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Quote Sheet: U.S. MNT Discuss the 4-1 Win Against China

Post-Game Quote Sheet
June 2, 2007

U.S. head coach Bob Bradley

On the game:
“Overall we were pleased with the effort. I think that we got a lot out of this game. Anytime you play on this field in San Jose, the fact that it is a little smaller sharpens-up a lot of things. Generally, I felt that there were a lot of good efforts … it is good for us, going into the Gold Cup, to get a game like this under our belts.”

On the play of the younger players:
“Kaman Hill, Charlie Davies, Lee Nguyen, and Sacha Kljestan all got their first caps tonight. All four of are players that are Olympic age as well … players that we think have shown with their club teams that they are capable of helping the Olympic team and the full national team. Anytime you have a full week of training it’s a good chance for them to settle in. They all did a good job throughout the week and it was nice to get them their first caps.”

On the play of Benny Feilhaber:
“Thus far this year, Benny has shown that his play in the center of the field, as a two-way player, seeing the right pass, at the right moment coming forward … I think those are good qualities. Today, it is tight in the midfield and there are a couple of moments where his ability to size-up a situation quickly helps him out. I thought that it was a good game for Benny.”

On whether the players who are not on the Gold Cup Roster earned consideration for the Copa America roster:
“We have discussed some of those guys. I would say that there is a possibility that we might see one or two of those guys for the Copa America roster. We have not finalized things and there are still different considerations before we finalize the roster.”

On different players wearing the captain’s armband:
“What we’ve tried to do is make sure that there are a group of guys who are ready to take bigger roles in this team, guys who are ready to step up, to set the tone all the time. It has been really nice in every camp to see more and more guys joining that group. In this particular camp, Carlos Bocanegra got the nod. Carlos is a player who, for sure, has earned the respect of all his teammates with his commitment to the game. He plays hard. He talks. He organizes. Going forward, he is a key guy in what we are doing. At the same time, it could have been Tim Howard. It could have been Oguchi Onyewu. More and more, I am very pleased with the way DaMarcus [Beasley] has stepped-up. We will think about the part of who gets it permanently as we more forward. But for right now, it is very important just to see a group of guys feeling that this next cycle is in their hands.”

On developing an understanding as a unit:
“I think that we have made a lot of progress this year. Tactically, we have worked hard as a team to establish good movement. We work hard so that when the ball turns over, there aren’t big gaps in the field. We work hard so as we get the ball, we are not just passing it and not going anywhere, but we are passing with the kind of movement that creates openings in the defense. I think that I have seen, in all games, improvement in that regard. But, it never stops. So it is something that we have to continue to focus upon.”

On changing the formation in the first half:
“We started this game 4-3-3 or 4-3-2-1, whatever you want to call it. It is something that we have not done so far this year. We worked this week so that the back group of four and the three in front of them had a little idea of how to do that. We were not satisfied after 25 minutes. I felt that we were not doing a good enough job in the center of the field, so at that point DaMarcus came a little bit deeper, and Michael [Bradley] went inside with Benny so I felt that now we were more solid in the center. I keep saying that in the games we have played those two together, the combination has been pretty good. They complement each other. At that point, I felt our ability to be on top of loose balls, connect a little faster, and moved a little bit better. We will keep trying to keep working on all phases so we have flexibility in terms of how we play.”

U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber

“I think that it was a real good game for our team. Personally, I felt pretty good in the middle. I felt like I was knocking it around pretty well. There were parts of the game where we were struggling a little bit but overall, I felt like it was a good game for us.”

Describing his goal, the first of his senior international career:
“Sacha just sent me through. At first the goalie hesitated and I wanted him to come out. I even slowed down a little bit to see if he would come out. The ball started bouncing a little bit further away, skipped off the grass and on the second touch it sat up a bit. I figured that I would put the ball over the top. I was just hoping that the defender was not going to get there before the ball crossed the line.”

On his comfort level with the national team:
“It is a little bit different than the club level. Once you start playing it, you realize the speed of it. With each and every game that I have been playing, I have felt a little more confident. The players around me have felt more confident with my game so I have been able to get more balls, more touches and from there you become a better player.”

On whether or not there are opportunities for the younger players with all the changes in the national team:
“Definitely, that’s what I have been trying to do. I think a lot of the younger players are trying to do that. The World Cup is three years away. That’s what you want to try to be involved in. The Gold Cup is a huge tournament for us, and my goal is obviously to try to be playing and show well so I can cement a spot on the national team.”