Following are quotes from the USA's 2-1 loss to Ireland on April 17, 2002 in Dublin. The U.S. will be announcing the 23-man roster for the 2002 FIFA World Cup live on ESPN's SportsCenter on Monday, April 22 during the 6 p.m. (ET) broadcast.
BRUCE ARENA, Head Coach - U.S. Men's National Team
"I am disappointed that we didn't walk away with a point tonight, because we were in a position to manage the game in the last 10 minutes and didn't do a good job. So give Ireland credit for the second goal and the win. Obviously the conditions were difficult tonight. It was a bit sloppy, and the game did not have much flow to it. But give both teams credit, despite the conditions it was a decent game. Both teams fought hard."
On evaluating the team’s performance:
"I think our defensive shape was better. I think our backline performed a bit better in terms of how they moved. But in terms of evaluating the game, passing, getting forward, it was a tough game for that because of the conditions. Some of the issues defensively were good, but it has to be better. We need to get our players into camp and clean up some of our mistakes."
On giving up the early goal:
"Disappointing. I think the way we came out … we didn’t come alive until after the first goal. Then we did better over the last 30 minutes, and obviously got the equalizer. Certainly disappointed just to give that goal away at the end. I was unhappy about the call, but I still told our guys regardless of the call we had to deal with the restart and do a better job. And we didn't."
On the decision of who will be the first choice goalkeeper in the World Cup:
"They’re both very good goalkeepers. They are comparable in some ways and different in others. It’ll be a difficult decision. I need to watch the remaining games they are playing in the Premiership, and look at them a little bit in camp before I make a decision. It’s one of those decisions that is both easy and difficult. One keeper will be happy, and the other will unfortunately be disappointed. That’s all part of it."
On the play of Eddie Pope:
"I think Eddie did very well. Obviously he got a goal, and defensively he was pretty solid throughout the game. I don’t think he’s fully where he needs to be in terms of his form, but a big part of this year was getting him back in with our team and start getting him some games. I think we’ve accomplished that, and hopefully over the next couple weeks we can continue to move forward and get him a little bit sharper."
On the donation made by Irish players to the Sept. 11 fund, in which they donated their bonuses from the World Cup qualifier against Iran, totaling 275,00 Euros:
"I wanted to mention how extremely touched we were by the generous donation made by the Irish players in supporting the firefighters and policemen in New York. I can’t put into words how thankful we are for that gesture. It was absolutely magnificent. The game is one thing, the World Cup is another, but the real story in this world is how people get along with each other. On behalf of U.S. Soccer I want to thank the Irish players, the Irish Federation, and the Irish people for their generous support of the many people who were affected by the events of September 11."
BRAD FREIDEL, Goalkeeper - U.S. Men's National Team
On the improvement in the defensive performance from the March 27 match against Germany:
"It was certainly better from what I saw on the tape against Germany. I don’t think there was a heck of a lot to be taken from the result. Having said that, I thought their two goals were preventable and it’s something we need to work on. The good news is that it’s something we can work on. It’s not something that’s going to be hurting us all the time. We can work on it and improve, and we will."
On what can be taken from this match:
"A heck of a lot. We showed a lot of character by going down a goal and coming back to get even and had some chances to even take the lead. And even after we fell down 2-1 we still had a couple chances. This team is not going to give up, ever. That’s one of the qualities that we’ve always had, and one we’ll take to the grave with us."
BRIAN McBRIDE, Forward - U.S. Men's National Team
"For the first 15 minutes we were unsettled, but then after that we knew it was going to come down to getting a chance or half chance and taking advantage of it. Games like that where the conditions are bad, you don’t expect a whole lot of opportunities but you have to be ready when they come. We didn’t really have many chances. Sometimes it was sloppy, but we defended well, which was important."
On the difference between this match and the March 27 match against Germany:
"Today everybody fought for each other. There’s plenty of good things going on. I think the difference between today and the Germany match is that we fought for each other."