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Quote Sheet: U.S. MNT Prepares to Face Scotland on Saturday


U.S. Manager Bruce Arena
On the U.S. team:
“We have a good group here. We have a mix of veterans and some young players that, in all honesty, I haven’t seen too much. They are playing here in Europe and we wanted the chance to look at them. This match serves a lot of purposes for us. I think it’s good that I get back connected again with our players in Europe. I haven’t seen them really since September 3 when we beat Mexico because we let everyone go for the last qualifiers and used mostly domestic players. So, we’ve benefited from that and from obviously seeing young players.”

On Scotland:
“Obviously, the two players I’m familiar with are (Darren) Fletcher and
(Barry) Ferguson. I’ve seen them over the years. I know (David) Weir from, oddly enough, playing college soccer in the United States, and I’ve followed him. I remember his last college game in 1990 when they lost in the NCAA Championship. But I’ve seen him at Everton when (Brian) McBride and Joe Max-Moore were there. After that I’m not that familiar with a whole lot of other players, but I’m going to look into their past games. I know they did well in the last half of qualifying when Walter
(Smith) took over and had some pretty good results, but unfortunately they weren’t able to position themselves to make the playoffs.”

On Scotland’s head coach Walter Smith:
“I visited Walter when he was the manager at Everton. At the time I had a player there named Joe Max-Moore and Walter was very gracious to spend some time with me there. Most of us in the business are well aware of his accomplishments. He’s a terrific manager.”

U.S. Goalkeeper Tim Howard
On Scotland:
“I think they’re a good team that was unlucky not to have qualified for the World Cup, which was devastating to them because they found form definitely under Walter (Smith). They have a young team, but I think that is good for them going forward.”

On Darren Fletcher:
“I think he’s been doing fantastic since he came on. Obviously, he’s a young player and is trying to find his way even now, even with as many games as he has under his belt. But I always say about Darren is that he gets it. He’s a young player and he understands the importance of playing for Manchester United. He does step up and the big games don’t rattle him. He’s been able to play as many games with United as he has because the manager and the team have the confidence in him.”

U.S. Forward Josh Wolff
On the team’s mentality:
“I think we’ve shown we can compete with the top teams in the world now and it’s important to not just let that precede us. We need to back it up when we get on the field to get the result. We come here with the mentality to get a win and it’s not going to be easy, but that’s the level we’ve gotten to and the reason we’ve had the success we’ve had over the past few years.”

On European clubs having a watchful eye on this game:
“Anytime you get the chance to come over you are on display. It still comes down to making the most of your opportunity. I’m not getting any younger, so I’d like to take a shot at it at some point, but we do have a lot of younger guys and guys my age and it might be one of their last chances to make it over here and give it a run.”

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