Quote Sheet: U.S. Controls Match, Tops Mexico 1-0
Post-match quotes from Bruce Arena, Eddie Pope, Bobby Convey, Jorge Campos and more.
April 28, 2004
U.S. Manager BRUCE ARENA
"The U.S. deserved to win. Obviously we were fortunate to get a late goal, but I think we created the best chances in the game and deserved to win. The speed of Donovan and (DaMarcus) Beasley in the midfield made a difference. At the end of the day, all it is is a little bit of bragging rights. We know that the most important thing for both teams is to qualify for the World Cup. The game gives me an opportunity to see our players in a great environment, and a lot of our players have made the statement that they deserve to be part of the qualifying process. If you look at the fact that we win a lot against Mexico, we obviously play well, but they’re a very good team.”
On the play of Mexico:
"Mexico is a good skillful team and they moved forward very well. Their goalkeeper had a very good game. They struggled to create chances tonight, but they are always a difficult team to beat."
On some of the good performances from the U.S. team:
“Landon Donovan, after 20 minutes, had an outstanding performance. Conor Casey played very well. Kerry Zavagnin and Chris Armas did a good job in the middle of the field. Bobby Convey had a good night at left back spot. I think Jonny Walker, although not tested a lot, showed his composure and experience.”
Describing the goal:
“Taylor was getting his head on a bunch of corners. He got a piece of it, and Eddie Pope was in the right spot. We were knocking on the door a lot at the end of the game on set pieces. I actually turned to my assistant on the free kick and said ‘we’re going to score on this.’ Sometimes that happens…”
On his dominant record against Mexico:
“The players are the ones who won the game. We have good players. They don’t get enough credit. We’ve demonstrated that perhaps in this region we are the team to beat.”
U.S. midfielder and Chevrolet Man of the Match LANDON DONOVAN
On whether this game makes up for the poor performance against Haiti:
“None of these games are really that important. They are important from a personal standpoint, because you want to perform for Bruce, but the real games are coming up.”
On whether he’s been in a game against Mexico that the U.S. dominated so much:
“We deserved to win the game. Defensively we were better. Attacking we were better. From a physical standpoint we were better. We were faster, and we wanted to win more. I don’t know if I’ve been in a game that we’ve played that well, certainly not in a long time. I’m just glad we won.”
On whether he was surprised Mexico played so defensively:
“I expected them to pressure us and try to go at us, especially with so many fans, but I don’t think they had a chance to breathe. We were all over them, and they didn’t get a chance to get out and relieve any pressure.”
U.S. captain EDDIE POPE
On his game-winning goal:
“Taylor Twellman did a great job to get up and beat everyone to head it on goal. I was surprised the ‘keeper got a hand to it. He made a good save, but he wasn’t able to hold onto it and I was there to finish it. It’s always good to score against Mexico.”
On whether he said anything to the younger players before the game who haven’t played against Mexico:
“Almost everyone on the field knew the importance of the game. I think this a great win for the Under-23 guys who had a tough time down there, and it was good to get a win back.”
On the play of outside defenders Bobby Convey and Frankie Hejduk:
“Bobby Convey played well outside. He has the energy to run up and down all day long. Playing out of his normal position just shows how much talent he has. Frankie is solid as usual. He’s able to get down the flanks, get crosses in, and then recover and defend. Those guys did a great job tonight.”
On whether or not he’s bothered that the Mexican team didn’t shake hands after the game:
“That’s just part of it. We don’t expect them to shake our hands. Before the game we do it and that’s great. After the game, whatever As long as we can get off the field with a win we don’t care.”
On the play of MetroStars teammate Jonny Walker:
“I know how happy he is to do that. I know this is a big win for him, coming into the national team and getting his first shutout. He should thank the back line for not having a shot on goal.”
U.S. defender BOBBY CONVEY
On the goal:
“I think we were playing great balls in the box for the whole game. We had most of the play in the game. It was a good ball in. Everybody crashed the goal, and Eddie put it in there. I think it was good for him to get that goal since he had chances throughout the game.”
On whether he is happy playing left back for the National Team:
“Yeah, I gotta be. I’m on the field and that’s where I’m going to be. I’m fine playing there. I just have to keep proving myself.”
On whether there was frustration on not finishing chances:
“I don’t think there was anything. We were just persistent and knew it would come. We didn’t want it to come that late, but it was a good ending for us.”
Assistant Coach JORGE CAMPOS
On the U.S. victory:
"The United States had that luck at the last minute because I don't really think there was a lot of soccer played on the field. When a team has that luck they can win in any minute. It was a penalty kick but it was not called, but that's in the past."
"United States had that diagonal, had some luck at the last minute and we lost the game."
Forward EMILIO MORA
On the U.S. victory:
"They stood their ground well, and they pressured too, and it got complicated for us. They took advantage of the one play we gave them - a dead ball."
Midfielder LUIS PEREZ
On the U.S. victory:
"More than anything we were imprecise. We lost ourselves a bit in the game."