US SoccerUS Soccer
U.S. Men

Post-Match Quotes: USA 2, Jamaica 0

U.S. head coach BOB BRADLEY
“I thought we played a good game today. From the start we were able to do a good job establishing control, passing the ball and keeping the ball. It took a while to get the goal and the second goal, but certainly as far as establishing our game today I thought we did an excellent job.”

On the status of Jozy Altidore, who left the match with a strained left hamstring:
“We will have an update on Jozy later. He’s played well thus far in this tournament and hopefully he’ll still be available for us. We’ve had different guys come through for us so far. Everybody is needed in this kind of tournament. This is a tough tournament in terms of the games and how fast they come and the travel. We keep talking to the players that aren’t getting minutes and making sure that we are still training these guys and pushing them hard because they are all going to need to be ready.”

On whether the team is growing as the tournament progresses:
“We think so. These have been some tough games where things didn’t come easily for us. The training that comes between these games has been getting sharper. We had our best training session so far this past Friday. It was very sharp, there was good energy, and the ball was moving quickly. You see that and you feel like this is a good sign, and some of that came out today. We’re making progress.”

On the choosing to deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation tonight:
“We felt that the way they defend that we could play a lot of passes, make their defenders have to make decisions about who would they would step to, and then our ability to move the ball over 90 minutes was going to control the game and create chances.”

On the play of Jermaine Jones:
“We’ve seen in recent games that the understanding in the center of the field between Jermaine and Michael has been good. In different moments you see each one on the move, and then the other one thinking about covering. Jermaine has a good engine and has the ability in certain moments to get forward and be a threat.”

On the decision to use Landon Donovan as a reserve and to start Clint Dempsey:
“When you make decisions on a lineup you size up all sorts of things. It’s been a busy stretch for Landon and we felt with the afternoon game it made sense to use him as a reserve today, knowing that we could bring him on and he would give us a lot. In Clint’s case, we thought he could go from the beginning.”

On the decision to allow Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan to attend the weddings of their sisters:
“There are times that players come to you with personal requests. As a coach you have an idea of how you think things should be done. That’s especially true at the national team. You try to hold the bar as high as you can. At the same time, you understand what families mean to them. You have to sometimes weigh things and make decisions. Ultimately after speaking at different points with Clint and Landon, I knew how important both of these days were for them. There’s give and take. You always try to do what’s best for the team, and you make tough decisions.”

U.S. midfielder and Budweiser Man of the Match JERMAINE JONES
On scoring his first goal with the national team:
“The first goal you score with the national team is special, and even more so that it was a very important goal for us tonight. I’m very proud of that, and I hope a few more will come.”

On the goal celebration when he gave a salute:
“It was my way of giving my father a little gift on Father’s Day. He was a soldier, so I thought it was a nice sign of respect.”

U.S. midfielder CLINT DEMPSEY
On his conversation with Bob Bradley before the game:
“He asked me. He said ‘How are you feeling.’ I said ‘I’m ready to go.’ I was disappointed with my performance against Guadeloupe, that I wasn’t able to finish the chances that I got. I wanted to make sure that I came out today and did whatever I could to help the team win, and I was able to get the goal that sealed it. “

On the game:
“We just played good football. We were patient. We were confident. We moved the ball around well. We made it difficult for them to play out of the back. We were able to find players in between their lines. We were able to create chances for ourselves. I think the mentality of ‘keep going, keep pressing them and keep taking the game to them eventually wore them down. The red card helped us out a little bit, but I think we were the team that deserved to win the game today. We were the better team. “

On the importance of attending the wedding:
“My sister, she’s important to me, you know? My family is very important. I’m going to go make sure that I’m there for her on that day. Without my family I wouldn’t be here. They sacrificed a lot for me, for my sisters, my brothers. For my mom and dad, those trips to Dallas and stuff like that, it was a lot of sacrifice. So I was going to make sure that I could be there on that day, but at the same time I was going to use that as motivation to come out here and let that not be an excuse for taking away from my game. I thought I was able to play like I always play.”

On whether he has ever traveled that far for a game:
“You have to know growing up I was taking three hour drives and then playing a game. As far as being at the highest level and having a two-hour flight that far before, yea that’s the soonest, but you can’t make that a factor. You have to make sure that you are ready.“

On the wedding:
“It was a good wedding. After the wedding we were able to go to my sister’s tombstone and my sister put the bouquet down. That was a special moment that I got to share with my family. I was glad I was able to get back and come today and help the team win.”

U.S. goalkeeper TIM HOWARD
“We’re getting stronger as the tournament goes on. We were able to pick them apart a little bit. They made it difficult for us at certain times, but I thought we controlled the game front to back. Defensively we played solid, and in the attack we created a lot of chances.”

On the team’s defensive performance against Jamaica:
“I think we had them pretty much pegged in terms of our scouting report on them. We did look confident in the back. I thought it was a good performance. The key today was going to be when we drop our line and when not to, because there’s so much space up front. You need to keep the field compact to play at this level, but you also need to recognize when to drop our line and be smart and for the most part we got that right every time.”

U.S. midfielder SACHA KLJESTAN
On playing with Dempsey:
“Clint and I have an understanding. When he gets the ball, I’ll try to open space for him to give it to me and basically get it back to him for him to play and move. And I think its vice-versa when I’m getting the ball. Especially with Michael and Jermaine as well, they play good balls into us forward and then make movements off the ball. Between Clint and I, our movement off the ball tonight was really good and you saw a couple of times he popped inside and I floated out wide and I was inside and he was out wide, so I think the understanding there is good.”

On whether the team is improving in the tournament:
“I would say so. I think we’re trying to get stronger as the tournament goes on. In this game we showed a lot of possession and Jamaica didn’t really have many 100 percent scoring chances, so that was good as well.”

U.S. midfielder LANDON DONOVAN
On the opportunity to attend the wedding of his twin sister:
“It meant a lot to myself and Clint. I know we get caught up in the soccer world, but there are certainly things that are equally if not more important to a lot of us. I’m very grateful of the effort that Bob and U.S. Soccer made, not only to let us go but to get us here so that we could contribute tonight.”

On the performance of Alejandro Bedoya:
“He was great. He’s been good every time he’s come in during the tournament. You have to remember he was the last guy to make the roster. He was energetic and effective, and I thought he did really well.

On whether this was the team’s best performance in the Gold Cup:
“No question. It was complete. We passed the ball well. We defended well. It was enjoyable to watch for 60 minutes on the bench. The team was flowing well, and it was fun to be a part of.”

On if the team is gelling on the field:
As the tournament goes on, you start to build team unity. It doesn’t happen right away. You can’t come in and expect after a week or two that everything is going to be clicking. You can see guys are starting to trust each other. They are learning how guys want the ball in different spots, and we’re starting to play as a team. Tonight was a really good performance.”