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Quote Sheet: U.S. Players Address the Media in Gelsenkirchen Mixed Zone

HAMBURG, Germany (June 13, 2006) – Following the 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic, the U.S. players talked to reporters in the mixed zone before returning to Hamburg.

Bobby Convey
On the game and what went wrong:
“Our spacing and formation wasn’t good. We didn’t move well off the ball, and defensively we didn’t win a lot of second balls. Any time you go down in the third or fourth minute against a team that can hold the ball that well and move it around it’s going to be difficult.”

Brian McBride
On the result:
“It wasn’t the service. As a team I think we need to play a little bit better and more confident, and sure – I was part of that.”

Kasey Keller
On the result:
“They are the second ranked team in the world, so obviously you have to give them some credit. But also, they beat us. We gave up an early goal and Claudio hits the post and it should be 1-1, and then they come down there and Rosicky hits a bomb and we’re down 2-0 for not a whole lot. It was just a shame. We definitely gave the game away, and that’s what we’re frustrated at.”

On if the U.S. was at fault on any of the goals:
“We were a little bit at fault. I don’t know how much at fault we were for the second one, you have to give Rosicky a little bit of credit for that, but the first one it just didn’t happen for us. Maybe I played a ball too quick trying to get Bobby (Convey) through and they just came back down with a great cross and open (Jan) Koller in the box – you are going to pay a price for that. We’re better than we played today and we’ll show you that in the next two games.”

Landon Donovan
On the result:
“To be fair, we got beat by a pretty good team. I didn’t think we played terribly in the first half, but were a little bit lifeless and a little bit unlucky. Give them credit. They scored three great goals.”

On if the game plan was to blame:
“We can look back and say whatever we want now. Not enough guys came to play and that’s what mattered.”

On the World Cup opening with a disappointing result:
“There’s two ways to look at it. You’re at a World Cup, and for a lot of us – especially the MLS guys, since January this has been the date that has been circled and it’s disappointing. That being said, it’s not over. It’s going to be hard, but it’s not over and we don’t want to have this memory be terrible.”

On the attitude of the team after the loss:
“It’s hard to keep your head up right now because we are disappointed, but you have to turn around. This is the way this tournament goes. I remember we lost by two goals to Poland last time and still got through, so you have take the positives. But whatever happens in the Italy game result-wise, it was embarrassing tonight and that shouldn’t happen.”

On his play:
“I didn’t get the ball enough. When I did get it I made some decent plays, but not enough. I don’t think I had a shot on goal, and playing 45 minutes as a forward that’s my job.”

Eddie Lewis
On where the team stands after this game:
“At this stage we want to regroup ourselves, take a look and see how fit everyone is, and then really start to concentrate on Italy in the next day or two.”

On the challenges that are ahead:
“I think we know that every game in this group is going to be extremely tough, and we faced quite a challenge today. Now we just need to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next two.”

John O’Brien
On the result:
“We expect more from ourselves, and the coaches expect more from us too, and I think that is reasonable. A lot of guys could have played a little bit better including myself. Next game around hopefully we can step up and set that straight.”

On if the team came out tentative:
“I don’t really think it was tentativeness. Coming behind a goal early, I think that might have changed things. We expected them to come out strong and pressure us after they scored a goal they sat back a little more and we had to try to pick them apart which was difficult. The way the game went it was tough to get in and play our game.”

Eddie Pope
On Koller scoring the first goal:
“He created the space. He shoved me a little bit in the back, and created space for himself. They didn’t call it. Once I got the little shove I was too far forward to get back.”

On the difference in this team’s reaction and the 1998 team:
“I think in '98 we started pointing fingers immediately, and this team doesn't do that at all. We all believe in each other and we all believe that we can regroup and move forward. In '98 it was a little bit different."

Claudio Reyna
On what went wrong:
“Other guys are looking to everyone else to make plays and you can’t do that. Everyone has to be brave and want the ball. In the second half it was more crowded in the middle and it was tough to get forward. We had three in the back, so it was dangerous for me or John (O’Brien) to get forward in the second half. In the first half, when the times were right I wanted to get forward and get the team going. We created more in the first half – at least opportunities and crosses and I hit the post. Overall we know that we have to play better to get anything out of the Italy game.”

On Landon Donovan:
“Today he played as a second striker and I think they marked him very well and it was difficult for him to find space. In the second half he found a little bit more room, but when they scored it made it more difficult for him because they had a lot of players back. It was tough for our attacking four players to get space because they got back quickly and they made the space for our players so difficult.”