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U.S. MNT vs. Costa Rica: Post-Match Quotes - Sept. 6, 2013


U.S. MNT vs. Costa Rica: Post-Match Quote Sheet
FIFA World Cup Qualifying
Sept. 6, 2013

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
On the match In San Jose:
“First of all, congratulations to Costa Rica for their win. As we expected it was a very intense game. It was a hectic game, and a game that anything could have happened. Obviously for us it was a difficult start because of the injury of Michael Bradley right at the very end of warmups, so we had to make a last-second switch and that maybe shocked the team a little bit for a couple of the moments. When you are 1-0 down after two minutes, that makes it even more difficult.  Towards the end of the first half we got back in the game, and were moving the ball around well. In the second half we dictated the game, and thought it was a matter of time until we scored the equalizer until that breakaway that came from a surprising element. Obviously the energy and the atmosphere in the stadium gave the Costa Rican so much support that it was difficult to turn around again.”

On the Michael Bradley’s potential availability and how the suspensions impact the roster:
“We are going to travel back to the U.S. tomorrow morning early and have everything set up for him to get an MRI and we will go from there. He rolled his ankle really bad. It swelled up right away. With the yellow card situation, we are going to sit down and discuss all the elements that we want to change going into the game on Tuesday. We knew about the risks of yellow cards. It’s always upsetting when it happens, especially with Jozy Altidore’s card at the end which was absolutely not necessary. It is what it is. We’ll adjust to it, start calling in players tonight and prepare and be very focused on Mexico.”

On whether this result changes his approach to the game against Mexico:
“I don’t think it changes a lot. We knew if we lost this game that Costa Rica would be in first place. We know that it’s going to go down to the wire and the last games. We need to have our four points at least to qualify. We will get those four points. We knew it was going to be very difficult tonight.”

On how the first two goals affected the team:
“Obviously when they got the first goal off the corner and followed up with the second one, it makes it very difficult for a moment. We just told the team to calm down and start playing. Step by step I think we came back in the game. Towards the end of the first half we actually looked very good. In the second half there is no complaint about we played until the third goal that killed things off. It’s always difficult when you go two goals down after a couple of minutes. That’s just normal.”

On whether he was disappointed at the drop off in play without Michael Bradley:
“I don’t think it had too big of an effect. Not as big an effect as going down two goals. It’s always tough when you lose a player in the last moment right before a game, especially a player of his caliber. It just made it difficult for the team to settle into the game after we went two goals down. It’s a circumstance where you need to fight your way back into it, which I think we did.”

On whether Mexico’s loss to Honduras helps or hurts for the game Tuesday:
“I think we are looking at three games to go and we badly need four points, so we better start on Tuesday night with that. It will again be high intensity. They are now absolutely with their back against the wall. The way we approach games is we want to win at any cost, which is what we are going to try on Tuesday night. It’s going to be a very, very intense game.”

U.S. Men’s National Team forward LANDON DONOVAN
On losing Michael Bradley from the starting lineup:
"It's not an excuse but it hurts. This team has in large part been built around Michael and that hurts. We lose a leader and a good player but that doesn't account for how we started and how we played. We still needed to do better than that."

On the team's performance at the end of the first half and into the second:
"We were a little bummed that halftime came because we were playing well and got back in the game. Second half we started well and we had Clint's good chance that hit the post. We did well to get back into the game and then we had one play where we fell asleep a little and that's what qualifying is. You have to make your chances or you if don't you can get punished."

On the ups and downs of qualifying:
"Every time this process goes on it's never easy, always unpredictable. There are a lot of ups and downs. We've been on ups recently and now this is a down. We'll have to see how we recover and see what we're made of. We're playing Mexico in a must win game for there and we need to see how we respond."

On dealing with yellow cards and suspensions:
"Part of qualifying is how much depth you have but we feel confident about other guys stepping in and doing a job. There are guys who have wanted to play and maybe deserve to play and now they'll have a chance."

U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper TIM HOWARD
On the team's poor start:
"We were just disappointed in the way we came out. They got their fair share of luck and we didn't help ourselves."

On playing at Estadio Nacional instead of Saprissa:
"It's a great place to play and the field was fantastic. It was always going to be a difficult environment but it was certainly a much better place to play."

On the mood of the team after the loss:
"If we win and Honduras wins, we're in the World Cup. The mood's been positive because of how the results went. We've been on a run the last four or five months and dug out a lot of results we shouldn't have. Tonight was a bridge too far and you have to give them a lot of credit."

On suspensions and how the team will have to reshuffle:
"We're going to have to have guys step up, there's no question. I think we've talked about it over the last three years: we build toward this every game, so a guy can step in and not miss a beat and get the cohesion right."

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