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U.S. MNT Quote Sheet - Preparing for England


U.S. MNT Training Camp Quote Sheet
May 24, 2005



U.S. Manager BRUCE ARENA
On the strength of both the England and the USA roster for Saturday’s game:
“There’s not a set team for the national team. It’s different for a club team. With the national team there are always issues with injuries, suspensions, and other kinds of conflicts. We have a pretty good team here. England’s team - although you don’t hear the big names that you want to hear – those are outstanding players in one of the toughest leagues in the world. I would say anyway you cut it, the team that England brings in here on Saturday is one of the better teams in the world. Some of the best players in the Premiership are going to be here, so I don’t think you need to be concerned with that.”

On what he expects from the England game:
“We just want to continue to move forward and make progress, and get our team prepared for qualifying games in June. Were going to get through the week of training and get more familiar with each other, since it will have been about two months since our last game. We’ve been away from each other for a long period of time, so this is just about getting familiar and stepping on the field and competing against a very good team. Whatever happens on Saturday, in my eyes it’s a positive because it helps get ready for Costa Rica and Panama.”

On the chance that DaMarcus Beasley will be ready for the qualifiers [Beasley is undergoing rehabilitation in Chicago this week]:
“There is a chance. That’s why he’s here. We’re moving him a long slowly. If, by next week, he is able to participate in training, there’s a chance he could play.”

On the chance that Eddie Lewis will be in camp for the qualifiers:
“Eddie Lewis has an important game with his team on May 30 when his team tries to get promoted to the Premiership. After that game, he’ll be flying to the U.S. to join our team.”

On the challenge of getting the group ready to play together after such a long period of time:
“It’s difficult, but that’s all part of coaching a national team. You’re not together on a daily basis. You’re together at different sequences throughout the year, so hopefully what you’ve done previously as a group quickly ties back together again so you can step on the field together and look like a team. That’s always the challenge, and that’s why it’s so important to have this week together.”


U.S. Defender EDDIE POPE
On the type of “mystique” England brings:
“Obviously they have one of the best leagues in the world, and with that you expect them to have one of the best national teams in the world. When you’re talking about mystique, you’re talking about guys like Beckham that are really out of this world. That’s what a lot of people think of.”

On whether there is disappointment that players like David Beckham won’t be playing:
“I’m sure the fans would love to see those guys here. I’m sure a lot of us would love to play against them, so maybe a little bit. But they are still an unbelievable national team, so it doesn’t really matter. They are so deep, and have so many players to choose from.”


U.S. Midfielder LANDON DONOVAN
On whether there is disappointment that players like David Beckham won’t be playing:
“I could care less, to be honest. It would be nice, but trust me, this is going to be a very good team. This isn’t necessarily our first team either. But it’s going to be a good game.”

On the type of “mystique” England brings:
“I don’t view it that way, but some people might. It’s a good team that we have a good opportunity to beat. Our problem has been beating teams in the top, top tier in the world and now we have a really good game with a really good crowd against a really good team. It’s a good chance to prove ourselves.”

On whether it is valuable to get a game against England prior to World Cup qualifiers:
“Sure. It’s not necessarily the style we are going to face in qualifying, so from that aspect it’s not ideal, but to play a team of that caliber is absolutely going to help us prepare for the qualifiers.”


U.S. Midfielder CLYDE SIMMS
On the whirlwind year so far:
"Everything has happened so fast. I just finished school and I was training for next season with Richmond. I got called into the national team camp in January, then ended up signing with D.C. United. It's been pretty remarkable."

On how he found out he was called into camp:
"Peter told me after practice in the locker room one day. He explained it was a tentative list, so I didn't really know for sure. I found out when the roster came out. It was a good feeling."

On the possibility of playing against England:
"I can't get over it. The English Premier League is one of my favorite to watch. I know most of the players, so it would be pretty remarkable to play against those guys. As a player you can't give them too much respect, so you have to go out there (and be) confident that you can play against them."
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