U.S. Head Coach
On his options if Earnie Stewart is not fit for the game against Korea:
"Our options would be Cobi Jones, Eddie Lewis, Frankie Hejduk ... Joe-Max Moore."
On whether Landon Donovan may take Stewart's place:
On whether Claudio Reyna will be fit to play a full game by Monday (against Korea):
"We'll see over the next couple of days. He's been training with us. He hasn't tested it (his strained quadricep) fully yet. We'll get that opportunity tomorrow."
On how Claudio Reyna's presence might contribute to maintaining possession of the ball on Monday:
"Well, it would certainly make us better in that area. It is one of his strong suits."
Responding to a reporter saying "we were surprised with the lineup vs Portugal, we thought you made a very big mistake, but when you started to play, we were very surprised.":
"Well, that's why you're over there and I'm over here. (joking) I wasn't surprised."
On whether he is planning to make some changes in the lineup when the U.S. plays Korea and why:
"Yes, I am. Why? We have some injuries. And there are some other players that can possibly come back, so it is obvious there'll be some changes."
On whether the weather will play a factor in the changes made to the team:
"I don't think so. Because all of our players are pretty fit for the most part. So, I don't think the weather is going to have an impact on who we decide to play."
On what the U.S. will focus on in training in advance of the game against Korea:
"Well, certainly the majority of our training time generally focuses on our team, getting our team ready to play. We'll find some of the areas that we think we can be better at; making sure our legs are fresh for the game on Monday. And, obviously, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the Korean team."
On the decision to not play Clint Mathis in the game against Portugal, despite his fit condition:
"I simply selected the lineup that I thought would give us the best chance to win."
On whether Clint Mathis can be expected to be in the lineup on Monday against Korea:
"It's possible. I mean, it's one game at a time. We haven't selected our lineup yet. The 11 I selected on Wednesday I felt gave us the best chance to win. And that's the reason for it."
On whether he would comment on the strength and weaknesses of the Korean team:
"Well, I won't tell you the weaker points, but clearly fitness and how they can push the pace of the game, I believe, are the strengths of the Korean team."
On whether the USA's team speed will play a role in the match on Monday against Korea:
"That will be interesting to see, whether the Koreans are a fitter, faster, quicker team than us. If they are, that's going to speak well for their team that day."
On the team's aspirations in the match against Korea, knowing the three points will likely put the winner into the second round:
"Well, certainly we're going to play the game against Korea to try to secure three points. Obviously, if either team is able to get three points in this game, they will advance to the second round. Well, I guess there's one possible scenario where that wouldn't happen. Certainly if one of the teams walks away with three points, it is big, and certainly we're the team that aspires to do that."
On the difficulties of telling the older, more experienced players that they will not be part of the starting 11:
"Well, generally it takes care of itself, but I think you always owe your players respect, to talk with them, if they are troubled by it, whatever. I think Joe-Max is a good person to ask this question to, as well. We don't necessarily, in a 23 man roster, tell 11 players that you're playing and 12 that you're not. But I think that we kind of have an understanding along the way, and they understand the basis behind the decisions and I also understand that not all the players are always happy when you make those decisions. But certainly they need to understand that we do it in a professional manner and try to be fair to the players. If any of the players are really thrown out of whack by some of the decision making, I try to spend a little time with them and discuss it. It is not the most comfortable thing, it's not the best part of the job to tell the players that they're not going to start in a game. These are all very good players, that's why they are here, so that's not the easiest part of the job."
On how the experience of playing in places like Azteca Stadium (Mexico) and Saprissa Stadium (Costa Rica) will help when the U.S. faces Korea on Monday:
"The atmosphere should be amazing in this kind of game. Some of the big qualifying games, yes, it does affect how the team plays. Well, I wouldn't say how the team plays, but you definitely hear the crowd and they definitely play a part in the game. Fortunately for us, I think in this game, the stands are back quite away from the field, so they won't be right on top of us. But there's no doubt that it's gonna be hard to talk and hard to communicate between the players, and they will be dressed in red, I'm sure, again. I'm looking forward to it, I think it's going to be a great atmosphere."
On the pressure facing Korea as the home team against the U.S.:
I think certainly there is more pressure on them than us, at this point. They've got the hopes of the entire nation on them, and we do too to a certain extent, but I think now with their past few results they're expected to get to the second round. You see how well they played against France, England and some other teams, I think the Korean population now thinks that they can definitely get there. They're expecting them to."
On the whether the weather conditions are a concern in Daegu (Korea's hottest city):
"I don't think so, really. I think our players are fit enough to deal with the heat and the humidity. Our fitness has always been one of our positives, we're a very athletic, very fit team and I think we will be able to do that for the full 90 minutes without a problem. I have been impressed with their fitness though, and as Bruce said, their closest man presses the ball, they work hard, and if they get beat, somehow the next guy is right there to help, so, they're an exciting team. They work hard for each other, and I think we'll do the same."
On Bruce Arena's comments on the difficulties of telling the older, more experienced players that they will not be part of the starting 11:
"Yeah, I mean, I think the players that are chosen for the starting 11, you know, you've worked your whole life to get to this point, and honestly you want to be included in the starting lineup, but 12 players are not going to be able to have that opportunity, and things can change from game to game, so I think you've got to have a positive outlook on things. Part of the problem with our '98 team was the fact that the chemistry wasn't right, players were a little bit too disappointed of the fact that they weren't included in the starting lineup, and that kind of became a cancer, and it was a part of the problem of why we didn't succeed, so this team's different, and we hope that doesn't cause any problems here, at least in this tournament, but I think if a player was to tell you that he wasn't frustrated or disappointed by the fact that he wasn't included in the lineup, it wouldn't be natural."
On his perception of the biggest weaknesses in the Korean defense:
"I've been very impressed with them. I don't think there's many weaknesses in the team. Like I said before, they pressure the ball well and they're a very athletic looking team, so it'll just be a great match up. I don't think at this point I'm gonna go over any weaknesses that I see personally."