US SoccerUS Soccer
May 29, 2010: U.S. Men vs. Turkey

June 1 Press Conference: U.S. MNT Head Coach Bob Bradley And Captain Carlos Bocanegra

U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach BOB BRADLEY

On the travel and arrival in South Africa:
“Our arrival was a good one and travel seemed quite easy, maybe we’re just used to it by now. So far, the organization on all ends has been great and we certainly appreciate the efforts of the Local Organizing Committee, the South African Police and the U.S. State Department but I think everything has run very smoothly. The team is excited to get started. The first training session after we travel is always a shorter one, where we just try to get everybody going again but you can tell there is a good level of excitement to get started.”

On what it’s like now that the team is on the ground:
“We’re looking forward to it. We go in steps, and in the past couple of weeks, the initial part was just getting everybody in, the fitness. After the first game it was the finalization of our roster, and then just getting here to South Africa, getting a feel for the excitement and the passion. Now, little by little, we’re thinking more and more about the first game but the step of just arriving here and starting to acclimatize and get ready is something we’ve been waiting for, for sure.”

On how the team feels about the security challenges reported about South Africa:
“From our standpoint, we have tremendous confidence in the security around our team. The level of professionalism is really amazing. We’ve traveled before. We understand that there are things that get out there in terms of the press but from our standpoint, everything is under control. We are excited to get ready with the games.

“So much has been put into the effort here in the first World Cup in Africa and I think that it will go really well and people have planned accordingly.”

On his thoughts on the camp and the facilities the team is staying at and using:
“We’re very pleased. I think that the work that we put in, U.S. Soccer beginning with Tom King, has been tremendous at looking at all the possibilities and Irene is a great facility. It’s going to give us a great comfort level every day. It’s a place where I think we can really concentrate on our work. We trained at Pilditch last year during Confederations Cup and the field was quite good then and they tell me it’s even better this year. So, I think, we’ve done a good job in terms of getting these things squared away and it gives us the best chance for success.”

On whether the team has a comfort level with the facility given the performance during the 2009 Confederations Cup:
“We had a good experience here last year. We got a sense for the tremendous passion that people have for the game. We were treated so warmly last year. The stadiums where we play our first-round matches in are all stadiums where we’ve played before, so you come back to a place where you kind of know what to expect. I think that’s always a plus.”

On what his expectation is for how long it will take players to adjust to the altitude:
“We used our experience last year as a benchmark. Obviously, the window from when we arrive to the first game last year was short. Off the top of my head, I think it was like six days. We still felt good going into the first game last year and now this time around it gives us an additional week, so we’re quite confident in terms of how that part will go.”

On whether the team will reach the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, like it reached the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup:
“We hope so. We learned a lot last year and again, that includes, making the final and playing well against a team like Spain. That includes taking the lead against Brazil but ultimately the disappointment of not finishing the job. Those are all experiences that I think help us. At the same time, we concentrate first on the group. We understand that whenever you get to this type of event, you need to know how to play that first round, how to adjust from game to game and you need to make sure that you know how to advance to the knockout phase. That’s the first goal.”

On the biggest challenge in the first round:
“I think we have a tough group. Of course, so much attention has been put on the first match against England. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us. The spotlight on that game is huge. It already has generated amazing interest in the United States. But at the same time, we’ve watched Slovenia and Algeria so much. We’ve seen the way that they’ve played in order to qualify for the World Cup, we’ve continued to follow them since and we understand that each opponent is talented and now we look forward to just going match by match and understanding what it takes to advance.”


On arrival in South Africa:
“For the players, it’s been a long time thinking all the way through qualifying and now it’s finally here – we’re in South Africa. We’re excited for the games to start. It just feels real now that we’re in South Africa and set up at our hotel and we can see all the World Cup fanfare and all these things, so it feels very real now.”

On what he feels the team has to do better against Australia than in the last two games:
“First off, we need to sharpen up defensively. I think that could be improved on. We’re trying to gel as a team and peak come June 12. The thing that sticks out to me at the moment is to be a bit better defensively and have a better team shape from the back to towards the front.”

On whether the team has a comfort level with the facility given the performance during the 2009 Confederations Cup:
“I think we’re familiar with the territory and how things work down here, so from that standpoint, yes. We still need to get our feet on the ground here and get going. We have our first training session today. Like Bob has said, the facilities here at Irene are fantastic for us so the guys feel really comfortable in that setting and the people have been really nice and welcoming to us so that transition has been fairly easy for us so far.”

On the possibility of facing Brazil again:
“We’re excited. The World Cup brings the best competition and we get to challenge ourselves against the best in the world. That’s what it’s all about down here. We need to concentrate on the group stage first and then after that we’ll worry about going as far as we can.”

On his fitness level after having surgery:
“I feel good. It was nice to get the 75 minutes. They’ve done a good job, the trainers and the coaches, with my program and easing me into it and not just throwing me out there full blast. I held up well. I just need to work on sharpening up the last five percent or so. I feel good.”