball more.”

On the choice to switch the lineup after earning a victory against El Salvador on Sept. 5:
“We came into these two games trying to have an idea of how to map out both games. Ricardo has had a lot of games lately for Houston. We felt that by resting him for the first game and bringing him back for this game his energy, combined with a little bit of rest, would help us. specially knowing the kind of game we'd have against Trinidad and Tobago.”

On Trinidad & Tobago's effort on the night:
"We have a lot of respect for Trinidad & Tobago. Russell Latapy was a very good player and since he's taken over you can see the character in the team. There's a lot of pride with these players and they showed tonight that they would make it a hard game. They deserve credit and with that type of effort over the last two games they have a chance for more points. This was a strong effort that I think their fans should be quite proud of."

U.S. Midfielder Ricardo Clark
On scoring a goal in front of his family:
“It feels good. They were at the game watching me play. It was something special to have a good showing in front of somebody who has been a part of your life for so long. I have family here and my dad was born here. It was a special game for me and I thank God I was able to take advantage of the opportunity.”

On how he scored the goal:

"Throughout the whole game Landon was able to get down the line and that cutback was on. I love being at the top of the box waiting for that shot, it's a big part of my game. I just tried to let it rip, hit it on frame and it went in."


U.S. Midfielder Landon Donovan

On the win:

"The win was crucial. We've got a very difficult game coming up in Honduras and Costa Rica will be tough as well. We needed to get six points from these games and we did."


On the tough battle tonight:

"I know people like to look at teams on paper and say "this should be an easy win." These games are not easy anywhere in the world. There are a lot of teams that struggle to get through these games. We played well, we didn't play perfect, but we got the result we needed."


On what made the match so challenging:

"We expected them to come out with some energy and some pride to try to play well in front of their home fans. We didn't do a great job of limiting their chances, we let them come into the game a little too much. The second half was much better and we were more dominating and we got the goal to win it."


On what he saw on the goal:

"Clint did a good job getting in the middle of the field, creating some space and being patient and letting me come into the play. My first instinct was to put a cross across the goal but I waited and Ricardo made a good late run. Kind of similar to Michael's goal on the first day of qualifying [against Mexico]. Great shot and a great goal."


On what he expects from the next match at Honduras:

"Honduras has more to play for and we're going to have our work cut out for us. We were happy with the last 15 minutes of the first half and the second half. If we can continue that, play that way, be good defensively and make some plays going forward we have a chance to win the game."


U.S. Goalkeeper Tim Howard
On the victory tonight:

"It was a great three points. We battled hard. 0-0 at halftime and I don't think we were playing great. Second half we turned it up a bit. It was a tough game because it was end to end and it was physical. They had some players staying high and we did really well in the second half, trying to battle back and fight for the three points. With the way things are going, we needed that."


On what the team did at halftime that allowed them to get the goal in the second half:  

"You get in to halftime and all the things that went on in the first half, you try to talk about. You can't fix every problem but we felt we didn't play nearly as well as we could have. But we still came in 0-0. That was a positive and we wanted to build on that. We also wanted to reiterate the importance of getting a victory and not letting this one slip."


On the mindset of the team during the past two games:

"The prize is in sight and everyone is really committed. We had a good week of training and a good result on the weekend. We traveled down here and got ourselves prepared. Mentally we were really tuned in. We got ourselves together and got the result."


On what the win means for the team:

"This will obviously give us a lot of confidence, getting two big results. We came in talking about getting six points and this is the first time we did in the final round. It's obviously important, the way results are going, to get six points and put pressure on the guys below us."