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Post-Match Quotes: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico FIFA World Cup Qualifier March 26, 2013


U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann
On the 0-0 result in Mexico City:
“We came here and we wanted to give it a shot to win this game but obviously we are very pleased with this result. Mexico gave everything they had, put us in a lot of pressure and I think the way our team was organized, connected and committed it was an unbelievable team effort and they deserve a huge compliment. There have been many challenges over the last ten days in terms of injuries, in terms of players not available, after the Costa Rica game people were completely exhausted after playing in the snow and we had another two players out, Matt Besler stepped in, Mo (Edu) stepped in no problem. This group is ready for those challenges and they deserve a huge compliment.”

On the partnership between Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler:
“We’ve got to give credit to our January Camp that gave us the chance to have Omar (Gonzalez) and Matt work together day-by-day; there was already a very good understanding amongst them because they trained a month long together. So we were very calm I knew that once it happened with Clarence that he couldn’t go, I knew that this is the next move, it’s a logical move and a move with a lot of trust and belief in Matt and he showed that. I spoke to him at halftime and with a yellow card, in a place like this, against Chicharito, this is a tricky situation but he said ‘coach no worries, I will be focused and nothing else will happen,’ so it gives us more options again. Looking forward into a very busy summer schedule I think having Omar Gonzalez, growing and maturing, having Matt Besler, growing and maturing, we have more options to pool from, it’s great.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Goalkeeper Brad Guzan
On defensive teamwork to limit Mexico’s chances:

“Like I’ve said from day one at the beginning of this camp, we’ve got confidence in each other. We knew it was going to be a collective effort to help each other, to make sure we had each other’s backs. We did that tonight and the guys in front of me did a really good job of limiting their chances.”

On fans shining laser pointers on the pitch:
“You deal with that, it’s obviously not ideal but it happens in these types of places. You have to get on with it, it’s part of the environment when you come down to places like Azteca so you can’t let it affect you.”

On meaning of picking up a result at Azteca:
“It’s huge, especially being the second time that a U.S. team has ever come down to Azteca during qualifying and gotten a result. It’s important, not only important for our team, but it builds some confidence and gives some of these guys who stepped out onto the field tonight a big boost and self-belief. That’ always a good thing.”

On center-back duo of Gonzalez and Besler:
“They definitely stood tall and I think a lot of credit goes to them because we were getting a lot of unfair criticism going into this game, saying they weren’t going to be good enough to get the job done. Not only those two but the entire backline stepped it up and they were fantastic.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Midfielder Clint Dempsey
On where team stands after 0-0 draw at Mexico:

“Even though we conceded a lot of free kicks and corner kicks we still did a good job of preventing them from scoring a goal. Four points in two games and looking at where we are in the table is great. From the beginning we knew it was going to be difficult having Honduras away, Costa Rica at home and Mexico away, but to get four points out of those three games we’re happy with it.”

On public criticism of team and players stepping up to get back on track:
“That’s just the way the qualifying process will be. There will be ups and downs, it’ll be stressful, people will start questioning things and you’ve just got to grind out results and stick together and have players step up. I thought Omar [Gonzalez] stepped up, Matt [Besler], [DaMarcus Beasley], Geoff [Cameron] and [Brad] Guzan, they were great tonight in getting the shutout for us.”

On where team stands with next round of qualifiers in June:
“We like the position we’re in right now but it’s about building upon that and trying to get as many points as possible. We’re on a good run of form from the stance of four points in two games and hopefully we can keep getting points, whether it’s a draw or a win. You like to think your home games are must win and anything you get away from home is a bonus.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Midfielder Brad Davis
On coming on as a sub in the 0-0 draw at Mexico:

“I was ready to go. We’ve been at altitude now for a week so I think that prepared us quite well. Coming on as a sub in that game you’ve got to come on and help your teammates out, try and get a result and so that’s what I tried to do. It was tough, we had to grind it out together but we got the job done.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Defender Omar Gonzalez
On chemistry with back line mates:

“Tonight we looked like we had been playing a long time together and I thought it looked pretty natural.”

On difficulty of communicating at Azteca:
“It really wasn’t that bad, I thought it was going to be louder but we were able to talk quite a bit.”

On team rebounding after week of public criticism:
“Everything’s been great around this team, after that win against Costa Rica we started building a lot of confidence and I think our chemistry got a lot stronger after that win. Coming here, for me personally, felt comfortable. Leading up to the game I wasn’t nervous and to come here and get this point was huge. It was a great team effort and I thought everybody did excellent.”

On how playing in Colorado helped adapt to the altitude of Mexico City:
“I think playing in Colorado was huge for us. Getting adapted to the altitude was huge because tonight I felt great. The altitude didn’t bother me and obviously playing at night was great too.”

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