U.S. MNT Post-Match Quote Sheet
USA 2, El Salvador 0
July 12, 2003 -- Foxboro, Mass.
U.S. Manager BRUCE ARENA
“Overall, I think it was a good team effort. We probably made the game a little bit more difficult than we needed to. I give El Salvador a lot of credit. They are a much improved team over the one we saw in last year’s tournament. Again, another good experience for us. It was good to get Claudio Reyna back on the field and some of our other veteran players. Hopefully we can continue to improve in each game of the tournament.”
On the play of Eddie Lewis:
"He played very well. Obviously he scored a very important goal for us, and he continues to do well with the U.S team. He's had a good run over the last year with us, and we're real pleased with him. He's one of our veterans now. He can still play into the next World Cup if we're there."
On what he expects from Martinique:
"They are very athletic, and more imposing physically than El Salvador. From the little I've seen of them, they have a pretty solid back line. They have good players, and over the last couple Gold Cups they have played pretty well. With them coming in rested, its going to be a very difficult match."
On the play of Kasey Keller:
"He was very good today. He gives our team a lot of confidence. His role as we move forward will be to challenge to be our number one 'keeper in World Cup qualifying. I would imagine his goal is to play in the 2006 World Cup. There's very little that separates Keller and Friedel. On a given day you can pick either goalkeeper, which is a very difficult decision for me. Kasey does nothing but improve his position when he comes into this tournament and we continue to be successful. I have a lot of respect for him. He's done an outstanding job, and he's a great goalkeeper."
U.S. goalkeeper KASEY KELLER
On the team's performance:
"It was a little bit sloppy, but we did what we needed to do. We didn't punish them as much as we should have. Whenever you give a team a chance to stay in the game, they are going to do their best to take advantage of it. It was kind of a wild finish, but we're happy with the result. We have a quick turnaround, and now everyone has to get ready to roll in two days. All credit to everyone involved. We battled hard, and got the second goal. We kept it clean, and we're looking great going into the next round."
U.S. midfielder EDDIE LEWIS
Describing the goal:
"All week we talked about the fact they played with a sweeper, and there was a wide area to run into if we could get forward. I just ran through the middle. Brian [McBride] had a chance to play a one-two, but he didn't and I just kept going. The sweeper had dropped off and Brian played me through. Since I was shooting with my right foot, it was either going to go in the corner or the 30th row. Fortunately it was in the corner."
Chevrolet Man of the Match BRIAN McBRIDE
Describing the goal:
"Ralston made my job easy. The ball was bouncing on him, and the way he hit so well, all I had to do was just get to the spot. The goal was really all about his cross. He's been hitting crosses like that all week in training."
On the impact of Claudio Reyna on the team:
"Claudio sees the field better than anybody. Not only that, you know that if he takes a peek out of the corner of eye and sees you, sometimes you question whether he did see you - he does. To me that's enjoyable, because most often the defender won't know what's coming."
On the team's fitness level for what is necessary at the international level:
"It's good, but I know my fitness can be better. That's something that will come, especially with the games coming so quickly. The only way you can improve is force yourself to get fit. Most of the guys here are really fit. For me, it was about moving my feet quicker and getting back into the speed of it."
U.S. midfielder and captain CLAUDIO REYNA
On his first start for the U.S. since the 2002 World Cup:
“I felt really good today. Obviously it was my first start in eight months so I had one eye on not doing too much too soon, and also with the Monday coming I want to play a part in that one. If that game didn’t come so soon than I could have gone longer. In many ways it felt like I hadn’t been out there in some time, but once the ball started rolling it just felt pretty good. I didn’t think about my knee the whole day today. I just went out there and enjoyed it."
On where he fits in with the U.S. team:
“I think that I bring a bit of leadership, I can settle the ball down a bit for the team at times, so I guess just play the same role as before, trying to be in the center of the park and get the ball to the other guys. We have a lot of weapons and I think that we’ll prove that as the tournament goes on."
On looking ahead to Martinique on Monday:
“It’s one of those games where you just have to go out and do your job. We don’t know anything about them. Obviously they qualified into this tournament so we can’t underestimate them. You have to go out and do the job on the field and get the victory and win the group. That’s going to be our goal for Monday.
U.S. midfielder LANDON DONOVAN
On the game:
"I thought everybody played well, especially defensively and through the midfield. Our crossing could have been a little bit better, as well as our finishing, but it was a good performance."
On the difference in play with Brian McBride and Claudio Reyna back in the team:
"You can tell with Brian and Claudio back in the team that it makes things different. It makes things gel, and then everybody wants the ball and know they are going to get it. Their presence helps everybody."