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Quote Sheet: U.S. MNT vs. Poland


BRUCE ARENA - U.S. Head Coach

On his feelings about today's game and advancing to the second round:
“You still have to give our guys credit. They endured and we finished second in the group. The points are all that matter. We are elated to be in the second round. We have a big job ahead to get our team prepared to play on Monday.

“Certainly, we are elated to qualify for the second round, however, I am disappointed with tonight's result. I must give credit to Poland, they played very well.  If you play a team of that much quality and you get behind by two goals in the first five minutes, you will have a very difficult battle ahead of you, and we certainly faced that. At the same time, our guys never quit and played well at good parts of the game.”

On whether this World Cup has been full of surprises:
“Nobody would have picked out the results in this group. It was an unusual World Cup. There will be interesting results ahead of us in the Round of 16.”

On the prospects for the next match with Mexico:
“We know our next opponent quite well. They played extremely well in the tournament. Mexico is an outstanding team, and they were minutes short of being undefeated, almost winning three games. They will be a very difficult opponent for us on Monday. It's our job for the next 72 hours to get our team ready to play, mentally and physically.”

On his message to fans at home:
“We have very much appreciated their support, but we are disappointed that we didn't give them a better performance tonight. However, we have accomplished a lot for U.S. Soccer. We look forward to giving them, hopefully, a much better performance in the match with Mexico.”

On his prediction for the remaining matches in this World Cup:
“I think I'd be crazy to make any kind of prediction because I don't think anybody would have believed that some of the quality teams are home. Some other teams such as the U.S. and even South Korea have advanced.  It's been a very surprising group, it's been a very surprising tournament. And I would imagine that there would be more surprises in this World Cup down the road.”

BRAD FRIEDEL - U.S. goalkeeper

On the mood of the team before the game:
“Everything seemed completely normal and everyone was very, very up for the game.  But the first five minutes caught us by surprise, and I don’t know too many teams that come back from two-nil down against other National Teams in the World Cup. I know Uruguay almost pulled it off against Senegal, but it just doesn’t happen all that often.”

On the U.S.-Mexico rivalry:
“A lot of the games have been very, very physical in the past.  People in Europe just don’t understand that whenever we play Mexico in qualifying we bring them to a very cold place to play and they take us to Azteca Stadium and kick us off at 12 noon in the heat and smog. So the results tend to get a bit lopsided and we do very well in our home games and they do very well in theirs. We played Mexico in the Copa America on neutral ground in 1995 and beat them in penalty kicks, obviously we don’t want to go to penalty kicks this time, but hopefully we can get the same result.”

On stopping his second penalty of the World Cup:
“You don’t want to keep giving team’s penalties.  It is not like you can save them every time they take them on you.  You try to read them and try to guess on them.”

LANDON DONOVAN - U.S. midfielder

On the highs and lows of the evening:
“I told Brian (McBride) after the game in the locker room, ‘what an unbelievable roller coaster ride.’  It was like ‘we’re down 2-0,’ then ‘we’re down 3-0,’ then there is a penalty kick.  Then I score a goal, and I think ‘I can’t celebrate,’ then I look at the bench and see my teammates cheering and the crowd cheering, and you are thinking ‘did Korea score?’  It was just up and down.  A little to much.”

FRANKIE HEJDUK - U.S. defender

On the strange outcome of tonight’s games:
“It was a weird feeling.  We are losing and we definitely didn’t have a great game, so we are disappointed about that, but at the same time you are thankful that you made the second round.”

On falling behind early and team’s attempted comeback:
“They scored two quick goals, and that happens in soccer.  But it was early and I thought we definitely had a chance to comeback.  I thought we had most of the ball control early and they were playing counterattack soccer, but they did it well.  You know, we were getting so many crosses and shots, I thought we would eventually put one in. We did, but it didn’t happen early enough.  It would have been better to get one at the end of the first half to give us some confidence, but we didn’t get that done.”

On the yellow card that will keep him out of the USA-Mexico Round of 16 game:
“It was just the referee’s decision. It was a foul and he decided to give a yellow card.  Was it a yellow card?  Was it not? I don’t know. But he made the decision and we respect it. Do I like the decision?  Not really, but that’s up to him.”

On the U.S. advancing to the second round of the World Cup:
“We are thankful to be in the second round, we have accomplished a lot in getting three points against Portugal and a point against Korea.  But at the same time, it is disappointing to lose against Poland, a team we thought we could beat.  We got a lot of chances and good opportunities, but you have good games and bad games, and this wasn’t our best game, but we are through to the second round.  That was our goal coming in.”

On the USA-Mexico rivalry, and the fact he will be missing the game due to a yellow card suspension:
“It is a battle.  We are pretty much always 1 and 2 in CONCACAF, even though Costa Rica was first in qualifying this year.  It is the game was look forward to playing most, because it is just such a great rivalry.  It is always a close game, and both teams are good and both teams have a lot of respect for each other, but to actually play them in a World Cup will be a whole different thing. This is the type of game you dream of. I’m disappointed I won’t be out there, but I’m sure we will be ready to play.”

COBI JONES - U.S. midfielder

On how the team was getting updates on the Korea-Portugal game:
"I was the one relaying between the coaches and the players, so I knew that Korea was up 1-0 and I knew beforehand that Portugal was playing with 10 men.  I found out with basically four minutes to go that we were through and that is when the coaches were relaying messages through me not to commit any stupid fouls."

BRIAN McBRIDE - U.S. forward

On Monday’s USA-Mexico showdown in the Round of 16:
“It’s going to be about soccer.  We know every player on their team and they know every player on our team, so it is going to come down to what happens on the soccer field.”

On the strange outcome of tonight’s games:
“We are disappointed in the way we played and the first five minutes.  And when you lose a game you are never happy.  But this time you have to have a little bit of joy because of the things we did before today.  It is weird.  I have never felt like that after a soccer game, especially one you’ve lost.

“We have to put this game behind us and refocus, and make sure we come out of the gate a lot better than we did tonight.”

EDDIE POPE - U.S. defender

On the USA’s World Cup performance and advancing to the second round:
“It is not about this game, it is about the first two games and all three games (in the round).  We worked hard to get those results and that is why we are in the second round.”

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