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U.S. Men's National Team vs. Haiti - Post-Match Quotes


U.S. head coach BOB BRADLEY
“When you begin the tournament, your goal is to win the group and advance. The first thing that we said after the game is that we’ve accomplished that goal. We always know that a team like Haiti is a difficult opponent. They are physically talented, and you have to have a way to keep the game in order. I think we learned a good lesson. We scored an early goal, which is always good, but it came so early that we hadn’t really found a rhythm in the game yet. As a result, after that we were still trying to find that rhythm. They were able to take some plays and cause some trouble. We talked at halftime about regaining control, and obviously started out the second half doing just the opposite. We learned some lessons that are important; nonetheless, it was a good first round.”

On playing with some many new players, and players that had not played together:
“I think when you look at everything, it is a good experience for these players. After the fact you can look at things and understand that it will help them down the road. I think we had some stretches in the game where we were pretty solid. I was certainly pleased with the fact that late in the game when we were down and needed a push, the substitutes on the field helped. We had a number of guys who made plays where they kept the ball alive, got a cross in, helped regain possession, and all those things led to Stuart scoring a goal to equalize. I think there were some good things, but when you look at the consistency of the whole game, it would fit with the fact that this is a group that hadn’t been there before.”

On the play of Stuart Holden and his potential with the national team:
“If you look back, Stuart showed in Beijing that he is one of a group of talented young players that we feel strongly about. He was in the January camp but had a bit of an injury. As this season has moved along he has found his form and fitness, and that all led to us feeling good about bringing him in here. He is capable of playing really anywhere in the midfield, so that helps. He brings a lot of good qualities. When you look at players that are here and players that we think are going to step up and help, Stuart is one of those guys.”

On the play of Charlie Davies:
“It’s been nice to see the improvement and the maturity in Charlie’s game. I think this has been a very important stretch for him. Coming into this tournament, the feeling was that he was fit, that he had become an important part of Hammarby, that he was scoring some goals, and so we felt that this was going to be an important stretch for him. When you look at things in the Confederations Cup, he showed that he is capable of coming on as a sub and making a difference. When we felt that we wanted to have his physical qualities and his energy from the start, I think he did a very good job. To see a young striker with the kind of physical qualities that he has maturing and developing is great.”

On the play of Haiti:
“We have a lot of respect for Haiti. They are very talented physically. They are capable of doing creative things, off the cuff things, and things that catch you by surprise. They have special individual ability, so we are very respectful of that. We understand that if we let the game become a wide open game, and let it go their way then it’s going to be very difficult. In stretches we controlled the game, but in other stretches you let certain plays open the game up, and in those moments Haiti is very dangerous.”

On what he has learned from the first round:
“When you come into a tournament with a new group, what you hope is that after the first round everyone has contributed. You hope that you can then assess going forward what your best group is and what your best options are. If necessary, guys now have experience that they can draw upon. You use these three games to get experience. You use these three games to get confidence. At the end of the night when we talk in the locker room, we congratulate the group for winning the group, but at the same time we use some of the things that happened today as reminders. Certainly any of us who were in South Africa don’t need a reminder about what it’s like to give up a goal 45 seconds into the second half. That is one that is stuck with us forever, but it’s still now a group of players who hopefully learn the same lesson, even though the 2-2 result was better than the 3-2 result against Brazil.”

U.S. midfielder and ussoccer.com Man of the Match STUART HOLDEN
“We were pushing the whole second half. We spoke about coming out early in the second half and getting on top of them and limiting their chances, and that was something we didn’t do. It was a full team effort. We kept knocking on the door. The chance fell to me in the last minute, and at that point you just want to strike it as well as you can and keep it on target so if it doesn’t go in it gives someone else a chance. Luckily enough, I hit it well enough that it went in the back of the net. It was a great feeling, but I was still hoping that we would have a couple extra minutes to try and get one more goal.”

On whether this is the biggest goal he has scored:
“Probably. This is a big tournament with some good competition. When you are representing your country on the highest level, you always want to try and do well. If I can score a goal that helps us get a point, that’s a great feeling.”

On playing in central midfield:
“I’ve played all over the midfield, even with the national team. I’ve played there a lot with Houston this year, and it’s a role I’ve gotten comfortable with. The role is a little different in Houston. I’m more of an attacking midfielder there, whereas here, we are more two-way and side by side. We spoke about me being more disciplined, and that’s part of my maturing process. I’m comfortable in either role.”

U.S. forward CHARLIE DAVIES
On what he is thinking about coming into the game down 2-1 to Haiti:
“I just wanted to do what I always do, which is bring a lot of energy into the game and try to create chances. I’m happy we were able to get a goal, but unfortunately we couldn’t pull out the win.”

U.S. goalkeeper LUIS ROBLES
“I’m a young goalkeeper, and I think the experience is only going to give me a better chance to stay involved with the national team.”

On getting his first cap:
“It was mind blowing. This is one of my dreams come true, but now that the first cap is under my belt I needed to continue to work so I can get more.”
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