US SoccerUS Soccer

Mike Magee

Men's National Team

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.”

Pitch Perfect The USAs training site in Brazil

Barra Funda is the training ground of Sao Paulo FC and will be the home base of the USMNT during the FIFA World Cup. Take a guided tour of this spectacular facility.

They Said It: Quotes from the MNT in Sao Paulo

On traveling to Brazil :
“The first week’s great so far. Everyone’s training really hard, and it’s nice to get playing early. The flight was a bit of a disaster, but it’s good to get out here on the training ground and get all the junk out of the way.”

On FC Sao Paulo’s training facilities :
“It’s amazing! The field is great and there’s so much history here. Jurgen was telling us this is one of the best football clubs in the world and one of the most historic ones. So, to get here to the training ground, have a look around, and see some of the photos and stuff, it’s pretty special.”

On the progression of the team in the first week of training :
“The first couple days, guys are kind of walking on egg shells, not really sure of their place, but it’s a group of great guys. The more time we spend together, it’s going to keep getting easier and easier.”

U.S. MNT midfielder DAX MCCARTY
On the team’s first week of training :
“It was a great first week in L.A. Really high intensity training sessions. We kept it to one training session a day, plus some gym work in the afternoon. The fitness testing went really well. All the guys came in really fit. I think that’s why they brought everyone down here. Guys took care of themselves in the offseason.

“The training sessions have been good, really sharp. There’s been a lot of playing, a lot of touching the ball, and as players that’s all you can ask. You don’t want to do all the fitness, and any player will tell you that fitness with the ball is much better than fitness without the ball.”

On the Sao Paulo FC training facility :
“It’s beautiful. You can tell they take really good care of their facility. The grass is perfect - there’s really no other way to describe it. You feel really secluded and you have all the amenities here you need to really recover and get in some really good training sessions.

“Our first session was good. It wasn’t too heavy, but definitely was a session to get the legs going. One thing you really notice down here is just the heat. The sun feels a lot more powerful. We’re going to have to make sure we’re staying on top of our nutrition, our hydration and all that fun stuff. I know all the guys are really excited to be down here and to play a couple scrimmages.”

On traveling to Brazil :
“It’s good. It was a long day of travel yesterday, but it’s good to finally be here and get the lay of the land. I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of fun these next 12 days.”

On the team’s first week of training :
“It’s been good for both myself and the team. Everyone came in and did a good job. Everyone was quite fit, so that has allowed us to play from pretty much day one rather than have to concentrate on fitness, which is what you want in a January camp.”

On the team’s upcoming scrimmages against Sao Paulo FC :
“We want to try and play. We want to play our game, get ahold of the ball and maintain possession as much as possible against a very good team. Brazilian teams in general have a lot of possession, and we’ll try to match that, try as much as possible to dictate the flow of the game and of course, continue to work on our fitness.”

On the Sao Paulo FC training facility :
“It’s exciting. I’ve never been here before. Obviously it’s one of the bigger clubs not only here but in the world. So, it’s exciting to be training here.”

On the team’s first week of training :
“It’s been pretty intense. Obviously, everybody is coming back from a long season. Everybody came in very fit and is trying to prove themselves. I expect it to be that way the rest of the way through.”

On how the team is coming together :
“For the most part everyone knows each other pretty well and everybody is getting pretty comfortable. It’s a fun group of guys to be around.”

On the five players from Sporting Kansas City included on the camp roster :
“It’s awesome. There’s an immediate comfort level that comes with it. I’m excited for those guys and the success they’ve had. We’re all excited to be here and hopefully prove the quality that Sporting KC has.”