MNT Nov 16, 2010
Following are quotes from U.S. coach Bob Bradley from the pre-match press conference at Green Point Stadium:
"We are very excited to be back in South Africa. Our experiences here starting with the Nelson Mandela Challenge began an incredible journey. The chance to come to Cape Town following the World Cup is special. It is in large part a show of appreciation for the tremendous job South Africa did in hosting the World Cup. It’s also been an opportunity for us to give back a little bit. There’s always talk about the legacy of a World Cup, and we are proud that we were able to donate money to renovate the soccer field at Irene Middle School. We stayed at Irene Country Lodge nearby, and the people there were tremendous to us, and so on Friday we went to the school and shared the day with their students. On Sunday our whole team had a chance to go to the Football For Hope Center and see the great work that is going on there and know that much of what took place during the World Cup can be carried on with great efforts like that. We look forward to a great match. Bafana Bafana has done well coming out of the world cup, and there is a lot of excitement with the work of the new coach."
On whether he is underestimating the South African team by bringing a young team:
"We are definitely not underestimating the South African team. It’s not surprising to us they brought a strong squad, but our situation is a little bit different. Major League Soccer had its conference finals this past weekend, and certainly we respect our league and the playoffs at the end. We also have the challenge that exists with our players that are playing regularly in Europe. We chose to look at it as an opportunity to bring some young players that we think have the potential to help us in the next four years. It’s a great way for them to get some experience and see what playing for the United States is all about."
On the presence of Juan Agudelo on the roster:
"Juan Agudelo finished the season playing well for the New York Red Bulls. He’s a young player that played with the United States in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, and he’s a physically gifted, talented young player that we are excited about. When we bring a player like this in, the purpose is two-fold. One is to get them experience and perhaps get on the field. The other is that it is our chance to get to know him a little bit and talk about the road ahead for a young player. We try to make sure that we use it to get started with the process, and we will see how the game goes. The hope is that we’ll have a chance to look at a number of our reserves. He is a talented young player and we have hope for his future.”
On the presence of Mikkel Diskerud on the roster:
"Mikkel played for our Under 20’s in the U-20 World Cup, so we’ve had a chance to see him play. This is his first chance with the full team. Like all these young players, he is excited to be here. So far he’s done a good job and now we will what tomorrow brings for him."
On whether he is familiar with Leeds striker David Somma, who has been called in by South Africa but there is the suggestion he is eligible to play for the U.S.:
"We are very aware of David Somma. I have watched him play a number of times this year. His situation is such that at the moment he does not have a U.S. passport. There are still some questions as to his ability to get one. As is the case with different players around the world, sometimes there is speculation that a player might be able to play for the U.S., but obviously that doesn’t always mean that the understanding of our citizenship rules are in place. He is a talented striker, and someone that we are very aware of."
On whether he expects any support in the stadium tomorrow night from South Africa:
"We’ve enjoyed great support in South Africa. The number of Americans that came to South Africa for the World Cup was really amazing. For all of us, it was a special feeling on the bus as we would get close to stadiums and see our fans and our flags lining the streets chanting ‘USA’. With it, we also have been really well received by the South African people. I think they have appreciated the kind of team we have had in both competitions, the team spirit and the mentality, and we’re proud of that. We know that tomorrow that is more for Bafana Bafana, but at the same time I think we’ve earned respect and that there will also be some Americans there supporting us like they did in the World Cup."
On the significance of playing in a match bearing the name of Nelson Mandela:
"We consider it a tremendous honor to play in a match called the Nelson Mandela Challenge. We are all very aware of the history and what he was able to do in this country. In the United States, we understand the impact he has made, not only in South Africa but around the world. Our respect for Nelson Mandela is at the highest level."