U.S. MNT Post-Match Quote Sheet
USA 2, Martinique 0
2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup
July 14, 2003 -- Foxboro, Mass.
U.S. Manager BRUCE ARENA
“Obviously Brian McBride was the star of the match with his two goals, and Steve Ralston did real well with his service. We were sloppy in the second half, due to the physicality of the game, a lack of sharpness, and a little bit of fatigue. We've been through this before. The objective is just to get through. We're just happy to be in position to be playing Saturday night in the quarterfinals. ”
On the goalscoring prowess of Brian McBride:
"Certainly that's what Brian is about. I think it's a lot easier running in front of the goal when you know that the player on the ball is going to deliver it there. That's one of the things that Steve Ralston has demonstrated in the first two games here."
On whether playing two games in three days had an impact on the team's performance:
"It's difficult. We had a similar situation last year with Cuba, and the second game was a fairly stale game as well. Some of our guys are pretty tired, especially those that played 90 minutes on Saturday. It's just good to get past it. I think Martinique came here to try to get a point; therefore, getting that first goal was big. The second goal made things a little comfortable for us, and we took our foot of the gas in the second half."
On whether he was surprised by Martinique's defensive posture:
"I think that surprised me a bit. We didn't anticipate their posture to be quite as defensive as it was. The lineup we had had two wingers, which you need in a game like that. We had Lewis and Ralston, and Convey able to get down the left flank, and Hejduk on the right. We had the right combination of players to try and break down that defense."
U.S. forward and Chevrolet Man of the Match BRIAN McBRIDE:
On scoring three goals in two games, and his return to the MNT:
"It's been a lot of fun. For me, all of it has to do with the team around me. Steve Ralston has been serving great balls, and it just so happens I get to try and get on the end of them. Eddie Lewis had been playing great, and having Claudio back has really helped everyone on the whole team. Hopefully things will continue to get better."
On whether there was sufficient space in which to play, given Martinique's defensive posture:
"I think in the first half there was quite a bit of space. They dropped a lot of guys back, but they had a tendency just to mark zone. Landon and I were able to find a lot of space when we moved the ball quickly. In the second half, they dropped in tighter and left the flanks open a little bit, but we didn't pass the ball well and weren't as sharp as the first half, and that made a difference."
On whether the play was overly physical:
"I think there was probably some late tackles. It gets to the point where everyone is trying to protect themselves, especially when you're up 2-0. But that's going to happen. We're all big boys. We just need to make sure we concentrate on playing soccer and not lose our shape when that stuff happens."
U.S. goalkeeper KASEY KELLER
On the team's performance:
"It was difficult getting back on the field for the second time in three days. I think a lot of the guys were tired, and it's especially hard playing against a team that is that fast and physical. We played pretty well in the first half, and started to slow down a bit in the second half when we got a little tired."
On his feelings about tying Tony Meola for first place in all-time career shutouts (32) with the MNT:
"It's not important, but it's nice, especially since it took only took me 64 games. But I think the defense has always played extremely well in front of me. I had no I was even close until after the game in Seattle. Until then I didn't' even know how many caps I had. Now that it's there, I'm proud. I'm proud of my career that I've had with the national team. It's nice to have that record, and I'm happy to have been able play behind some very good defenders and very good teams."