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U.S. MNT vs. Germany: Quote Sheet - June 2, 2013 Centennial Celebration

U.S Men’s National Team Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN

On the game:
“This was such an entertaining game as your centennial game. This is cool for the players. It’s a special game, playing one of the top teams in the world and adding a sellout here at RFK, and we celebrated that the right way. We saw a lot of good things out there. We saw some not good things at the end with conceding the last goals, but over all a good performance. Having a player like Clint Dempsey on your team is a privilege, and if I look back I think this is one of the best players in U.S. history. He performs at almost every game on a very, very high level. Compliments to him and the entire team. As you felt, it was hot and not easy to keep the tempo. It was a well-deserved win.”

On how this game helped the team’s preparation for World Cup qualifying:
“I think it obviously helps when you have these games with a team that can play a high tempo. It forces you to always go both ways. You have to be good defensively and at the same time you want to create chances, and there is so much that we know we have to still improve but looking toward the qualifiers it think it helps the players to see that they can go to that tempo. That’s why I didn’t want them to stop too early and make substitutions. I want them to go through a little pain when you get tired and you hit the wall and you have to pick it up again. That’s what you face when you go down to Jamaica. They will try everything to interrupt your game, and I think now they adjust to that grind. It’s important to play opponents like Belgium, like Germany. Teams of this caliber can only help us to get to the next level.

On what makes Clint Dempsey a special player:
“The important parts of Clint’s game right now is having all the tools a player needs to play at the highest level.  What is most important is the drive he has, the hunger. You know he’s not satisfied with two goals today against Germany. He always looks for the next game. He’s always asking what’s next for me. This is one of the reasons why I made him captain, because all the players look at him and see the hunger and they see this drive and they see him get upset or something like that and it’s just really important for our players to get that hunger and drive to push yourself. I think Jozy can learn so much from Clint. They are starting to have some chemistry and they are starting to have an instinct for each other. That comes by time, not overnight. With his game right now, Clint is right with some of the best players in the world, and certainly the top player in the United States. This is important because he sends signals on and off the field; you need someone to send those signals to the opponents.”

On the quality of the U.S. attack tonight:
I think just having two, three days to prepare for the Belgium game was almost impossible. I think today we set the tone from right from the beginning. We pressured them high. We made it very difficult for them to play out of the back, which is what they like to do, and we were right there on their toes. This is what we need to do every game. Every game we need to win battles, and you have to move off the ball and create something. There was a pace and understanding to our game.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Midfielder and Budweiser Man of the Match CLINT DEMPSEY

On upcoming games:
“They’re going to be tough games but we prepared by playing two top teams. We’re going to make sure we get as many points in these next three games as possible and put ourselves in a good position in the table.”

On postgame interaction with Eric Wynalda after surpassing him on the Men’s National Team all-time goal scoring list:
“He said that he was proud of me, to keep representing the country well and to qualify for the World Cup. It’s good for him to be proud of me because he was a trailblazer for us and hopefully I can keep going. More important is that we take care of business in these World Cup Qualifying games and go on a nice run there. That would be more special to me than how I finish on any list.”

On building the 4-1 lead and holding off Germany’s late rally:
“We’re happy with the win, but at the same time we expect a lot out of ourselves. We’re not happy with conceding the amount of goals that we’ve conceded in these two games. It needs to be better. Even though we’re playing against top quality, we need to do a better job of protecting our ‘keeper. At the same time, we’re happy with the result in the sense of winning and we take confidence from beating a good team.”

On how the win helps the team for the next three important games:
“It gives you confidence. Any time you have confidence from a win it puts more wind in your sails. You feel by getting a result against a team like this that you can go down and get the job done in these games in CONCACAF.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Forward JOZY ALTIDORE

On team’s performance against Germany:
“The way we started the game, connecting and finding passes was huge in terms of the amount of opportunities we created, and how aggressive we were going forward. I think that made the difference. We’ve always had the talent but it was just a matter of showing it and today I thought we showed signs of that.” 

On scoring off the cross from Graham Zusi:
“It was the ball - the ball was absolutely golden. It was a fantastic buildup from the team, but the ball from Graham Zusi was fantastic and I just had to be there.”

On feeling any sense of relief after goal:
“I honestly feel like I’ve been doing the right things. It was just a matter of being patient and waiting for the chances. Against Belgium, I was unlucky. I had a very similar chance. Today I had the chance and I just concentrated. I know that if I keep getting them I can be successful.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Defender MATT BESLER

On today’s win against Germany:
“When you look at the first half and the first 60 minutes I thought we played very well together. Our movements up-and-back  and side-to-side were all together. We made it hard for Germany to break us down. We got a little worn out due to a number of different things: the weather, Germany and the way the game was being played. We’d like to finish on a better note for sure. This by no means is good enough, but it’s a good foundation that we’ve started to build.”

On if the two big results against Mexico and Germany have solidified he and Omar Gonzalez as the starting center back duo:
  “That’s not my job to make any decisions like that. All we can do as players is anytime we get a chance, we go out there and make the most of it. Right now, the results we’ve had with Mexico and Germany I think we’ve done that.”

On how he and Gonzalez complement each other:
“We’re just different players. Some of his strengths are my weaknesses and some of his weaknesses are my strengths. We complement each other well; the key is just backing each other up. They can get by one of us but they can’t get by both of us. We’re always covering each other and that’s what it starts with.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Defender BRAD EVANS

On getting preparing for his first National Team start since January:
“In January I played center mid against Canada and came in at right back for the second half, so that’s something that’s been in the works for a while. Obviously with my club team I’ve played there a little bit with the Sounders. It’s a quick transition, and it’s that mental switch that you really got to focus on. Some days I’ll play midfield, some days I’ll play something else, whatever it is. Today I found myself at right back and made the adjustment. I tried to connect my first couple passes and get into the game and after that things went well for me.”

On the desire to keep earning call-ups:
“If you’re starting games with the National Team, that’s everybody’s ultimate goal. All that matters is the next game, so you learn from this one, watch the tape and see what you can do better. I’m still learning the position first and foremost. By no means do I know the position yet, but I try to use what I know from playing midfield.”

On the Centennial Celebration Match:
“It was phenomenal. The buildup to the whole event was tremendous. One hundred years is something we talked about before the game, playing for your country. This is special. You always remember a few things, a few pivotal games along the line. I think everybody will remember this one in that 100 th year. And I think everyone will keep their jersey and it’ll be hanging up on their wall at some point.”