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Nike U.S. Cup 2000 Post-Match Quotes (U.S. 4, South Africa 0)


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Saturday, June 3, 2000) -

Bruce Arena, U.S. Men's National Team head coach

On the opponent, South Africa: "We beat a good team. South Africa is a very good team with two dangerous attackers, and their flank players are good. Their defenders were a handful for our front line today. It was a good effort against a very good team. We certainly capitalized on our chances today. Although the scoreline will read 4-0, that was a competitive game."

On the importance of the second goal: "Obviously the first goal was important, but the second brought us into halftime with a lot of confidence. We had to weather the storm a little bit for the first 15-20 minutes of the second half, but after Claudio's goal the game was over."

On players who stood out in the match: "Jeff Agoos played quite well, and besides the goal scorers I think the performance in the midfield by Reyna and Armas was good, and Stewart was outstanding. Obviously this was a good team performance."

On his lineup selection process: "We're going to make changes. Whether or not it's eleven players, I can't tell you. Some of our guys came out of the game with a few nicks today, and we have to think about the fact that we're playing three games in eight days. It would be very difficult for a lot of our midfielders and forwards to play three matches in eight days, so we're going to have to make some changes."

On the four-goal performance: "Although we scored four today, there were a couple of better chances we missed. But overall we're pleased, and we hope the scoring will continue through the tournament."

On Cobi Jones' performance: "Cobi's been good with the National Team. He had a very good Gold Cup, he scored big goals there. He's been a good performer for the 18 months I've had him on the team. I think when he has Earnie Stewart and Claudio Reyna on the field with him he feels more confident. It's a good combination of players. It was one of those days for him. He knocked in two great balls with his left foot, and that in itself is a little unusual."

On substituting Ante Razov for Brian McBride: "He (McBride) wasn't taken out of the game because I was displeased with his performance. I think it's important that we start getting Ante into some games and giving him confidence. The 20 minutes he played today are important for him. It was a good opportunity to get him into the game."

On Brian McBride's performance: "The player marking him (Andrew Rabutla) did a very good job. Early going he lost a few balls, but he did a much better job in the last 15 minutes of the first half, and in the second half he did a lot to keep balls alive for us. When one striker scores a couple of goals in a game, you have to believe the other guy is doing his job."

On his goals for the tournament: "We've got to concentrate on our team in this tournament from here on in. I think you can overdo it focusing too much on the other team. The big objective here is to improve our team."

On playing a match in South Africa: "We'd love to go to South Africa at some point. We've asked them to invite us in 2006."

Cobi Jones, U.S. Men's National Team forward

On his play with the USA compared to the Los Angeles Galaxy: "We're two different teams, the Galaxy and the National Team. As for myself I've been doing the same things for both, trying to work hard up front and see what opportunities come.

When asked if he can remember a better game: "I find a variety of things make it a good game besides just scoring goals: beating players, getting balls across, and not losing the ball. I can think of some games that are comparable to this one."

On his two left-footed goals: "I think everyone knows I'm a right-footed player, but over the years you become a player who can use both feet. Being a forward you need to be able to shoot with your left and your right.

Describing his first goal: "On the first goal, when I was dribbling across the box, the player who was marking me was saying 'Shoot it, shoot it,' so I said 'Okay, I'll shoot it.' I think he was a little surprised after the fact."

When asked if the team is ready for qualifying: "I don't think you can say that based on just one game. This team has been prepared over the last year as we've watched the team develop. We've put a lot of hard work in, and the players are starting to learn from each other, and we're starting to learn how each other plays."

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