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Post-Match Quotes: U.S. 2, Guatemala 0


U.S. Men's National Team head coach BOB BRADLEY
On the win:
“It's a good way for us to finish up this round. It caps a successful run and now we focus on the challenge ahead. There was an opportunity tonight to see some different players and, as always, there were some things that were positive and some things that need work. All in all it was a good night for us.”

On trying to break down Guatemala in the first half:
“In the first half we had the ball a lot, but I think we played, in many cases, too slowly and took extra touches when we probably didn't need to. We didn't have a sense of how to create an advantage, but I thought in the second half that got better. I think we made a good adjustment and in the second half we improved.”

On expanding the U.S. player pool:
“I think that it is important that we continue to reach out, take notice of players that are playing well for their teams or have had good seasons. When guys come in to camp, it's an opportunity to see them up close. It's not just what we see in the game, but it's what we see every day and players get a better taste as to what we expect. This has been a really good week for us. The facilities here are spectacular, and the Rapids really treated us well.

On the message to the team after the game:
“When we have our chance later tonight to talk to the team, the message to the group will be that tonight was a good win. At halftime we realized that we needed to have a bit more urgency, and we picked the tempo up a little bit. At the same time, there are guys that didn't play as well as they needed to in the first half, who played better in the second half, and you want them to see the whole picture. You don’t just pat them on the back and say good game. We have a lot of work to do to continue to build our pool.”

On Freddy Adu:
“One of the most important things with Freddy is making sure that he understands that while it's really nice that a lot is said and written about him, none of it matters when he walks in the door to the national team. The understanding of how to earn the respect of his teammates, and how to do things on the field that will help us win, those things come first. I'm sure that's also much of what he is trying to piece together at Monaco. This is what happens when the level gets higher with top clubs. It's a growing process, we talk about it with him often, and we hope that he continues to move along.”

U.S. midfielder and captain PABLO MASTROENI
On the match:
“Overall, it was a good game. I think the team performed really well. There were times when we played like we had been together for quite a while, putting passes together and limiting their chances. There were times where we were uneasy, as far as giving them too much time on the ball, and defensively not being close. We had a team that was kind of put together within a week from all different places, coming from different championships, some players already started their offseason, so to come together and put on a performance like that and play like we did speaks volumes of the commitment that the players here in the locker room have. There is a strong belief in the national team and what an honor and privilege it is to play.”

On playing in front of his home crowd:
“For me it was special to be playing at home in front of the Colorado Rapids fans that at times haven’t had the best of times at the stadium. To share with them an international event, a qualifier, and to end it with a good result against a good team is even better. I hope international soccer keeps coming through Denver. I think it’s a great place, a great advantage for us. I think the guys in training had a good time. We really enjoyed the time here.”

On the performance of the team during the Semifinal Round:
“A lot of people don’t understand what it’s like to play away from home in CONCACAF. Some of the conditions are grueling at best, and to get results in all these places and to find ways in difficult circumstances to get a result and win, I think speaks volumes of the commitment that we have as a national team and the pride that we have in the team. Regardless of who is on the field, whether it’s a mostly MLS team or a mostly European, the mindset is the same. It’s an honor and a privilege to play in front of home fans here in Colorado.”

U.S. goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN
On the match:
“I thought we played pretty well. We knew it was going to be a difficult game and must-win situation for them. We created some good chances. It was a good result for us.”

On the presence of so many young players on this roster:
“It’s always important to have young players up and coming. When we get our shot to play in meaningful games like this, it’s important we play well. I thought we did a good job of coming together and getting a result.”

U.S. forward KENNY COOPER:
On the match:
“It’s fun to be part of the win, and to be out there with all those great players. It was a great experience.”

On his goal:
“Jozy did all the work. He took some players on, and put the ball on a dime for me far post. I just had to put it in.”

U.S. midfielder FREDDY ADU
On the game:
“We started off the game really strong, but we took our foot of the pedal a little bit. We addressed that problem at halftime, and came out and attacked and imposed our will on the game.”

On scoring his first goal with the full team:
“It’s nice to get the first national team goal. It definitely helps your confidence. Hopefully you build off of this, and even if you don’t score goals, you help the team in different ways.”

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