US SoccerUS Soccer

June 25 Press Conference Quote Sheet

U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach BOB BRADLEY
On the recovery process to turn around in two days:
“Luckily we’ve been through this sort of time frame before. As always the day after the game is regeneration for starters or guys who played over 75 minutes, the others we take them out and train. Last night we went through a little bit of video and start the process on that end. We’re lucky to be back in Rustenburg; we’re comfortable here and the travel is easy. Now we look forward to a light training session today but I think the focus is good and people have come out of the game feeling really good.

On the emotional recovery process:
“I think all teams feel the pressure in the first round. When you get through that first round, to be able to go at it one game at a time and see how far you can go is a good feeling. Throughout the entire period leading into this World Cup we’ve talked about different goals and we’re pleased that we accomplished the first one. Now we just get ready for Ghana.”

On the different challenges Ghana will present:
“I think this particular Ghana team is well put together. Their coach, Milovan Rajevac, has done a good job, the team is organized. The team has some very talented individuals with great athletic ability. It’s a very good team. When you look at their style of play, you see the talented individuals but it still seems to fit well within the team framework.”

On how CONCACAF teams have performed at the World Cup:
“I would just make quick comments on both Mexico and Honduras. I think Mexico has played very well in this World Cup, they have a huge match coming up with Argentina but the team has played well and I think everybody’s looking forward to that match. Honduras has a group of players that have been together for awhile, it was a big moment for them to qualify for the World Cup. They’re in a very tough group. They play today with the hope still coming away with some points, but I think it’s a credit to that group of players that they’re here. So I think in both cases CONCACAF has been well represented.”

On whether he considers this a chance to avenge the loss against Ghana in 2006:
“I think there are six players on each team that were in that match, so there’s some element of that. But nonetheless, four years later things change. In the moment and speaking for ourselves, the excitement to be at this point and the understanding that you get this opportunity to give what you have and try to continue to move along. You take nothing for granted and get excited for putting it on the line again.”

On Ghana’s unpredictability:
“On the attacking side it’s always dangerous, because they have individual players who are capable of making you think they’re going to pass, but at the last second they decide to dribble. You think they’re going to the left, but they surprise you and go to the right. There’s a certain unpredictability that the players have, that’s part of their qualities. They’re talented players who are creative and you’re not always sure what they’re going to do. In all teams, there’s a balance when you’re looking for creativity and mobility because on one hand, the more you run around the more mobile you are and the more dangerous you can be, but at the same time when the ball turns over it may mean there’s more gaps. I think this Ghana team has done a very good job of it, I think it’s a sign of the work that Rajevac has done.”

On the immense American support from President Obama on down to every American:
“We’re all honored that, first of all, before a big match that we would receive a call from President Obama. We made a visit to the White House a few weeks ago and it was a special moment for all of us. But for him to follow up weeks later and then, as always, he’s on top of things. He asked Timmy Howard how his ribs are, so that was a true honor. We’ve received incredible support from all our fans at home, and from the many, many U.S. fans that have made the trip to South Africa. Whenever you have a team, one of the things you try to achieve is that you want to have a team that people care about that team, follow that team, root for that team and can feel a part of it; a team that people believe in and a team that people are proud of. That’s part of our responsibility and we’re excited in the moment that there’s that type of feeling. We’ll try to continue to build on it.”

On the personal in-country support from President Clinton:
“President Clinton, we also met him at the White House, he is a very charismatic man. He makes people feel right at home. That day before President Obama came out (at the White House), he had already shaken people’s hands, started little conversations. In this moment, he came in after the game when obviously everyone was so excited and we were very honored that he could share that moment with us.”

On whether the team is focused on replicating the success as the team in 2002:
“I think, probably, that’s in some people’s minds. We don’t talk about it that way. There are players that were part of that team and that was a great effort, one that they were all proud of and should be. Eight years later I think our focus is just on the fact that we’ve all along talked about becoming a team, becoming a group that when we got here we would understand what it was all about and we would be ready to take advantage of the opportunity and that’s really how we focus our thoughts.”

On how far the team can go and whether he envisions the team winning the tournament:
“You certainly have moments where you think, ‘We’re capable,’ if we continue to build on the successes so far we can go to the end. That’s what it’s all about. But that has to be balanced with a concentration on each game. You still establish over time a way of working, a way of doing things and you rely on that. So, the first question was about the fact that the turnaround in the tournament has been a short one, but nonetheless we’ve done that before. We try hard not to get ahead of ourselves but at the same time, I think everybody has this idea that if everybody gives their best effort, if everybody puts everything they have into it, if things go our way, then we can go far.”

On what he and the players are learning from the other teams during the tournament:
“We all enjoy watching the games so we pick up all sorts of things. It may have to do with the way games are being refereed, it may be in some cases how a team plays, what the flow of the game is like, whenever you watch games, there are two sides. You watch as a fan, we’re all fans, we see things that we love to see, that we talk about. Some of the players and all of the coaches watch to see all the little things that go on, tactically, changes in teams, adjustments during the flow of the game that maybe you can learn from. I think as a team, when we talk about the time we’ve been together over the years, the players know that as a coaching staff we’ll occasionally show edits from different games, we’ll talk about different games, we’ll talk about the way certain players or teams did things. We’re all fans of the game.”

On the fans supporting Ghana as the only African team in the knockout round:
“For sure that will be the case. South Africa has been a tremendous host. The pride that you feel from the South Africans for hosting this World Cup is there, it’s everywhere. But moreover, it’s the pride of a continent, so this decision to bring the World Cup to South Africa was always about more than South Africa. From the first time that I came here, that was clear. The African nations, the African teams, the African players, you can tell there’s a sense in the way they’re all together in things.”

On whether the team will be able to change to adapt from playing in a long qualifying tournament to playing in a short tournament:
“I think that our team has an understanding that in order to be successful we have to take all the aspects of football and put them together. We believe that working as a team and working for each other is important, but I think it would be an unfair assessment of our team to stop there. I think that we have shown in these games an ability to move the ball quickly, intelligently. I think we have some individual players who have made the kind of special plays that you need to go far in a tournament or to win championships. We’ve never in any way believed that all you need to do is put on your work clothes but we think that the ability to be a team that works hard but is also smart, disciplined, creative in the right moment. These are all things that become important and so we try to be a team that puts all those things together.”