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Post-Match Quotes from U.S. vs. Honduras


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Saturday, September 1, 2001) -

BRUCE ARENA, U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach

Opening comments: "Obviously the play of the game is the missed penalty kick. We go into halftime leading 2-1, and Honduras has to chase the game, and it's a different game. We couldn't have written a better script (at the beginning of the game). We knew how to come out and start the game. We got the early goal. We need to fully accept the responsibility for the loss.

"I really believe we played a good game. The worst case scenario is that we're in second place in the group going into Costa Rica on Wednesday. This is not an easy ride. I didn't expect to be smooth. As you enter this competition one has to believe that it goes nine or ten games before teams qualify, and that's certainly going to be the case."

On the attitude of the team after the game: "It's pretty good. It was the type of game where we basically script that game early how we want it to look, and we didn't seize the opportunity by giving back the goal and not getting the second one back before half time. When you have control of things and you know you're at fault for not putting yourself in a better position to win the game, you can live with that. If you look back and say 'we never had a chance to win this game,' then you have to be more concerned. Overall, I think there were some mistakes in the defensive end of the field and a missed opportunity that was a big swing in the game."

On the play of Earnie Stewart: "Earnie had a good game. He scored two goals, could have had three. Earnie is a good player. Obviously he was a little tired at the end of the game. But I think overall he had a good game."

On the play of Landon Donovan: "I thought Donovan did a good job. He had a pretty good game for his first qualifier. He put them on their heels, attacked them a little bit. He did fine. He was the least of our worries today."

On looking toward Costa Rica: "They're a pretty good team. Actually, they are pretty similar to Honduras in their strengths and weaknesses."

EARNIE STEWART, U.S. Men's National Team Midfielder

On describing the penalty: "I missed it. If I would have hit it the way I wanted to it would have gone in. I made a chance at the last moment to hit it to the other corner. It was stupid."

On scoring the early goal: "When you're talking about the game before you hope you score after one second. It can never be too early. We had some momentum going, then right after that we made a couple mistakes in the midfield where they went on the run. They got an early chance to get one back, and once that happened they gained some momentum."

On the team's chances for qualifying for 2002: "We're still in good position. We have points. Obviously Costa Rica has always been difficult for us to play over there. On the other hand, as long as I can remember we haven't lost at RFK. So hopefully this week will be a little bit of a change for both sides."

On his ranges of emotions throughout the game: "Scoring is always a great high. It's not so much missing the PK, because you miss chances. Pavon missed great chances, too. It's just when you look back and you look at your teammates and you know you let them down; that's what hurts the most."

BRAD FRIEDEL, U.S. Men's National Team Goalkeeper

On how the loss affects the team: "Every time you learn more from a defeat than a win. There are an awful lot of things we can learn from today."

On the amount of counterattacks and breakaway situations he faced today: "It was very uncharacteristic of us, but saying that hopefully it's a one-off and we regroup and get the points we need Wednesday."

LANDON DONOVAN, U.S. Men's National Team Forward

On the differences playing at the international level: "It's different than anything I've ever experienced. There's a lot of passion."

On the team's play: "I think we had enough good chances. I think they played well, don't take anything away from them. But I think we got enough chances to get goals and win."

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