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U.S. Men's National Team Training Camp Quote Sheet


U.S. Men’s National Team
Training Camp Quote Sheet
Mexico City, Mexico
Aug. 14, 2012

U.S. goalkeeper TIM HOWARD
On the gap between the success of Mexico and the U.S.:
“It depends who you ask. I think ourselves and Mexico are always very close. Depending on six month or one year, either team can go ahead. Because both teams are so talented, it doesn’t take much to shift the balance. That’s why we play these games and it’s important to not only win the head-to-head competition but also when it comes to qualifying to finish first because they’re going to want to finish first. Those things are important to say who the best is. When you have two great teams, everyone is going to have an opinion on who is better.”

U.S. midfielder DAMARCUS BEASLEY
On the recent success of Mexico’s National Team program:
“They’re on the rise at the moment. They’re a nation to look at and see what they’re doing right. They’ve been doing well over the past 5 or 6 years with their youth development and it’s paying off for them.”

On if Mexico’s success changes the rivalry with the U.S.:
“In the last 10 years, the U.S. has been on the top, I think. Mexico wants to have that back and they’re making great strides to have that. It started with the Gold Cup a couple years ago, and I think it’s going to be a great rivalry again. Both teams have great players and it’s always going to be a battle whether it’s a regular game or World Cup match.”

On what the U.S. must do to cover the losses of key national team players:
“Those players are big for this team, but there are a lot of young guys that want a chance and want to show (they deserve to play)….You’ve got guys that are hungry and young and are trying to get their first cap. Playing against Mexico, you already get the feeling that you want to be a part of something special like this. I think we’ll be fine, obviously it’s tough missing those guys, but we have qualifying coming up so maybe it’s good giving those guys a rest to get ready for Jamaica.”

On what it would mean to beat Mexico on Wednesday:
“It would be amazing if I could be a part of that. Just being around the guys again is great for me. To beat them and being the first team to ever do it would be pretty special. Hopefully we can do that Wednesday and get a good result.”

On dropping back to help an inexperienced and young back line more than normal:
“I have to get on the field first. With me being an older guy, a veteran, whatever they need help with I can always help. If coach needs me to play left back or wherever, it doesn’t matter to me. As long as the team is playing well and I get a chance to play, that’s fine. The guys are ready and they know what’s at stake. They know it’s Mexico; they know it’s Azteca. That’s all the motivation they need to put on a good performance on Wednesday.”

U.S. midfielder MAURICE EDU

On preparations for Wednesday’s match against Mexico:
“We’re playing in an amazing stadium and they’re one of our biggest rivals and it’s a game we all look forward to. You have a couple days to get your legs back and get the trouble out of your legs. I think come game time everyone will be up for the game and just ready to go out there and try to perform.”

On taking stock of the atmosphere provided by Estadio Azteca:
“We’re all aware of that. It’s part and parcel of this fixture and it’s something we get excited for. It’s going to be a crazy environment. It’s one of the biggest games for us and we use that as our own personal motivation. If we get a win here, it’s a big deal for us and that’s what we’re all looking to do on Wednesday night.”

U.S. defender GEOFF CAMERON
On the differences between the American and English game and adjusting to life abroad:
“The speed of play is a little quicker. Guys are on top of you a little faster than normal. When you train consistently day in and day out you adjust to it pretty quickly. We’ve been doing triple sessions and traveling so it’s been pretty good getting used to it. I felt pretty comfortable Friday night and was glad to get the first game under my belt with Stoke City and I ‘m looking forward to starting the season.”

On what he’s heard about playing in Estadio Azteca:
“The feel and the pressure of the crowd on top of you. It’s loud and it’s hard to hear each other on the field and that’s one thing we’re going to have to deal with. We’ve got a bunch of new guys so there’s going to be a lot of communication that we’re going to have to deal with.”

On what to expect out of Mexico coming off of a gold medal:
“You can say more confident. If anything, they have the momentum coming off of a gold medal and some of the players are going to be here. Our last game was against Guatemala for the qualifier and we have a couple more ahead of us and we want to try and build some momentum. Our goal is to come here, play well and get a win. We know what to expect, it’s going to be hard competition and they’ve got a lot of good players and they’ve been playing well recently. It’s a challenge for us, but I think it’s a challenge we can take advantage of.”

U.S. defender FABIAN JOHNSON
On what he’s been told to expect from Mexico on Wednesday:
“I think we have to expect a great offense from them. They have technical and quick players and we have to be on our toes to stop them and defend well.”

On the expectations of the crowd at Estadio Azteca:
“In Germany there are just a few stadiums that are close to this big. In Dortmund, there is a stadium that holds 80,000. I think Jurgen said this one holds about 110,000. That’s crazy. I’ve never played in front of a crowd like that. I’m happy to be here and not a lot of players get to play in front of this big of a crowd.”

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