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Jonathan Spector

June 2 Press Conference With Jonathan Spector, Jose Torres and DaMarcus Beasley


U.S. MNT Defender JONATHAN SPECTOR
On the team’s knowledge of the 1950 victory against England:
“A lot of us are familiar with this game. It was well before our time but there’s a pretty well-known movie that came out in the United States about it, I personally saw it and I think a lot of the other guys have as well. Obviously it’s a proud moment for the United States, and it’s something we’d like to repeat. But it was a long time ago, and there are different players on each team now.”

On what the World Cup veterans on the team can bring to the new players: 
“In one word, experience. For me and José, it’s our first World Cup, and DaMarcus for example has been to three now. So he’s got the experience, the wherewithal, the knowledge of what to expect going into it. They have the experience and the leadership to help us get accustomed to what comes next.”

On facing Wayne Rooney:
“He’s certainly a very talented player, we all know that. But he’s not the only player on England that has ability; they’re a good side. We haven’t really gone over tactically how we’re going to approach the game, but I think it’s important not just to focus on them, we need to be concerned with ourselves. There are certainly two teams in this game, and we need to worry about what we’re going to do and how we’re going to approach the game. It’s not just about what they have and what we need to do to stop them.”

On the announced England roster:
“I’m not sure there is much of a reaction to the side they selected, I think in the 30-man roster they were all talented players. But we don’t know what 11 they’re going to select for the game, and that’s what’s really important to us.”

On the team’s defensive work in camp to correct mistakes from the Czech Republic and Turkey matches:
“We’ll be working in training as a unit, we’ll be watching video of what went wrong, and all of that is extremely helpful. But I think it just takes a little bit of time to get used to playing with one another again. We all come from different systems with our club teams, fortunately we’ve laid the groundwork in the past but it does take a little bit of time just to get adjusted and become in synch with one another. It’s not really a concern of ours, I know we’re going to get there, but as I said it will just take a little bit of time.”

U.S. MNT Midfielder JOSÉ TORRES:
On his relationship with Clint Dempsey:
“Well, he’s a bit older than me, he played against an uncle that I have back in Texas, they played against each other in high school. I look up to him a lot, he’s a great player and he’s done a lot in the past few years. Personally, I look up to him. I try to learn a lot of things from him. I’ve talked to him about this being my first World Cup and ask him about his first one, and everyday I learn different things from him. He’s a good guy, and I look up to him a lot.”

On what Clint has told him about what to expect at the World Cup:
“Well, he talks about how it’s great to be there, after working so hard all year during qualifying games and trying to make the final roster. He’s said that it’s difficult to make the World Cup. But when you’re there, you have to enjoy it, you have to enjoy the game. It’s a great experience for every player that’s in the World Cup, I think it’s every player’s dream to be here, and I’m looking forward to my first World Cup and looking for a few more.”

On what he’s taken from the veterans of the squad:
“Through the almost two years I’ve been here, I’ve learned a lot. They have the experience, knowing it’s DaMarcus’ third World Cup, I have to look up to that. So in every training and game that we’re there, I learn a lot. I think we have a lot of experienced players on this team, and some of us look up to them for everything they’ve done.”

On playing in South Africa and what he’s told those there for the first time:
“We were here a year ago, and for the guys that haven’t been here, it’s a great experience. You get to go to these great stadiums, they’re packed, it’s a great vibe. We just try to tell them how it is, and that you have to live the moment. You get this great experience, so enjoy being here because you never know when it might be your last time.”

U.S. MNT Midfielder DAMARCUS BEASLEY
On what advice you’ve been able to give to the newcomers about the World Cup:
“Well, like José said, just to enjoy it. Obviously there’s an importance in the games to get points and get out of your group, but there are a lot more things in the World Cup that you want to enjoy and experience—these kinds of hotels, being around the guys everyday, things that happen—these are memories that you’ll always have for the rest of your life. You might never get to a World Cup again, I hope they do, but you need to enjoy the whole experience, not just the football part of it.”

On how you’ve changed from previous World Cups:
“I think I’ve just grown as a player. You want to improve your game; in ’02 I was just raw. I was just a kid, I was fearless, had no worries in the world, just having fun being on the field and playing football everyday. But now you’ve got younger guys coming up, like I was in ’02, so I’ve got to work even harder both on and off the pitch. So you need to be more mentally strong, and I think that’s one area where my game has gotten better. I had a tough year last year, and I never thought I would be able to be in this position, but it’s great that I’m here and I think I’ve worked hard to get here.

On training at altitude and whether it’s made it harder:
“You do feel the difference in the air obviously with the altitude, but at the same time I think we’ve acclimated well, with last year at the Confederations’ Cup and this go around, some of the boys know what to expect. I think the staff prepared us well before we got here about the altitude. The first day yesterday, after the flight, everyone was a little bit tired, but as the days go on I think we’ll be fine, the altitude won’t bother us at all.”

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