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The Final Countdown: “Brazil was great… and it’s going to be an exciting final week of camp.”

On his return to the U.S. National Team
“It’s been busy, been crazy, but it’s really good to be back in the States, be back with the National Team. I’m really excited.”

On getting up to speed with the players :
“Hopefully not longer than that session right there. I don’t have much time so I have to get into it right away. The guys are giving me a rough time that I’ve missed some of the rough stuff and come in a week before the game, but I got to get up with them as soon as possible.”

On what Jurgen and the coaching staff expect from him in camp :
“Just to fit right in like I have been here the whole time. They brought me in for a reason and I just have to show that I belong here and that I can get up to pace by tomorrow.”

On competing for a spot on the final 23-man roster for the World Cup in Brazil :
“One of the main reasons why I had to get out of Augsburg was to give myself playing time for a chance to get to the World Cup. You don’t get that opportunity every time in your career. It’s once in a lifetime sometimes and I have to take it. I have to be ready in case I can put myself into the 23. That’s the ultimate goal.”

On the recent return of a number of U.S. MNT players to MLS :
“It’s a few things. First of all, for me, it’s about getting playing time. It’s being back in the States. I was out of the States for five years and MLS is doing big things. The new teams, the new ownerships, the crowds, everything is getting bigger and better. I’m excited to be part of it again.”

On how camp has gone since returning from Brazil
“Camp’s been great. Jurgen’s been great, competition’s been great and obviously there’s a week left, so now everything’s more important. It’s good to be back in L.A. Brazil was great, but it’s good to be here, and it’s going to be an exciting final week of camp.”

On picking up anything from Jurgen about being a successful striker :
“He demands a lot, which is great and what you expect. I’m not going to say he demands perfection, but he demands you to be the best pro you can be, that you’re sharp, you train hard, are a good teammate and it’s been really good so far.”

On being called into the National Team late in his career:
“I’ve never had any bitterness in that regard. Somebody not calling me in, that’s his choice. I’m just happy to be here. Of course I’m trying to make the World Cup team and obviously I realize you have to get a cap first to make that team, so I’m trying to be great every day.

U.S. MNT midfielder GRAHAM ZUSI
On the growing excitement ahead of the World Cup
“It grows every day. There’s quite a bit of soccer to be played between now and then, so you can’t get complacent and have to work hard every day to get better and make a statement for yourself.”

On his favorite part of the team’s ‘dry run’ in Brazil :
“The trip as a whole to experience Brazil and have a little bit of a ‘dry run’ before we’re there in the summer is going to prove very valuable to us as a team. It’s exciting to get a glimpse of it. Not really [anything surprising]. We’re so focused on the goal ahead, we’re able to focus mainly on that. I thought the hospitality we had was fantastic. Sao Paulo FC was extremely gracious enough to let us use their facilities and they were top notch facilities. It really allowed us to focus just on our soccer.”

On the countdown to Brazil :
“It’s becoming real. It’s going to creep up on us even faster than we realize. You have to maintain focus and worry about your play.”

On the upcoming match against South Korea :
“It’s nice to know that all the work we’ve put in is going towards a competitive game. It’s an international opponent, and watching Korea play lately, they’re a great squad. A squad that’s very technical and also extremely committed to pressing the game. It’s impressive. We saw their game against Costa Rica, and I think they’re a great team and they’re looking to do some damage as well.”