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U.S. MNT vs. Sweden - Post-Game Quote Sheet

U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach BOB BRADLEY
On the game:
“Throughout the game, Sweden was still able at times to put a little more pressure on us at the right moments and play a little faster. I think there were periods in the game where we adjusted to the tempo better, started to play a little quicker, and created some chances. The next the step for us is to sustain this for longer periods and be able to put more pressure on the other team throughout the game.  It’s only with these types of matches that we continue to move in that direction.  The question was ‘was this a fair result?’, and the answer was yes.”
On what he gets out of this game:
“These are important games for us.  Games where the tempo is fast and where our ability to play faster, move faster as a team and be able to carry that on for 90 minutes.  It’s only with these types of matches that we continue to move in that direction.”

On the play of Tim Howard:
“Tim has played very well throughout the year with the national team.  His play with Everton last year and the beginning of this year continues to be strong.  When we play these types of games in Europe, his leadership and understanding of what is necessary in these games is very important for the whole team.  I see the confidence in him every time we get together.  He has come into every camp not only feeling good about what he brings on the field, but finding ways to help us create a better environment and help some of our young players understand what needs to be put into the effort every day”.

On the play of Clint Dempsey as a forward:
"Clint has played a fair amount this year for the national team as a forward.  He’s been able to create chances.  One of the qualities that he has that sets him a part a little bit is that he can sometimes create a chance out of nothing.  We were hoping that Brian Ching would start tonight, and that would allow Clint to drift more to the side, come underneath, but still play as a forward.  Brian was not able to play, and with Landon up top Clint’s role changes a little bit.  It makes it a little more difficult.  He’s not purely a forward that just wants to stay high all the time.  We feel he has good qualities as a forward.  Like all teams, we are looking for players who can score goals and throughout his career that’s something he’s been able to do.  We continue to try and take advantage of that.”
On what you get out of games in Europe that you might not get in matches against CONCACAF opponents:
“The tempo of the game is faster.  It challenges our players to understand that the battle for every ball is a little bit more difficult, and that the reaction speed has to get better.  There is a physical element as well.  Our ability all over the field to react faster, compete for balls, and see situations quicker is something that we want improve upon, and I think when we play the better teams in Europe those lessons are apparent.”

U.S. Goalkeeper and Sierra Mist Man of the Match TIM HOWARD
On the match:
“Weird one.  I think we played good in spots.  Obviously their goal deflated us a little bit. Collectively we weren’t great.  It’s a tough game and a disappointing result because I think there were chances for us to equalize and we didn’t do it.”

On making saves that keeps his team in games:
“I think every goalkeeper hopes to do that.  That’s what we’re there for – to try and keep our team in the game if we can.”

On the goal:
“We had a couple of chances to tackle the ball.  It just sprung loose and we weren’t able to get it clear.  It was rebounding and banging off shins.  The guy took the shot very quickly from behind bodies and hit it well.  You have to give him credit.”

U.S. Defender and Captain CARLOS BOCANEGRA:
On Sweden:
“Sweden is a good team.  They took it to us early.  We knew they were going to play a direct style.  They had two big forwards up front who gave us a little bit of problems.  It’s frustrating to lose when we come over here.  Playing on European soil is not such a new thing for a lot of us know, so we feel like we need to do better and get results over here.  As far as experience, it’s good for us to get games like this.  These games are good for us in the long run.  But we also don’t want to just come over here for the experience.  We want to come over and win.”

On the match:
“It’s tough.  I hate losing, and so does everyone else on the whole squad.  But we can take a lot from this game.  We had some chances, but at the same time the game was kind of dull.  We have to let this game go.  We have Brazil coming up, so it will be another big test for us.”

On whether this game is a good experience:
"These games can't just be about good experiences. When we come to Europe,
we come to win.  Bob Bradley has the environment where you come to work and win games. That's how it should be every time.  It doesn’t matter if you have one cap or 80, you come in to play and you’re held responsible.  We didn’t have a good enough performance tonight."

On how the team played defensively:
“Defensively I thought we did quite well. There were times we had lapses, but I think we recovered well.  We didn’t give them a lot of easy opportunities at goal.  I say we played good, but we still got a goal scored against us, and regardless of how good you play defensively if that happens and you lose the game you have to re-think your strategy.”

On playing against Sweden:
"It’s an honor for me.  For me to play the match in Sweden where I play professionally is the best of both worlds.  It’s kind of a disappointment that we lost because I think we deserved a goal, but now I just have to back to my club and keep working hard so I can get back here."