Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Men's National Team vs. Honduras
U.S. MNT vs. Honduras
2009 Gold Cup - Semifinals
July 23, 2009
U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach Bob Bradley
On Honduras and their play in the Gold Cup:
“I think Honduras also proved in this tournament that they also have a deep pool of players because we know the players for their team that are not here. So as we’ve been discussing on our end, this was an opportunity for others and I think it shows again [Honduras head coach Reynaldo] Rueda does a good job in terms of how he looks to move players in and the options that he has.”
On how the current political situation in Honduras may have affected the team:
“I’m sure it’s on their minds; how could it not be? The fact that they’ve still been successful in this tournament is a credit to the team and the way they’ve handled things.”
On what getting to the final of the Gold Cup says about the state of U.S. Soccer:
“It’s a good sign. It shows that people are working together. It shows that you have a group of guys that play regularly in MLS and the opportunities they’ve had in the league have helped them get to this point. There are other players here that then make the decision to go to Europe. It’s important that our program, not just the senior national team, but on down to our youth teams, that we continue to grow. We knew from the start of this tournament that it was a great opportunity for a lot of players but we also made it very clear that we’re defending champs, so it was with that idea that we got started and we have gone about it the same way we do every time we come together.”
On the possibility of bringing in other players in for the final:
“I think that everyone came out of this match OK, and if that’s true than the 18 that we have will be the 18 for the final. We would only need to go deeper into the roster if there are some injuries that we don’t know about at this time."
On the contribution from Stuart Holden during the tournament:
“I think Stuart is a player that has been on the verge of getting into our team for a while. He was one of the players that came out of the Olympics having done well. In the January camp he came out with an injury so he missed an opportunity, but he’s done a good job so far for Houston and the timing of this tournament was good for him, and like others, he’s taken advantage of it.”
On what Stuart Holden and other young players need to do to make a consistent impact with the team:
“It’s not easy to get into specifics with guys in terms of what they’re good at, what they’re not good at when they move up each level. Often times you see in young players he has some talent, he has ability with the ball, he can move with the ball, he’s a pretty good passer, and now what you want to see when they get brought into the national team is that they can do those things in more difficult games, that they can also realize that when the ball turns over there are responsibilities and they can now raise the level of their game to meet the demands, so that’s a process. When you see young guys who get into the team and they start to almost say, ‘OK, now I know what these games are like. This is a harder game. Now, certain things that I get away with up until now, that won’t fly anymore.’ It’s that process and I think that he has shown thus far that he’s picking up things. That’s the best thing that can happen is that when players get put in to these games you see them starting to see for themselves what the games are all about and how they can take their game to a higher level.”
U.S. Men's National Team Defender Clarence Goodson
On the goal:
"It was a momentum changer for sure. It gave us a psychological lift. Obviously, 1-0 gave us a huge boost. For them to come out of the first half with nothing, I'm sure they went to the locker room pretty depressed."
On younger guys like himself stepping up during the Gold Cup:
"I think it's a great opportunity for all of us. We're all trying to take advantage of that and make the most of our opportunities. We've got a lot of good players, so I think (guys stepping up and performing shows) the depth of the USA.”
On what it means to him to play for the national team:
“It’s obviously an honor every time you get to put the shirt on, so you want to do your best regardless of the situation, regardless of how well the boys did in the Confederations Cup. But, having said that, obviously (the team’s performance at the Confederations Cup) is a little bit of added pressure. That set the bar high, they did well. Anyone who wants the opportunity to be on the team, you have to keep the standard very high. You have to come in and show Bob that you can perform at the highest level. Right now, that’s what this is – for us this is the highest level we’ve played at, so hopefully we can take that forward and up.”
U.S. Men’s National Team captain and forward Brian Ching
On being captain:
"Anytime you're the captain it's a special honor and to be the captain tonight was something special especially with getting the victory and moving on to the final."
U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Logan Pause
On the collective defensive work by the team in tonight's 2-0 win:
It was a great, great effort. It started with Troy in goal making some huge saves, especially in the latter part of the game. Our backline was also phenomenal. Brian and Davy worked their tails off up top and that effort trickled all the way down to the back. We felt good out there.
On the journey to the final:
It's been a wonderful experience and we're all so honored and privileged to be a part of it. Anytime you have a chance to win a cup, that's what it's all about as a player. That's what this group and this national team has been working for for a long time.
On the opponent in the final and whether he prefers one opponent or the other:
No, we don't care who we play. We're looking forward to the game and we're going to just worry about ourselves, just like we have every other game.
U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Stuart Holden
On playing in the semifinal of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup:
These are the games you live for; you want to play in big games like this. These are the games where people are watching and you have the opportunity to show what you can do. I thought everybody did a good job of that tonight. It took us a little while to get going but once we found our feet I thought we were the better team tonight.
On the potential matchup in the final:
There's always a sense of pride for whomever we play against. Whether it's Mexico or Costa Rica, we're going to prepare the same way. We as a group feel like we've come along way in this tournament but the work isn't done. We want to finish it off in the final and cap this off with a great win.
On not starting the game tonight the team would have wanted to:
We started slow and maybe that was due to the fact we weren't able to warm up on the field. either way, there are no excuses. Honduras came out with a lot of energy and gave us a good go. Once we weathered the storm a little bit we started to knock the ball around with a bit more confidence. To go into halftime at 1-0 was a huge morale boost for us and we knew they'd throw a lot at us the second half.
On rectifying that slow start in the second half:
The first two minutes we had two good chances and they were kind of reeling from that. They knew we weren't going to just sit back and protect the 1-0 lead. We knew we would keep pushing and we ended up winning 2-0.
On setting up both goals in the final and helping the team get a victory on a big stage:
Anytime I'm on the field I want to impress and I want to win. I'm a competitor and anything I can do to help the team win goes a long way. I'm confident, and feeling good and the guys around me are doing a good job finishing balls off. It's been an all around team effort from the first game until tonight.
On the team's desire to go forward and win the final:
We're not happy just getting to the final, we want to win. It's been a good group effort and a lot of guys have earned their first caps. We've shown well and All around from 1-18. We're really looking forward to the final now and whether it's Mexico or Costa Rica we can't wait to get back out there.