Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. vs. Venezuela
U.S. Manager Bruce Arena
On the team's performance:
"Obviously, we were a little fresher because the guys that played tonight have had a few more days off than the guys that played on Tuesday. Our legs are still a little bit heavy but that's okay. We're not preparing the team for these games as much as we are, hopefully, for June 12, 17 and 22."
On whether the team is where he wants it to be:
"You're never where you want to be. We'll see. We've got to get better and, obviously, get through the game on Sunday. That'll be good, and then give the guys a break. Then, having a good 10 days in Germany before we play the Czech Republic is going to be important."
On the play of Bobby Convey:
"The other night in particular, there was no crossing on our part. For the game, we told our guys in the first half the other night we had three crosses. I think Bobby Convey probably had five or six on his own in the first half tonight. Being a left-sided player and getting behind the other team, whipping in some good crosses, I thought he also did well on the defensive end of the field and brought a lot of energy to the game."
On the stadium and crowd:
"It was a great crowd and what a great stadium. I've said a number of times that the groundskeepers here did a fantastic job with the field. I was here about a month ago and it needed a lot of work and they certainly got it done. The way the field held up with a lot of rain, the way the people came out with some questionable weather over the last few days, was spectacular. To have 30,000 here is great. It's a beautiful stadium and a facility I'm sure U.S. Soccer would like to come back to."
On the insertion of DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan:
"It wasn't by design. I just think (Josh) Wolff played 60 minutes the other night and Convey was a little bit tired. I think his hamstring was bothering him a little bit, so we just wanted to get him out."
On the play of Brian Ching:
"He got a goal and did a good job working for 90 minutes. He did a good job holding the ball and drew some fouls, things our forwards have to do on a consistent basis, so it was good to see. I thought, to be honest, the first 15 to 20 minutes of the game tonight were shaky and then, once he got into it, he played well. Once he scored the goal, he played well."
U.S. Midfielder Bobby Convey
On the game:
“We played a different formation. I think a lot of the guys were hungry, wanted to play and wanted to prove that they should be on the team. It just worked out well. Guys felt a little bit more comfortable in different positions today than in the last game. It’s a process and it’s good to win in this game, obviously, after the loss in the last game.”
On whether U.S. Manager Bruce Arena let the team know how he felt after Tuesday’s loss to Morocco:
“Yeah. He’s the coach and obviously we needed to improve and we need to do better than that. It’s all preparation for the first game of the World Cup. Obviously these games are really preparation to see what works and we just needed to tweak a few things. I think we did that today.”
On whether Arena was angry about the loss to Morocco:
“I wouldn’t say angry. He was obviously disappointed that we lost. Everyone’s disappointed when you lose and you just try to come out the next game and do better. I think it was a good thing that we played so quickly. Now everyone will remember this and how well we did instead of a loss.”
On whether he tries to persuade Arena with his play each game:
“Yeah, of course. I go out and I want to play. And I’ve tried to bring it the whole season forward. When you win games and you don’t know what it’s like to lose, you just grow in confidence and you get better. You try to get better every week and you get better all the time. Obviously, playing with the National Team, you have better players and it’s a lot easier to play when you play with good players. That’s what I want to do. Nobody likes sitting on the bench and I want to just try and play as much as I can.
U.S. Midfielder Clint Dempsey
On the goal:
“A heads-up play by Eddie (Johnson). He got a good cross in the box. I just tried to find my way to it, get on the end of it and put it in the back of the net.”
On his goal celebration:
“It was just a dance we saw in a video and we were just messing around.”
On whether he’s fighting for a starting spot each time he plays:
“Yeah. You’re always trying to get into the lineup. I don’t think anything is guaranteed at this point so you just have to do whatever you can do to try to get minutes over in Europe.”
On whether the team’s feeling at halftime was better than on Tuesday:
“I think so because everybody came out hungry. The goal was to get more crosses, create more chances and we did that. That’s something that we just have to keep moving on. Next game is another important game as far as getting more team confidence and, also, getting the fans behind us more because no one wants to support a losing team.”
On whether he felt the second goal was going to come at some point:
“Yeah, because we were creating chances. We were knocking at the door and it was just a matter of time, it seemed like. Fortunately enough for me, it went in.
“(Bruce) definitely wanted us to score another goal and he definitely wanted us to keep the shutout and that’s what we did. All in all, I think we did what our job was to do at the beginning of the game."
U.S. Defender Jimmy Conrad
On Arena saying he played one of his better games:
"I think I played simple. I just tried to organize the guys in front of me. My main job with the team is to put out fires before they start. If I can put the guys ahead of me, like Ben Olsen, in a good spot, it makes my job easier and makes me look even better. All I tried to do is play simple. We have a lot of good players who know what to do with the ball, and we kept trying to get them in good spots early offensively and defensively and go from there."
On being captain:
"I found out about 10 minutes after we got here (the stadium), and it's a real honor to be named captain. I've been captain with my side Kansas City and so I knew that Bruce knew that I could handle the role. He could have picked a lot of different guys, and I'm almost humbled that he chose me."
On the U.S. players who are targets on set pieces:
"We have so many guys, especially with what our 11 was, that are good in the air going forward. Obviously, we gave up an unfortunate goal versus Morocco. Not to say that we didn't have the right guys in the back, but I think Bruce really wanted to make it an emphasis. We had me and Albright back pretty much the whole game. I pushed up for Gooch maybe once or twice. We had to sit back and just really make sure. To Venezuela's credit, I thought that they countered really well despite that we had a lot of guys back. I think that's something that we are going to have to work on because the Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana are probably going to be a little bit better than Venezuela on the counter."