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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. 2, El Salvador 1

Post-Match Quote Sheet:
U.S. 2, El Salvador 1
2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
Sept. 5, 2009

On surrendering the first goal:
“I think what stood out after the goal was strong response from everybody on the field. That says a lot about what these guys are all about. They understand how difficult these games are and how competitive they are. The second half we certainly had some opportunities to get the third goal, which is always important. When you don't, you sometimes need a big save and Timmy Howard made a big save at the end.”

On playing with confidence even after going a goal down:
“There are guys that have been there before. They understood how important this game was.”

On falling behind in games:
“It’s not what you're hoping for. Soccer is crazy sometimes because you can take the initiative in the game but that doesn't mean you score first. Hopefully it is something we can turn around but it’s still nice to see everybody understand the game isn't over at that point.”

On the Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies partnership up top:
“We think that when Jozy and Charlie play up there they give us a physical dimension.  Their speed and their strength keep defenses on their heels. I think both [players] are improving in terms of the understanding between them and also their overall sense of how to play within the team. It's progress for sure. We've seen some good things as we moved through the Confederations Cup, and we're hopeful that this is something that we can continue to build upon.”

On how the backline fared tonight with players missing through suspension and injury:
“All in all, pretty well. They all put a lot into it, but I also want to mention Carlos Bocanegra today. I really thought in a makeshift backline, where he moved back into the center, he needed to take a bigger leadership role. The one thing to be said about El Salvador across the field is they compete and you're going to have somebody getting after every play. I thought Carlos did a good job of winning his battles and organizing the backline. It's good to see.”

On El Salvador's progress in World Cup qualifying:
“El Salvador is very well coached and they play hard every game. Their three previous results in away games were all 1-0 losses, so nobody has an easy game against them. That's a credit to the coach and a credit to how each player puts so much into every game.”

On Man of the Match Landon Donovan and his movement around the field:
“Landon had a terrific game. He was very active and mobile. It was very important for us, and obviously there were the two great crosses for the goals. I think every game is different but we've seen some of that in the Confederations Cup. Landon has talked about how he feels he has matured, grown and taken more responsibility, and understands how to play the game at that kind of level all the time. It's been huge for our team. For everyone else to see what he's doing and how much he's putting into it has really set a great example.”

On the U.S. Men's National Team's road to South Africa:
“We understand how important every game is here at the end. The way results have gone thus far, there haven't been many ties and teams have won at home, so teams are bunched at the top. We have to continue to fight for every point.”

On coming from behind to win the game:
“We've had the experience of being in that position before. We now know what it takes to bounce back in these types of games and we have the fight within us to get three points. I think we showed that tonight and it was just a good effort all around.”

On Man of the Match Landon Donovan's contribution to the two U.S. goals:
“Landon played two great balls. The first one he put it on a platter for Clint, and Clint did a great job of staying onside and putting it away. The second one was the same thing. I just tried to put myself in the box. Landon plays great balls, so if you put it upon yourself to get in a good spot, he'll find you.”

On his two assists:
“The first one was a free kick. They tried for an offside trap and Clint (Dempsey) did a good job of keeping himself onside. The second one was late in the half. We were putting them under pressure. I got the ball on the left and wanted to put a good ball in the box. I hit it well and Jozy (Altidore) headed it.”

On whether he sends crosses into good places or looks for players to send crosses into:
“It depends on the situation. Sometimes you look to the guy making the run and put it at a spot where he can get to. Other times you just want to hit it into a dangerous area.”

On the difficulty of World Cup qualifying and the importance of three points:
“We always say every time we start this process, "it's never easy." People always think it's going to be easy but it never is. We did a good job making sure we won the game.” 

On going down a goal and the importance of a response from the team:
“I think all of us guys that have been here before realize in that moment what going down a goal meant. We had to respond quickly and getting the first goal was huge. Also getting the second goal before halftime was really important. We started the game well, putting them under pressure, and we should have gotten a goal. Then we make one mistake and they capitalize. It was frustrating at that point, but I was really happy with our response.”  

On El Salvador's effort in the 2-1 loss to the U.S.:
“I thought they played well. Given everything they had to get something out of the game and they poured a lot of numbers forward. If we're a little better with the ball, we win the game going away, but give them credit because they played well.” 

On his role on the field against El Salvador:
“Bob [Bradley] gives me freedom to do what I need to do offensively but it's not without the responsibility of helping defensively. I try to make plays where I can defensively and offensively I try to go where I need to go to find the game.” 

On what the team can expect from the upcoming game against Trinidad & Tobago:
“It's hard to know. They're playing at home so they'll have some pride. I don't know if mathematically they're out but they're pretty close to [being eliminated]. It's hard to know what to expect, but we can't really worry about that. We have to go and try to win the game.” 

On the second goal:
“When I look up and I see people making runs in the box, I’m trying to put it somewhere at the goal in an area that they can get to.  And Jozy [Altidore] did a good job running and getting his head on the ball.” 

On giving up the first goal:
“I was just angry. We started the game pretty well and put them under a lot of pressure.  We should have found a way to get a goal.  We make one mistake and they capitalize.  It was frustrating.  But I was really happy with our response.”

On his thoughts when the team was trailing:
“All I was thinking was, ‘let’s get back in this game, let’s tie this thing up.’ And when you’re on the bench, you’re just cheerleading. You’re part of the team, you’re trying to push them on with their voice. I felt that we were going to come back and get the lead. I thought we were going to get the lead eventually, and I thought we were going to get a couple more, there were so many good chances and either someone didn’t capitalize or the goalkeeper made some great saves.”

On going behind in the game against El Salvador:
“We went behind early and obviously that wasn't the game plan. For us to qualify for the World Cup we have to get points from our home games and we dug deep. Our quality showed in the end. To be fair we could have scored another goal, but I think we showed a lot of character even with the score as it was. We got the three points and we're looking forward to Trinidad.” 

On the atmosphere in Rio Tinto Stadium and the pro-American crowd:
“It was mixed. At first it seems there were more people cheering for the other team. As soon as we got our goal the American fans lifted the team a little bit. It made a great atmosphere for us and they became the 12th man for us. It helped us push on and get the win.” 

On the difficulty the team encountered tonight:
“Any game in World Cup qualifying is going to be difficult. We wanted to get three points from this game so going a goal down was a bit of a shock. In the end our quality showed through and we deserved the points.” 

On possession in the second half:
“It was a little bit back and forth.  If we look at the game again I think we’ll be a little disappointed on the fact that the game was so open.” 

On the goals:
“They tried to do an offside trap on my goal. We were aware that they would try to do that, so I delayed my run a little bit. And then on Jozy’s [Altidore] goal, Landon [Donovan] did a good job getting open and whipping the ball in. And I thought Jozy did a good job getting in the air and making sure he put the ball in the corner.” 

On the match against Trinidad & Tobago:
“We have to be trying to get as many points as we can as quickly as we can.” 

U.S. Goalkeeper TIM HOWARD
On the defense's effort against El Salvador:
“There were balls bouncing around the box, and I think guys did really well tucking in, clearing balls, blocking things and seeing out that part of the game. That's always an important part of it.” 

On Trinidad & Tobago's loss to Honduras and how they will approach the game with the United States:
“I don't think anybody gives up, but obviously it's deflating for them. It's still a home game and you wonder how their crowd will react to them. Will they get on their backs or will they give them a lift, it's tough to say. I think the best thing for us is to go down there with our focus and the right mindset.”

On the team effort in the win against El Salvador:
“It was tough going down 1-0 but I thought we fought back really well. Landon played two perfect balls in the box and obviously Clint [Dempsey] and Jozy [Altidore] were able to put them in the back of the net. Second half we were able to play a little more of our game until the last 15 or 20 minutes when they started coming at us. For me, I felt okay and I just hope I can grow from this game.” 

On Landon Donovan's proficient crossing into the box:
“A couple of great balls for the goals and he had a couple of more we could have scored on. His service is a big part of our game because he's going to get in those wide positions. If he can put the ball in a good position, we're going to get good chances.” 

On the importance of the win:
“Obviously, a huge three points for us. We needed to get this win and we did. Trinidad is the next game and if we can get three points then we'll be a little bit closer.” 

On the late save by Tim Howard:
“Tim is a big part of the team. We have to try to cut those chances for the other team out, but Timmy gives us big support back there.”