US SoccerUS Soccer

Quote Sheet Bob Bradley and Players Discuss World Cup Roster Selections

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach BOB BRADLEY
On his decision to take Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez:
"Plain and simple, Edson and Herculez have had real good stretches, scored a lot of goals. Brian has been such an important player but it’s tough when you have an injury at an inopportune time."

On the strategy going into Saturday’s match against Turkey and how it differs from the Czech Republic game:
"One of the most important steps was just getting to our final team of 23, that’s important in terms of team building. Now we look forward to that match on Saturday, it’s a great test against Turkey.”

On the hardest part of the selection process:
"Whenever you’re in this situation, you’ll always get to the end and you’ll have in some cases three or four names for one or two spots. When you get to that point you go through it all different ways, there’s always total respect towards what everybody has put into it."

On the defensive miscues against the Czech Republic:
"Obviously last night was still a different kind of night, given that so many guys weren’t exactly sure of where they stood. Last night was also important in terms of Gooch getting back on the field for us. We’ll continue to work hard on defending as a team, we understand that as you get into tournaments like this that’s critical. We have the confidence that in this next stretch we can work on some things and get some guys sharper and fitter as we go."

On the choice of No. 2 goalkeeper and who might start against Turkey:
"We haven’t made a decision for Saturday, and last night’s lineup would not be an indication of ranking. We realize we have three good goalkeepers, clearly Timmy has established himself as our No. 1 goalkeeper, Marcus over the second half of the season for Wolverhampton played really well, played all their games. As a veteran, as much as he would have of course loved to play last night, we still felt it was important for Brad to get that game."

On Herculez Gomez:
"Herculez has been on a great run in terms of scoring goals. Watching him everyday, his movement, he works very hard, those are all things that go well for us."

On Alejandro Bedoya:
"Alejandro continues to move himself along. This was an important year in his career, he’s worked his way into the national team pool and we believe he has a really bright future.”

On the lineup against Turkey being more representative of a starting XI:
"I think as I mentioned earlier, last night we needed to see some players, size up some different situations, but now the opportunity on Saturday is different and gives us a chance to start moving forward towards June 12."

On Brian Ching’s exclusion:
"It was extremely hard with the respect that we all have for Brian. As a person, for the way he plays on the field, his commitment to the team—it’s always hard whenever you make these types of decisions, but it’s particularly difficult when it’s a player that has contributed so much to the national team over the years.”

On the chemistry of the team he’s chosen:
"We feel we have a great group in that regard. Guys that have been to the World Cup before, and have become good leaders, some younger players that have played key roles throughout qualifying, some new players that came in late but still bring enthusiasm and as a group I think there’s great character, and we think that’s one of our strengths.”

On how DaMarcus Beasley’s performance in camp determined him making the team:
"He certainly had to prove himself. DaMarcus obviously had fallen out of it a little bit, and he needed to make a renewed commitment to the team, a renewed commitment to doing things as a player that make his team better. We’ve seen that, and we feel good about the way he’s worked to make that happen."

On any players who cemented their spot in the game against the Czech Republic:
"I think if you were going to name one player who fits into that category, you’d probably point to Herculez Gomez. He continues to take advantage of his opportunities, and we really feel he’s worked hard to get to this point.”

On what they saw in Edson Buddle:
"It’s always important to understand that when you make tough decisions, you try to factor in everything. We talked a lot about how guys have done in camp, and now you had a chance to see them last night, but you also take into account where they are in their seasons. Certainly up to this point in MLS, Edson’s been one of the best players in the league and we felt that type of form needed to really count.”

On the closeness in age of this team:
"I think it helps, especially in regard to key players that have been there in the past. Landon, Gooch, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Timmy Howard—I think the relationship that those guys have with the whole team works well for us. We still see a good range though, because we still have Marcus Hahnemann who continues to move his way forward. His experience helps us.”

On Eddie Johnson and Robbie Findley:
"That was certainly one of those tough, late decisions. We feel that Robbie still brings something special, especially as a reserve. His speed when he comes into a match, his willingness to try and run behind a defense; we felt that those are things that when we looked at everything our team had, we could still use some of those qualities.”

On how much fitness mattered, and the lack of experience in the group of forwards:
“Of course as we moved through this camp and into the game last night, knowing that the World Cup begins in 15 days, those are things that count a great deal. We emphasized fitness, we got a good read as to where guys are in the whole thing and then last night’s game helped us assess that in a game situation. As far as the experience, we recognize that we’ve chosen some younger guys but we believe that they have qualities that can still help us and thought that was the best way to go.”

On Carlos Bocanegra:
“Carlos is our captain and his presence in the team is very important. He’s got a great way with the group, he’s very positive and he’s a player that, when he steps on the field, people respect him for the way he competes. I think in those ways his leadership has grown over the years and is an important part of our team.”

On Bocanegra’s fitness:
“His fitness is good. Every day he feels a little bit better in terms of getting past the hernia surgery. The time frame you normally see with that injury is such that we have great confidence about how he’ll continue to progress over the next stretch.”

On Clarence Goodson:
“We’ve watched Clarence a lot in the last few months. We’ve had him in some camps and we think he continues to get more confident. Certainly his ability in the air, both in defensive situations and attacking on set pieces has been a great plus. We feel that as he continues to get experience his play will get better and better.”

On the level Oguchi Onyewu will need to play at to be a starter:
“Like any player, we need to see that he continues to make progress. Last night was a great start and we’ve got a couple more weeks, two more matches, so we’ll get a good read as to exactly where he is as we get closer to the first game.”

On Steve Cherundolo:
“Steve is an important player for us. He is a true professional. Whenever we talk about leadership in our team, the kind of tough conversations that go on inside the team, Steve just has an excellent way of interjecting at the right time. He listens to what people have to say but he still has real strong opinions that come from his experiences. When you take into account his time in Hannover, the fact that he’s been the captain there, I think it speaks to the fact that he’s a real professional and an important part of what we’re doing.”

On the role of outside backs on his team:
“For sure, they are very important. You need the width, you need the ability to have those players join in, be a threat and not only to cross but to provide crosses from different places. That can lead to some great chances. We saw that in the Confederations Cup last year. I think Jonathan Spector had two great deliveries that set up goals for Clint Dempsey. Also the types of crosses that get us further up the field. I think that both Steve and Jonathan give us great options in that regard.”

On how he made the decision on Robbie Findley:
“Robbie was a player that we discussed late last night. We made the decision that we needed to see the other players, and we only had six subs last night. We felt that we had a good feel for where Robbie was after the earlier games this year, including most recently Holland. So, that’s how we handled that part of it.”

On where Findley needs to improve:
“What he’s shown is that his movement along the front line is good, his speed, his ability to try to get behind the defense. Now in those situations he needs the ability to make those count a little bit more. Part of that is confidence, and now when he gives himself a little advantage, he needs to be the type of player that defenders worry about and who can ultimately take his chances and start to make a little more happen in those moments.”

On Benny Feilhaber:
“Benny has played an important role for us, in particular he can play on either side of midfield or in the middle. He’s a creative player who can still see and deliver the final pass, so we think that’s been important. Every time we’ve got him in camp the push is to get him to continue to where he can do that for longer periods and be a little more consistent over 90 minutes.”

On Jonathan Bornstein:
“Johnny Bornstein has played in some big matches for us, he’s a very good competitor. Athletically he matches up well with some of the quick, fast players that you see at the international level out wide. He’s a player that can also give us something going forward, so his contributions along the way have helped us for sure.”

On whether he chose players by positions or overall:
“We go through many different scenarios as far as what we’d do in situations when the team is ahead, or behind, where you might get an injury or suspension. You have to take everything into account and try to have 23 players that can cover those situations as well as the right kind of chemistry to help each other as we move into the World Cup.”

On the announcement that he made the team for World Cup:
"At this point there are mixed emotions. Personally, you're excited for the guys who are here, but you also feel bad for the guys who don't make it. I've never dealt with that, but the reality is that these are people's dreams. When you're told your dream is not coming true, it's a little disappointing. Moving forward I think we're all excited to put this part of the trip behind us and go on to South Africa where the real fun begins."

On the first game against England:
"Our strength is and has always been our team. A lot of teams around the world have massive stars that play on big teams around the world, but for us our strength has always been our ability to play as a team and we think that that really gives us an advantage over other teams."

On the roster being unveiled on ESPN's SportsCenter:
"It's real cool. It shows the awareness of the game and the importance of it. Obviously ESPN is taking the time to do this, and it's great for the game. The sport is starting to grow, which is the ultimate goal."

On the announcement of the roster:
"Every player here should be congratulated. It's no small feat to make a World Cup roster. We now know who will compete alongside of us for the chance at a World Cup title, but this is just the beginning."

U.S. MNT goalkeeper TIM HOWARD
On preparing for the World Cup:
"We are an experienced team, so we're going to prepare like we have always done, with hard work. We'll prepare as a team and put the finishing touches on our preparation. Then the last week before our first game, we'll focus on England and what they do, and how we can best prepare for that match."

U.S. MNT midfielder JOSE TORRES
On how it feels to be named to the World Cup team:
“It feels great. My dream was always to get to the top and making it to the World Cup is the biggest. It feels great to be on the 23 man roster. I'm happy and this is a great moment but now we need to concentrate on the game coming up against England then the game against Slovenia.”

On the first game against England:
“It's going to be a tough team. We all know England is a great national team with great players and they have a good style of play. We have a good team and we've demonstrated at the Confederations Cup we can play against any team at any level. We can beat any team. It will be a great game and hopefully we can do a good job and come away with a win.”

On being named to the roster:
“It's a great moment. It's what everyone dreams about from when you first start playing soccer. It's a dream come true. There was a lot of hard work and everybody earned it. It's a very proud moment and something to remember the rest of your life.”

On the preparations now that the roster has been set:
“It's a load off in the sense you can start to concentrate on being a part of the team instead of just trying to make the team. Now you concentrate on trying to make the team better and improve the team as we get ready for some very difficult matches in South Africa.”

On being named to the final roster:
“On a personal level I'm very proud to represent my country at a World Cup and now I think there's a real feeling of excitement in our team. We know the guys who will be there for each other, fighting for one another and this really puts into perspective that the World Cup is right around the corner."

On the team’s preparations:
“The real work starts now. The process that has gone on the past three years of becoming a good team and growing together, has put the base in place and now we know our team, know our family. We're ready to go over there and every guy is ready to give everything they have for the team in order for us to be successful."

On the opportunity to play in a FIFA World Cup:
“As a professional soccer player there's no better honor than to represent your country. To do that in a World Cup; it doesn't get any better than that. I'm proud and excited and really willing to do anything and give everything for the team.”

On the emotions of making the World Cup Team:
“There is pride and excitement to have the opportunity to represent your country and wear your country’s colors at a World Cup. It doesn’t get any better than that. There is a really feeling of excitement on the team, now we know who is going to be there and we can get down to the final bit of work to make sure we’re ready to go.”

On the final cuts:
“I think one of things we’ve always had on our team is a really good spirit and atmosphere, so obviously when we have 30 guys in a camp fighting to go to the World Cup, it’s inevitable that there will be some nerves and some tension, but I think everyone did a really good job of handling that and putting the team before everything else. For every guy here, it’s sad to see the others go. They put just as much hard work and passion and commitment into it as everyone, but like I said, from the first guy to the 30th guy, everyone did a really good job.” 

On the feeling of knowing the final roster:
“With all the hard work this four-year process has come to an end. This is the team going to South Africa to represent the United States. All of us have a feeling of accomplishment and we should, but now the work begins too. We're excited we've made the roster but we are burdened with a big responsibility and we have a huge challenge in front of us. I know we're all excited and we'll do our best, I'm convinced. We want to show the world we belong there and achieve some positive results at the World Cup.”

On what it means to be part of this team:
“All of us know we're good soccer players but to play at a high level for a number of years means a lot to me. I'm very happy to be healthy and being able to keep my level up has been not easy, but something I've been working very hard at. Making this team is a sign I’m doing the right thing.’

On the next steps ahead of the World Cup:
“We need to really focus on fine tuning this machine that will carry us through the World Cup. We really need to come together as a group on and off the field, in the locker room and on the bus. We'll try to make it a special experience, one we'll never forget, and hopefully one with positive results.”

U.S. MNT goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN
On being named to the World Cup team:
“It's definitely exciting. As a kid and as a soccer player in America, you dream of representing your country at the highest level, in the biggest tournament and this is it. To be able to be a part of a World Cup team, with this group. I think this is a special group and if we do the things we know we're capable of we can really make a special run at it.”

On the team’s mentality at this point:
“It's now a sense of us trying to come together as one and knowing our roles on the team, whether that's as a starter or a sub, playing 90 minutes or two minutes. We have to know we're going down there as one and we need to stick together to show the things we were able to do last year at the Confederations Cup.”

On being part of the World Cup team:
“It's a huge honor to be selected and to be a part of this elite group. For me personally, it's a little bit of a relief too, having missed out on the last World Cup and the Olympics as well. I'm really excited for this one and relieved as I said. I'm looking forward to it because we have a chance to do something special and make waves in the soccer world.”

On the team’s mentality now that the roster is set:
“We're all happy to have been selected for this group. It will take a little time for us to gel, but one of our strengths I would say is our continuity and camaraderie within the team. Not just the group here but the extended group who has been with us throughout qualification. A lot of the groundwork has been made already I don't think it will take long for us to gel on the field.”

On making the roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup:
“It's a dream come true. The first thing my mom said to me was, ‘We're so proud of you. This was your dream as a kid and you've worked so hard to accomplish that dream.’ It's kind of surreal and when it becomes a reality on June 12 all the emotions are going to hit. I'm looking forward to representing the country on the biggest stage in the world.”

On his progress as a player since 2006 and the last World Cup:
“I remember watching the last World Cup on the couch in my first year as a professional with the Dynamo and thinking ‘What would it take for me to be out there?’ At the time it seemed a bit of a stretch to think I could be out there in four year's time. As I've developed as a player and I've grown it has gotten closer.”

On recovering from an injury to make the team:
“All the hard work was almost taken away from me with that injury. Those were nerve-racking times for me and during my rehab it was tough when things weren't quite going my way, but that gave me the motivation to make sure I really got myself fit and got back my dream of playing in the World Cup. Now that I'm going to be on the plane heading to South Africa, I can't relax and I need to work hard, push on, and make sure we don't come home from South Africa disappointed.”

On the work that starts now for the team:
“The first thing Bob said to the group was ‘Congratulations, you've made the 23 but the work starts now.’ We've had some good trainings the last week and a half but he didn't want to see anybody relax and slack off. We need to keep that intensity, keep pushing on and come even closer as a group as we build chemistry and fine-tune things as we head into the first game against England on June 12.”

On making the roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup:
“It's huge. Back in the day I'd probably never have thought I'd be in this position. I'm very thankful I am and ready to get everything started, really. A lot of hard work has been put into this point and that has to continue. I give a lot of thanks to all the people who have helped me become the player I am today and helped me accomplish the things I have. I'm just very pleased with how this turned out.”

On the weight lifted after the naming of the World Cup squad:
“It seems like it's been a long, long wait. Being in camps earlier this year, with talks about the World Cup, it's good it's finally come to a decision. We have the 23 set and everybody here is excited about the group of guys and ready to go.”

On making the roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup:
“It's an unbelievable feeling, a dream I've had since I first touched a soccer ball and since I first knew what the World Cup was. To be at the world’s largest stage is something really special. I can’t really put into words what these last six months have been for me, what I’ve gone through and what I’ve seen."

On playing his way into the squad after a great season with Puebla in Mexico:
“There was no other way, to be quite honest. We've got a great group of guys, and great players. There's a lot of pedigree on this team and that's maybe one thing I was lacking. But I've never lacked work ethic, never lacked heart and never lacked belief. It's a very surreal feeling. I'm going to enjoy it today, enjoy it tomorrow when we're at the White House, but the next day it's back to work because there's more to it than just making the team."

On the team's strengths in the preparations for England:
“Everyone's strength is each other. It's not going to be an easy task against England but it's one we're up to. It's a matter of believing in each other, pushing each other, and being ready for the opportunity.”

On when he thought he might have a chance to make the World Cup Team:
“I think I would say that until after last night’s game, I wasn’t sure it was a possibility. After I came out, I felt pretty good and I wanted to play some more and that was a good sign.”

On how he gained the form this season in MLS to make a run to the World Cup Team:
“The main thing was trying to keep my job in Los Angeles. It was the motivation of not having a good season last year for the Galaxy with injuries. I didn’t want that penalty kick [in the MLS Cup] to be last thing the Galaxy fans saw of me. I stayed there., worked hard and started out the season strong.”

On his feeling after finding out he’d been selected:
“This is it. These are the guys we are going on an incredible journey with. I got butterflies in my stomach.”

On the run to the first match in South Africa:
“I’m just excited to say I’m going to the World Cup. We have still have some time to work on a lot of things and I honestly think we’re going to be flying on June 12. Everyone is excited, there are no quitters here and everyone has been working hard on fitness. These are the recipes for success when you have guys that are so committed.”

On his development over the past year while playing with Hull City in the Premier League:
“I think I’ve grown as a player, I think I’ve improved, but I’m lucky enough at my age that I have the time to keep on improving and I want to do that. I don’t want to rest on my laurels; I want to keep getting better. This is a perfect opportunity for me and I just hope from here on that I keep raising the bar.”

U.S. MNT midfielder MAURICE EDU
On the run to the first match in South Africa:
“Now that we have the team finalized, it’s about coming together and everyone just really working together to build the best team possible. We have the 23 established, now we are all in it for one cause and one goal and we just have to make sure we are prepared for the first game.”

On making the World Cup Team after struggling with injuries after arriving in Germany:
“It’s a very difficult season. It was a grind. I went over in January and the day before I was supposed to play, I pulled out of practice because my calf had gotten so bad. I was out for maybe four weeks and when I came back, I still struggled to get to 100 percent. Then the team went on a roll, which was good, but it wasn’t good for me because I wasn’t playing. I just had to be patient and wait it out and eventually it worked out. Unfortunately, someone got injured and I stepped into the role and played and it worked out.”

On his journey from the lowest leagues in England to the World Cup Team:
“It’s been a really long journey, but I wouldn’t take any of it for granted and I wouldn’t have it any other way because that’s what’s made me get here. It’s the whole process. That’s what has driven me to get here and it doesn’t get any better.”