US SoccerUS Soccer

Quote Sheet: Arena, Donovan & Jones

U.S. Head Coach

On the assignment of a Portuguese referee for the USA-Mexico match:
“One has to believe the referee will be neutral and have integrity and will call the game the way it is supposed to be called.  I’ve got more things to worry about than the assignment of referees for a World Cup game.”

On whether the heat will be a factor in the USA-Mexico match:
“The heat has been factor in all the games, but I don’t think it is an issue anymore with these teams. Both teams are well conditioned at this point.  I think attrition becomes an issue as we move forward in the World Cup, and injuries, suspensions and fatigue, definitely.  Any player that enters this fourth game now is going to be fatigued.  These are all factors as we enter game four.”

On how he expects the USA-Mexico match to unfold:
“Traditional games between the U.S. and Mexico are low scoring and tend to be very defensive, and tend to have very few scoring opportunities.  That is my view of this rivalry.  So I think you will see a game which will be low-scoring and both teams will play well defensively, and will look to jump on any type of attacking opportunity they can create.”

On whether Brad Friedel will be under any additional pressure in a game like USA-Mexico:
“He has had enough pressure up to this point.  I think Brad is well suited to play in a difficult game.  There are no concerns there.  In his last year at Blackburn he faced many of these type of situations and he has faced many of these types of games in the World Cup, so I can’t imagine Brad will be one of our concerns.”

U.S. Midfielder

On how the U.S. intends to crack the tough Mexican defense:
“We’ve already played three teams that play very well defensively and we played very well against them, and we will take the same approach against Mexico, which is whenever we can attack, we will.”

On the fatigue and wear-and-tear a player endures during a World Cup:
“It gets tough.  Especially after playing three games in 10 days, and it is not just playing the games, but getting up for the games which mentally wears on you a little bit.  But anytime you are playing Mexico, whether it is a friendly or in our backyard or anywhere, you know we are going to be very up for it, and that is a plus for sure.”

On playing games in this World Cup at forward, attacking midfield and outside midfield, and which position he might prefer:
“For me, I feel most comfortable being on the field, so I couldn’t care less.  Thankfully Bruce has put me in a situation before this and thought it through before the World Cup, so it is not just all of a sudden that I am just being put into a position which I don’t know what to do or how to play it, so I feel comfortable wherever that may be.  If I had my absolute choice, it probably would be up front or underneath a target forward, but I am happy to be anywhere.”

U.S. Midfielder

On the opportunity to play Mexico in a Round of 16 game at the World Cup:
“It is a great opportunity to be here and for me I am just happy to be here because for the United States it is one of our farthest points in a World Cup in recent memory.  For myself, it is a great honor.  Hopefully it is something where we can go a lot farther and not only be playing on Monday but on Friday.  I would definitely pass on to a player like Landon to enjoy this and take it all in, because the process of getting back here is a very difficult and tough one that we are all honored to be a part of. Getting here is not always guaranteed, so when you are here you have to make the most of it.”

On thinking back to the USA’s accomplishment of advancing to the Round of 16 in 1994:
“It was a great accomplishment to get there and to play Brazil, but we lost.  And I’ve had enough of that.  We want to play to win, no matter who the team is.  We want to get to the next level and beat those teams.”