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Post-Match Quote Sheet: MNT 3, TRI 0

U.S. MNT head coach BOB BRADLEY

On the game:
“It’s good to have gotten this round off to such a good start. The players are excited to be here in Chicago and I think the start to the game was good for us. We found a good rhythm and did a good job moving the ball and finding the little seams in their defense. I think that set the tone for the game. It was a good win, and halfway through this round I think we continue to improve and that’s what it’s all about.”

On playing against a team who had numbers behind the ball:
“It’s always a challenge to break open a defense that is just waiting for you. I think we did a good job of using the whole field. We found the inside seams, with Clint Dempsey coming inside in particular. Throughout the first half our attack down the right side I thought was very good. That was important. We haven’t had a game like that in a long time. It was good to get that going.”

On the team’s success on set pieces:
“The key in set pieces is in the delivery, the kind of balls that get hooked into dangerous areas. We’re good in the air and I think that made us dangerous on set pieces. It starts with a good delivery and that was super tonight.”

On the play of midfielder DaMarcus Beasley:
“DaMarcus [Beasley] had a very good game for us. He’s always been a two-way player, and his energy really adds to the rest of the group. He’s a player who has the ability to find good spots on the field. He’s capable of coming inside, and he can drift wide and get by people. He also works hard when the ball turns over. He’s the whole package and coming back from injury he hasn’t played that many 90-minute games since coming back from injury so I think it’s good to see him contribute in the way he has.”

On winning 3-0 versus 1-0:
“It’s always better to win 3-0 than 1-0. You win games in different ways and we’ve tried to establish within our group a mentality that on certain days, it needs to be a 1-0 victory and we’ll make it a 1-0 victory. The best teams around the world, they win a lot of 1-0 games. Having said that, when you are playing with a 1-0 lead, the ability to open up the defense, to take certain advantages and press them forward, those are areas where we have to continue to improve. Tonight it was nice to win with the 3-0 score.”

On whether there will be changes to the roster for the next games:
“I think we need a little time to digest these games. As you know we have a really good pool of players. We’ve used different guys and we want to continue to build that pool. The job is not totally finished yet in this round, so that has to be considered. Certainly we always want to look for the right moments to get some of the other players who are on our radar screen into camps and on the field.”


On having three wins in the semifinal round:
“After three games to have nine points, that’s as good as you can get.”

On how he feels about the team’s performance:
“I’m pretty happy with it. We’re getting better and better. We’ve always won games. That’s always been what this team is about; getting results away from home and at home, but I think we’re doing it playing better soccer nowadays and getting better results because of that. That makes me happy.”

On the team’s offensive start in the match:
“Trinidad has played well of late and we knew that. So, we knew we had to get them on their heels and come out at a high tempo, and keep the ball moving fast. That was the key. If we put pressure on them, we knew they were going to break down. It’s just a matter of time. This time it happened at the beginning, which made the flow of the game a little bit easier.”

On the entire team being involved in the attack during the first half:
“It was a good team effort. The movement off the ball for one another for us is getting more predictable, which is great. Everybody knows what the next guy’s doing. It enables us to play early passes and just to be very mobile on the field, which is very hard to defend. I think we showed that in the first half. In the second half we did what we needed to do. We could play better but 3-0 at home with nine points after three games; we should be very pleased.”

On the game:
“I thought in the first half we did well moving the ball around and creating opportunities. I think Clint (Dempsey), Landon (Donovan) and DaMarcus (Beasley) found those gaps in between their halfbacks and their fullbacks and it kind of wreaked havoc on them quite a bit. I think our movement was great in the first half. We put away opportunities and kind of put the game to rest.”

On the importance of a multiple-goal victory:
“I still think that people don’t always understand how difficult it is sometimes playing in these other countries, the fields and whatnot. We came out tonight with the mission of putting this game away early and scoring a lot of goals and I think with the field being the way it is and with being in the States, I think we did a great job.”

On the third goal:
“Gooch made a great play on it and it just kind of fell to me. It was probably one of the easier goals I’ll score but I’m not going to complain about that.”

U.S. MNT Goalkeeper TIM HOWARD

On the team’s play:
“I hadn’t seen a defensive effort like that in a long time. We just put them on our terms. We had two and three and four guys around the ball. We really dictated the play. I don’t think that they were able to do what they wanted to do. Our midfield did great in terms of defending. We know what they did, attacking-wise. Defensively these guys are really playing well.”

On the flurry of attacks by Trinidad & Tobago at the start of the second half:
“It’s crazy how that happened. You knew it was going to happen, we knew it was going to happen, they knew it was going to happen. They’re going to make one last push to get the goal, they’re down 2-0, it’s a wide open game, so they have to go for it. They got a few corners. They’re a big team, they got that offside goal. They put us under a little bit of pressure but I think we saw that out, passed the ball really well, didn’t really get into that kickball game that I think it could have been. That relieved a lot of the pressure because they were sending a lot of numbers forward.”

On how the team played:
“We did well for 80 minutes. The beginning of the second half was a little rough for us but once we scored the third goal we did well to finish the game out.”

On having nine points in the semifinal round:
“It feels good to have nine points at this stage in the group, especially with the two road wins. Now we have to look forward to our next match and go from there.”

On playing 90 minutes:
“I felt good. This is the second game I've started and I'm feeling pretty good. The team has confidence in me and I can play my game. I'm just glad I could help my team.”

On being back in Chicago:
“Being back in Chicago has been great. The fans and the people here have always been great and I still have a lot of good friends here. I'd love to play here one day to finish my career.”

On scoring two early goals:
We did well to get on top of them early on and I think that set the tone for the whole game. The early goal helped and didn’t sit back after that, we kept going. I think we were a bit unlucky not to have a 3-0 at halftime, but we kept pushing and got that third goal. It was a good night for us.

On his goal:
Landon [Donovan] played in a great ball and on those set pieces from the side you just try to get into a seam and I just had to push it in. It was a great ball from Landon.

On the team defense:
"I think the team defense has been very good of late. Tim Howard in goal, Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu and Heath Pearce, and Frankie in the last game, are all doing a great job. We’re also getting a lot of help from Clint, Landon and DaMarcus. When everybody is working together and keeping things compact, it makes a big difference. That’s one of the things I think we’re good at imposing upon another team. We make it really hard for them to play."

On how difficult it is to play against a team that plays a lot of defense:
"With them sitting back a little, the seams are a bit tighter and at that point they have 10 players behind the ball. I think we handled it well and the movement was good. In the end it was a great win."

On the team’s performance:
“We were excellent tonight. The first half was one of the most dominating performances I’ve ever been a part of. We were good all over the field. We put pressure on them. They had a little spell at the beginning of the second half and we came out a little flat, but after that, getting the third goal kind of kills the game.”

On the play of Beasley and Dempsey:
“DaMarcus [Beasley] and Clint [Dempsey], on their respective sides, were both very good. Their defenders weren’t comfortable coming in with them because if they did that, then our outside backs did a great job of getting around them. Time after time we turned little seams into dangerous chances almost every time we had the ball.”

On his assist:
“We came out well and we were all over them. It felt like just a matter of time. The ball felt good coming off my foot, and I could tell someone got a touch on it but I couldn’t even tell who it was who got a foot on it until I saw Michael [Bradley] celebrating. Seeing the replays, it was a good finish.”

On his goal:
“[DaMarcus] Beasley did a good job of seeing me and playing a good ball. The defender got a touch to it but I just took one touch toward goal and hit it hard. I think I surprised him a little bit by taking it early and it went in the back of the net and helped us get the win.

On the bigger margin of victory:
“Whether we score one or five, a win is a win and you get the same three points. The most important thing for us was to put ourselves into a good position to advance to the next round, and we’re close to doing that.”

On the difference in tonight’s game:
“I think the field conditions allow us to move the ball quicker and we passed the ball better. We were able to open them up a lot more. We scored two goals early and sat back and passed the ball around. It was fun to be out there tonight. I thought we played pretty football and to win 3-0 is good, but the most important thing was to get the win.”

On Trinidad & Tobago’s defensive tactics:
“You never know how teams are going to react. When you’re playing in someone else’s country you want to make sure you’re giving yourself a chance at halftime. Maybe they went in with that type of mentality and to our credit we took our chances well. The first two shots on goal that we had were the two goals.”