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Quote Sheet: U.S. MNT Head Coach Bob Bradley and Players Discuss the First Day of Training

The U.S. Men's National Team kicked off their first training session on Thursday (Jan. 4) under head coach Bob Bradley at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Bradley and select U.S. players took time to answer questions from the media after training.

U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Bob Bradley
“It’s great to get started. I know for the players, after a little bit of time off, everybody’s excited and it’s the first camp of the year.”

On what it means to him to be out training as the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team:
“It’s an honor. Today there is a group of coaches that are taking the coaching license and you think about how many people in the country are involved in the game and how much they put into it. When you get the chance to lead your national team, you have a big responsibility. I’m very proud.”

On what he hopes to bring to the team in the “New Bradley Era”:
“We want to make sure from the beginning that we establish good ways of working, that we understand that in order to be successful you have to build every day. We believe in the “inner circle,” what happens every day, how we work, how we treat each other. That’s the start.”

On how he feels about facing Mexico and [Mexico head coach] Hugo Sanchez after the Denmark game:
“It’s a big game any time you play Mexico and, obviously, the rivalry has grown and the players know how much it means. The fact that it’s Hugo Sanchez’s first game means that a little bit more attention will be brought to it so we understand how important that game will be.”

On whether recently training with different Mexican players (as head coach of Chivas USA) prepares him for the challenge of facing Mexico:
“Yeah, it does. I think I have a pretty good understanding of the mentality. I know that they are just as serious about the game as all of our players. It’s a big rivalry. It’s an important game.”

On how many of the 11 uncapped players in camp will be getting looked at over the upcoming two games and the value in getting them experience before the busy summer schedule:
“Certainly the first game is going to be a good opportunity for some of these guys to get their first caps. We’ll see as we move through this camp and through that first game what it means in terms of Mexico. Obviously, the Mexico games falls on an international fixture date so it gives us a chance to bring some players from Europe. It’s a group of new players in the camp and a new cycle begins so it’s really important to start to integrate some of these guys and get them experience.”

On which players earned their way into camp based on their MLS season:
“I think that we tried to make sure that in our selections, everybody earned their way. One of the things that you always want to do is establish that it’s an honor to play on your National Team and it’s something that you earn. It’s never given. I think the guys that are here have shown that.”

On the challenge of replacing some of the recently retired players:
“It’s a transition time. We know that there are important guys that have retired. We have to start the cycle by working in some young players. We have to make sure that some of the players that are experienced and still part of the team take bigger roles. A lot of little things need to happen to start the ball rolling for the next four years.”

On assistant coach Peter Nowak:
“Peter and I know each other so well. As a player, he was a great leader. He has such fire and such determination, and he has a way to push the guys, push the right buttons. His years coaching, now, have taught him how to take his qualities as a player and use them as a coach. I think the fact that we have a bond, we know each other, we trust each other, means we work well off of each other. I’m really excited that we can do this together.”

On whether Nowak has a specific role:
“No. We’re partners in this whole thing; blood brothers, I say a lot.”

On whether he has talked to the players in camp who have played for clubs in Denmark:
“Not yet, but as we get through the camp that’s something that we’ll do. I think both Danny (Califf) and Heath (Pearce) are just excited, at this point, to be in this camp. They’re trying, like everybody else, to get the first session going, play well and move forward.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni
“I think the veteran status is a bit misleading in that we’re all in this together. Obviously, I’ve been here a few times, but I think the term ‘veteran’ brings a bit of complacency to your game and that’s something that will never happen to me. I think I come to the camp with the same mentality that these younger guys do and have to prove myself to the coach and the new administration.”

On whether it seems like a long time before the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010:
“It does. It really does seem like a long time and, as we all know, it goes by real fast. I think in today’s first session, Bob and Peter did a good job of setting the tone early on what they expect from us, what they demand from us, even if for some of us it’s been a month and a half since we’ve touched a ball in a team situation or setting. It was great. We know exactly what they expect from us and now it’s that work to strive to achieve that.”

On the talk of him going to play in Italy:
“It’s still up in the air. The window just opened on January 1 so they have to come to the league with an offer that’s legitimate, as far as the league’s concerned, and we’ll see from there. As far as my perspective and the club’s (Colorado Rapids’) perspective, I think everybody’s willing to help me get there if the offer comes through. So, it’s one day at a time, working hard here and hopefully doors open along the way.”

On what it would mean to play in Copa America:
“I think it would be great. I grew up watching that tournament with my father, being from Argentina. The teams that represent the Southern Hemisphere and Copa America, for that matter, have been some of the better teams in the world. To see where you stand against that competition in such a cup and, more importantly, in a place that isn’t like Manhattan Beach where you’re going to get quite a different atmosphere and most of that in opposition of our team. And with the things going on in the world, it would just be an exciting place and exciting time to venture out and see where you stand against some of the best South American teams in the world.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Defender Jonathan Bornstein
“(Bob Bradley’s) style and everything is great. I was more than happy to play for him at Chivas USA and I’m more than happy to be playing for him on the National Team now. He’s a great guy, someone I really look up to.”

On how he would describe what Bradley tries to accomplish technically:
“Technically, his training sessions are very intense. He makes sure that you’re playing hard the whole time, getting your feet under you, playing the right balls, the right style of soccer, very much one- and two-touch style, very nice soccer. Basically, he instills that work ethic in you, also, to just push everyone. It pays off for everyone in the end because if trainings are harder than the games then you should be doing pretty well. I think that’s the mentality that he instills in us.”

On Bradley’s sense of humor:
“I definitely see it. I know you don’t see it when he’s on the sidelines, but in the locker room he has a sense of humor that that’s very witty. You just have to sit down and talk to him to get that side out of him. It’s a very nice combination (with his intensity).”