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Press Conference Quotes Before Czech Republic Match

U.S. midfielder LANDON DONOVAN
On what the England can take from their match against Mexico to learn about the U.S.:
“I think Mexico play a little bit different style than we do so it will be a little bit hard to gauge. In an ideal world, you play teams that are from a similar area of the world to get a feel for your opponents, but I don’t know if they can draw too many conclusions from that game.”

On what has changed since the last time the U.S. played the Czech Republic:
“It wasn’t the fondest memory of my career – that game. I remember after five minutes we were down a goal and then we were chasing the game so it was difficult. At that point in time, that team was very good with a lot of guys right in the prime of their careers. They were confident, they had played together for a very long time and they were a very good team. Now, a few of the older guys are gone but they’re still a very good team with players that play all over Europe at big clubs. We expect a very good challenge. If you can’t play one of the teams that have qualified for the World Cup, there’s not many better teams that you can pick that the Czech Republic.

On the team’s attacking options and what they have to show in the upcoming games:
“Right now there are a lot of attacking options. This week has given us all a lot of confidence moving forward with where our attack options lie. All the guys that have come have done fairly well – maybe better than expected. Now we have three opportunities over the next couple of weeks to finalize what we’re finally going to look like when June 12 comes. I’ve played with all of these guys at some level and I would be confident with any of them on the field. Obviously the games will tell us a lot but I think we’re further ahead than what we had expected.”

On the difference between a high-level club match and a World Cup match:
“When I was growing up, we didn’t have MLS, so the way I identified with soccer was through the U.S. National Team. It’s not normally like that with a lot of players around the world. They usually grow up supporting a club team, but for me that’s how it all started so there’s that sense of pride and patriotism from a young age.

U.S. defender and captain CARLOS BOCANEGRA
On the difference between a high-level club match and a World Cup match:
“One of the main things is that the country is involved and you have your whole nation behind you. On the field, every time you’re out there you try to give it your all but there’s just a little something extra special when you put on that national team jersey and your realize you’re representing your country at the highest level at the World Cup. There’s really nothing that compares to that for me.”

On how the closeness in age of the team creates chemistry:
“We do have good chemistry with this team. It’s a good group and we have quite few guys leading by example out there and I hadn’t thought about the closeness in age but everyone gets along really well and I think that’s the most helpful thing.”

U.S. head coach BOB BRADLEY
On how the daily performance of a player on the bubble affect his chances of selection:
“We constantly discuss what we see – on the field and off the field. The decisions are made on a combination of many things. We are certainly taking into account the players form, fitness and then that is thrown in with past performances. Obviously, the ability to cover different scenarios comes into play when you build a roster. Who are guys that help in certain situations; who do you want to bring on when you’re down; who do you want to bring on when you have the lead? You try to have a feel for all those things and for how you cover different situations if there are injuries or suspensions. Ultimately, you make your decision and you make sure there’s respect across the team because everybody comes here with a dream. There is a respect that goes out for the way guys put themselves on the line and the way everybody supports each other. But at the end of the day, there are some tough decisions.”