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U.S. and Mexico Talk About Upcoming Sept. 3 Qualifier


U.S. Men's National Team Quotes

U.S. MNT goalkeeper Kasey Keller
On the rivalry:
"There was no rivalry before. It was pretty much just Mexico beat us. That was pretty much the rivalry. Now it's really grown into something big and something that the region has really cried out for. In the past it was always, 'Ok, there's Mexico, but who else can kind of keep up with them."

On the attention the game draws:
"It has certainly gained a lot of public interest, not only between Mexico and the U.S. but, obviously, throughout the region, throughout South America. Our game at Azteca was shown all over Europe, when we played Mexico. It's definitely getting a world-wide audience for this rivalry and that's only because now we're able to step up and play at the level that Mexico has been playing at for generations."

U.S. Men's National Team Captain Claudio Reyna
On the match:
"It's good for CONCACAF. I think it's a healthy rivalry that's improved both teams. There's respect but there's also a huge desire to beat them. Always."

U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Landon Donovan
On how this game is different than their other qualifying games:
"The reason I know how special this game is, is on Sunday night, full week before the game, I was already thinking about the game laying in bed. And I never do that. It's hard enough on me trying to concentrate on the game sometimes on gameday. And I was already thinking about it, what I'm doing to do and how I'm going to play. How it's going to feel when we win. That says it all."

On if Mexico respects the U.S.:
"I hope they respect us. And if they don't, they can keep learning. Sooner or later they have to figure out that we are someone to be reckoned with and that we, right now, deserve to be the best team in this region. We've earned it and we deserve it."

On being the 'most hated man in Mexico':
It's a sign of respect. If they dislike you, there's a reason and it's purely soccer-wise. That means they respect me and maybe they're a little jealous.

U.S. MNT midfielder Chris Armas
On if Mexico respects the U.S.:
"There was a game in Dallas, we beat them 2-0, we beat them pretty good that day, Bruce (Arena) read us some quotes and, again, some of the Mexican players were saying, 'Why are we even playing this game anyhow? We should be playing some European opponent. We don't need this game. It's just a friendly. We need to be playing better opponents.' For me, I was at home watching, but when I watched the U.S. beat Mexico in the World Cup, that said it all. On that stage, in a neutral site, in a knockout stage, we beat them."

U.S. MNT midfielder Eddie Lewis
On the rivalry:
"It's a Lakers-Celtics. The history is really starting to grow but it's really the two teams, the two 'Kings of the Hill,' if you will, that are now at a very level point."

U.S. MNT forward Brian McBride
On the match:
"It's another big qualifying game. You have to look at it that way. There is an added bit of rivalry."

U.S. MNT Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni
On if Mexico respects the U.S.:
"Who knows what they think. We definitely respect them as a team but at the same time, we think we're capable of beating them, whether it be here or in Mexico. 

Mexico Men's National Team Quotes (newspaper source in parentheses)

Mexican National Team Head Coach Ricardo Lavolpe
On whether the U.S. is better than Mexico:
“Ha. Well they didn’t demonstrate it in the last game and in Olympic qualifying they ate up four goals. Besides that there is the last game we played. We’ve only lost one game and that was a friendly in the 93rd minute off of a header.” (Esto)

On Bruce Arena:
“Bruce Arena is very capable and he changes something every game. We have to wait until the right moment, which is the first minute of the game, to see the team’s stance and whether they are offensive or not. They say they’ll be playing with three forwards.” (Esto)

On the USA’s respect towards Mexico:
“The times we have played against the United States, they respected us. They only created danger on free kicks and counterattacks. Now they are more confident, as they are qualified like we are. It could be that now they play more open because the points aren’t as important. I hope that’s the way it is so we can see an open game in which both teams go out to win.” (Esto)

On what he will do if Mexico qualifies on Saturday:
“If I qualify, and I imagine that I’ll qualify on Saturday because this team is looking really good, there’s a good atmosphere and camaraderie, I’ll ask them (the players) to let me take a break.” (Esto)

On what he means by 'take a break':
“Yes, the rest of the games will be coached by Jorge Campos and Francisco Ramirez. If all the teams do it, why not us? Jorge and Paco are part of the group and they’re the successors. If the administrators have done their job correctly, they’ll see that there are two Mexican coaches who are very capable, one of whom is Jorge Campos and they can manage the national team. That would happen if we get a good result.” (Esto)

Mexican National Team Assistant Coach Francisco Ramirez
On Landon Donovan:
“Donovan is the player who stands out the most and he throws people off balance because he always comes from behind. When he manages to find or creat space, he makes himself even more important because of his speed and because he always goes after the ball and surprises people.” (Reforma)

Mexican National Team Forward Jared Borgetti
On the U.S. style of play:
“They always only go for the counterattack. One has to criticize their style of play because it’s ugly. We already know how the U.S. plays. They base their soccer on organization and they kick long balls to try to create danger on a counterattack. I don’t expect a spectacular game or anything along those lines because the U.S. is going to play a tight game.” (Reforma)

Mexican National Team Midfielder Pavel Pardo
On the match:
“This game is very important. It’s key because of all that it represents for us and for the people. We have to win. We have to play with intelligence. Getting points in a qualifier is good, but we try to be the protagonist whether we play at home or on the road." (Terra.com)

On his absence from Saturday’s game:
“It’s the game that I wanted to play in the most because it is important because of what it means and because I wanted to beat the United States.” (Terra.com)

Mexico National Team forward Francisco Fonseca
On Landon Donovan:

"He is the focal point through which most of the balls pass. He is very intelligent and this is why we can't give him space." (Notimex)



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