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Post Game Quote Sheet: U.S. Men Defeat Guatemala, 1-0, in World Cup Qualifying


U.S.-Guatemala

Post-Match Quote Sheet

Aug. 20, 2008

U.S. head coach BOB BRADLEY

"It was a very hard fought game, and for us a hard earned three points. The win is based more on the determination of our team. Sometimes it's necessary to win games in
that way. It was a game where we relied on the effort, team spirit, and the mentality of the group. Our experienced players have made the point to the team that qualifying is always difficult away from home. You have to expect games to be very tough. We have played some tough games in the last year, but none of them are qualifiers. To experience it and to win in that fashion is good for the group."

On the good start to the second half for Guatemala:

“That was a difficult stretch. They caused us a great deal of trouble on their right side. It helped us a great deal when we brought DaMarcus Beasley in. He did a great job of working with Heath Pearce and helping to make that situation better.”


U.S. defender CARLOS BOCANEGRA

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy one way or another. We just stuck together. It was a great team effort. The forwards did a great job of chasing down, and the midfield held strong, and the defense cleaned it up after that. Timmy made a few big saves for us, which you need in a qualifier.”

On the goal:

“There’s a lot of other stuff that goes on in that moment, with the movement of the other guys on the team. It was a great service and I was able to get on the end of it. We work on stuff like this, with Gooch, Clint Dempsey, Brian Ching and Michael Bradley. They make good runs and cause confusion in there, so I was able to get free.”


On what he learned about the team after getting a result in difficult circumstances:

“We’ve been learning all year. Starting back in the Gold Cup when we got together. It was a tough grind, and we came back to beat Mexico in the final. That showed character. Tonight showed that we fight for each other and have great team spirit.”

U.S. midfielder EDDIE LEWIS


On the play where he got injured:
"I'm not sure. I remember I was going to get to the ball first. From what I was told after, I won the ball and he came in a bit late and caught me with his head on my head. He got me pretty good."

On getting three points out of the first game on the road:

"It's certainly important. Even though everyone assumes we are the strongest team in the group, we haven't won here in 20 years and there's a reason for that. It was a quick reminder to everybody that these qualifiers are tough. They are hard games. It was certainly a testament to the players' efforts to get the result tonight."

U.S. goalkeeper TIM HOWARD

“Going into this we tried to talk as a team about that this is what qualifying is all about. I think today was a blueprint of qualifying. You can talk about it, but when you experience it is a real challenge and tonight we came through on the winning end.”

On going down a man and then getting the goal:

“It was a long time left, and we were thinking that we would have to defend a lot. One of the best things about this team is our set pieces. The delivery is great. We’ve got some horses up front with Gooch and Carlos and the all the boys in the box. Obviously we know we are dangerous.”

On how the atmosphere impacts the game:

“There are so many variables in qualifying. If you put things on paper, you think Mexico and the U.S. should fly through, but it’s never been that easy. The record on the road in qualifying isn’t always that stellar because crowds are hectic, things don’t always go according to plan, you get cards, and all those things.”

U.S. midfielder LANDON DONOVAN

“It’s not always pretty, but you have to find a way. The field and the atmosphere certainly didn’t help, and we weren’t always at our best, but I’m very proud of how we did.”

On Guatemala’s good start to the second half:

“Obviously you knew they were going to get some sort of talking to at halftime and they would come out revved up. We didn’t do the best job in that period of playing in their end, but we got through it. After the red card it could have been difficult, but they gave it right back to us.”

U.S. midfielder MICHAEL BRADLEY

“It was a tough game. Everything came together to make it a difficult night. The field is fast and heavy, the crowd is really into it, and when they play at home they have a good amount of energy. All the factors make it a difficult night. I thought we handled everything really well, stuck together, and came away with a deserved three points.”

On the goal by Bocanegra:

“It was a good ball from Beasley. It’s always a good start when we can get good service in there. I went a little bit early, and ball went over my head. Carlos, Gooch and Ching play off each other well. Carlos was able to slip into a good seam and score a great header.”

“I thought the movement and connections of our team were pretty good. We closed them down pretty good. Yes, it meant that at times they had the ball a little bit, but it wasn’t like they were able to play through us. I felt like we were able to get after them pretty good. When it comes down to it, I think a lot of these games will be like that, where you get after the other team and try to impose your game on them.”

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