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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Men vs. Venezuela


U.S. head coach BRUCE ARENA

On the play of Jovan Kirovski:
"Solid, opportunistic goal.  It's not always the best spot for Jovan. He's a little bit more comfortable playing behind the frontrunners.  Jovan is only 27 years old, and I think he still has a future with the national team.  He just needs to get into a club environment where he is playing more consistently."

On the play of Landon Donovan:
"It's always a good time for a forward to come into a game.  Venezuela is now chasing the game, a posture they are not comfortable with.  The game opens up a lot more, and Landon has a lot of pace.  To their credit, Venezuela hasn't given up a goal in their last five games. They are a team that has defended well over the last year, and they are difficult to break down. That's what you want out of attacking players when they come into the game. I think Earnie and Landon both gave us the kind of energy we needed and provided some spark in the attacking end of the field."

On playing in Seattle:
"I thought it is a great venue.  We enjoyed playing here, and it was a beautiful day.  The field was excellent.  Obviously as we continue to move forward, I think MLS will continue to explore the possibilities down the road of Seattle having a franchise down the road.  I'm sure Seattle becomes a venue that we would include among cities to consider for World Cup qualifiers and other friendlies.  It's always been a pretty supportive crowd."

U.S. goalkeeper KASEY KELLER
"It's always nice to come home.  That was a big part of my decision. It's been a long year, one in which I've played every game for Tottenham, so it could have been an opportunity to sit at home and take this weekend off.  But I was really excited, first to go and train in Portland, and then come back and play in Seahawks Stadium.  We played in Safeco Field last year, and it was fantastic being from this area and having played in both new stadiums."

On his 29th career shutout:
"It's nice as a goalkeeper, especially in front of your family and your hometown friends.  I thought the team worked extremely hard today all over the field.  In a friendly that doesn't really have a lot of meaning, it shows you the dedication that the players have that they will put in that much effort. We came out in the second half much cleaner than the first half, and got a couple goals and the chance to get a couple more.  We kept it tight in the back, which was fantastic, especially in a situation where you're bleeding two or three younger guys into the team.  They showed pretty decent cohesiveness throughout and stepped up their play when it was needed."
 

U.S. forward LANDON DONOVAN
On how the game changed when he entered in the 60th minute:
“I try to get behind a defense any way I can.  When you get good service it helps, which I got today. I thought in the first half everything was in front of them and we never really threatened to get behind them. Even if it doesn’t come off, if you just give them the threat it opens up more space in the middle. I think that happened in the second half.”

On the presence of so many veteran players on this roster:
“Bruce told us yesterday that these guys have a lot of experience and they are good professionals. He wants us to be around them and see what they do right.”

On the heavy publicity surrounding him since the World Cup:
“The last month both Frank Yallop and Bruce [Arena] have talked to me about toning it down. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it makes. I can tell in my play that I’m playing a lot better and with more energy.”

U.S. midfielder and Chevrolet Man of the Match EARNIE STEWART
On being named Man of the Match:
“You want to go in and do well for yourself and the team. It’s good that you come out and get recognized for doing something good.”

U.S. forward EDSON BUDDLE
On playing his first match for the senior team:
“There were a lot of thoughts racing through my head. I’m glad to be here. Stepping into this game opened up a new chapter in my life. It’s something I’ve worked hard for.”

On whether he was nervous:
“A little bit. I always have butterflies going into a game, but they go away once you step on the field. Bruce just told me to go in there, be myself and have fun.”

U.S. midfielder JOHN O’BRIEN
“It took us a little while to get playing well. In the beginning of the first half we were struggling to keep the ball. As the game went on, we got comfortable and ended on a good note.”

On whether the team was concerned with the 0-0 score at halftime:
“We weren’t worried. At times in the first half we were started to play, and that gives you a little bit of confidence. As the game goes on and they got more tired, things open up a bit more.”

On playing in Seattle:
“It’s great to be in the Northwest. I know there are a lot of fans here, and we don’t get to come that often. The field was great, and it is a great stadium. Overall, it was a great experience.”

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