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Post-Match Quote Sheets - U.S. vs. Panama

U.S. Manager Bruce Arena

On the match:
“First of all, I give the U.S. credit for passing a character test. Give the Panama team credit for what I thought was a superb second half. Their forwards really won the battle and made a difference in the second half. I still think the big part of the game was our inability to take advantage of our control of the game in the first half where we created chances and had a lot of the play.”

On the Panama’s performance in the second half:
“The second half started and Panama played quite well. Give (Julio Dely) Valdez, (Roberto) Brown and (Ricardo) Phillips a lot of credit. Their three front runners gave our back four a lot of trouble.”

On what the U.S. can take from this match:
At the end of the day, it is certainly not a perfect performance, but we’re on the road and we take two points away from the home team and have every player eligible for game four. Now we simply have to take advantage of having a couple of home games as we finish out this round.”

On the advantages of having experienced players on the squad:
“Rarely do you get three guys that come into the game and make and impact. I think Panama got a real lift from number 15 (Ricardo Phillips) and for the U.S. team I think McBride obviously helped out a little bit. I thought Lewis was real good and Cobi got the goal. The reserves were key players in this match. Give our three guys credit.”

U.S. Midfielder Cobi Jones
On the U.S. once again scoring late in the match:
“It seems to be a mainstay in our World Cup qualifiers. We have a never say die attitude. We have a team that is never going to quit. We’ve proven that we can play the full 90 minutes.”

On his goal:
“Landon tried to take the shot and it came to me. My main thing was trying to open up the attacking lanes and stay onside. When it came to me I knew the ‘keeper was trying to cheat for Landon’s shot, so my thought was just to try and slide it in on the far post. I got a good piece of it. I had time to have a little trap on it and just knock it in on the far post.”

U.S. Goalkeeper and Man of the Match Kasey Keller
On the poor field conditions:
“Once again it was horrible conditions, bad lighting, and the pitch was halfway under water. It’s a shame, but we’re not going to blame anything on the field. We didn’t play particularly well, particularly in the second half, but you have to give everybody credit for not quitting. You draw your games away, you win at home and you qualify for the World Cup. So far we are on schedule.”

On getting another late goal:
“It’s a credit to everyone, obviously they don’t give up. When things are going down a lot of teams just mope away from it, but we know we’ve got some very good athletes. Brian McBride comes on and wins a head ball, Donovan gets a hold of it and Cobi slots it home. When your two subs make a huge difference that is a credit to this team that we are as deep as we are. We know as we go on later (in the game) we can bring people on that can make a difference.”

U.S. Midfielder Landon Donovan
On the goal:
“I was about 10 yards out. Right as I went to shoot, it hit a little puddle, stopped and it kind of came off the end of my foot. But things happen for a reason. I think it snuck through a defender’s leg and went right to Cobi and he just put it in.”
Editor’s note: Landon’s pass did not got through a defender’s leg