US SoccerUS Soccer

Quote Sheet: Arena & Sanneh

BRUCE ARENA - U.S. head coach

On the difficulties awaiting the U.S. in the match with Korea in Daegu:
“It will be very difficult.  We’ve know all along that this would be a very difficult game.  The Korean team has a lot of momentum, they have played quite well over the last four weeks.  And they have a lot of confidence.  We know that going into Daegu that with the crowd behind them, and the warm conditions, and the momentum that the Korean team has, that is going to be an extremely difficult match. However, I feel that our team has a lot of momentum as well going into this game, and we have a lot of confidence that we can win this game and we will do our best to earn three points.”

On his aspirations for the USA-Korea match:
“We would like to win.”

On the team’s current injury status and player availability:
“We are not certain which players yet will be available tomorrow.  We will travel today, and then look at them at training and make a decision tonight or tomorrow morning on our starting 11.”

On the team’s perception of some of the anti-American sentiment being reported by the media in South Korea:
“In terms of our team, we have not discussed it.  We are not aware of the political climate and don’t understand what all the curiosity and attention is all about. As I said yesterday, we believe that the South Koreans are our friends and allies. This is about a soccer game tomorrow, and when we step between the lines, our concentration is on the game. Things that happen in the stands and outside the stadium, the players that are concentrating do not see or hear what is going on. This is about a game and anything else we don’t know about.”

On what he thinks Guus Hiddink has brought to the Korean team:
“I observed them in the Confederations Cup, and they were a shadow of the team they are today. Certainly Guus has brought great organization, has improved their fitness level considerably. Has selected the right players, has put them in the right spots, and has found a system that works for the players they have. Overall, you would have to say he has done an outstanding job with this team.”
TONY SANNEH - U.S. defender

On the challenges the team expects to face in Daeju when they face Korea and their pro-Korean fans:
“We just have to stay together as a group at the beginning of the game, and really concentrate and hopefully not let them get too much momentum. The crowd will definitely give them a little extra adrenaline, but I think it is going to be a festive atmosphere. I think the crowd will be really behind them, but not in a negative way towards us. That is the idea I am getting because I think the South Korean people want a good event and they are standing behind the team, and that is normal, but I haven’t witnessed any negative activities here yet.”

On what it was like defending at the end of the victory against Portugal with a one-goal lead:
“It is not as nice as defending with a three-goal lead. Most games are one-goal games, and if you are up a goal, you have to have the discipline to know when you can attack and what is important and what risks you can take. I’ve been up by one goal many times and had to defend for long stretches of times. It is just important for the defense to stay together and for the team to work. And you are under a little bit of pressure because you can’t make any mistakes at that point, but I think we stuck together and being together for the last month helped us out and when one guy made a mistake, another was there to help him out.”

On his thoughts on England’s ability to preserve their 1-0 victory in Argentina with a strong defensive performance:
“I watched the game. Once they were up and the second half rolled around they didn’t need to score. It might not have been the most attractive game for them, but it is not about that. It is about results and that is why the World Cup tends to be a little more defensive. Because it only takes one goal to win a game.”