US SoccerUS Soccer

Post-Match Quote Sheet: MNT 6, CUB 1

Head Coach Bob Bradley:

On advancing to the next round of qualifying:
“Obviously that was the goal. We also felt strongly that we wanted a good strong team performance and I think that was the case. We also want to give credit to Cuba. To come in here with no points, they still came in and were organized and difficult to break down. That is a credit to their coach and their players.”

On if there was any disappointment in going into halftime up 2-1:
“Yes, we knew we had a little letdown after we scored the second goal. We felt that we had done a lot of good things and felt strongly about coming out in the second half and re-establishing control. The goal early in the second half was a good succession of passes and good movement and it was a good way to start the second half.”

On starting the veterans, but getting some younger players some minutes in the second half:
“From a coaching standpoint, you are always trying to find a way to construct your team. You want to challenge the guys that have been around with new roles and to make sure that when they play well, they’re rewarded. For players that you think belong in the mix, who have earned it, you see how they do. When it is the right time for somebody, that he gets his chance. That helps move things along and tonight was one of those nights. We were hoping it would work that things would work out that way.”

On the upcoming two matches and the roster for those games:
“The immediate thought is that it is likely there will be some changes in the group that goes to Trinidad. We will work through that tonight. Again, you try to find a balance that things that are happening and developing and growing can continue. But at the same time, players that will benefit from some qualifiers will get their opportunity. We were ready to after this game to, if things went well, make some changes. I think you'll see some changes in the roster and then a different kind of lineup on Wednesday.”

On controlling the ball in the second half:
“I think the fact that we had a man up helped. We found a good mix of playing centrally and out wide. But when you are a man up when the other team is starting to get tired, that is when want to make them pay. That’s the part we talked about at halftime.”

On Jose Fernando Torres’ performance in his first MNT camp and game:
“First, we were very excited that he chose to play for the United States. It was a decision for him that I don’t think was easy. From the day that he got here, he seemed very excited and comfortable with the guys. Any time you bring in a new player, they do a good job of making them feel part of the group.”

Sierra Mist Man of the Match DaMarcus Beasley:

On whether the team is more dominant against teams from the region, especially at home:
“I think so, but at the same time you want to be tough at home, whether it is qualifying or a friendly. Over the years that I have been here, we have always had strong performances at home, and our fans are great. We want to keep that streak alive."

On if there was any frustration in the first two games of the group when the team scored only one goal in each game:
“I wouldn’t say it was frustrating. We did the job and got three points. That was the most important thing. We knew with our attacking players, it would come. We have a lot more work to do, but we are happy with the performance. If we weren’t creating chances, I think it would be more of a problem. In those games the ball didn’t go into the net and today it did and we are grateful for that.”

On his two goals:
“The first one, Sacha (Kljestan) collected a ball in the midfield and played it into my path. The only thing I thought of was to shoot far post and that’s what happened. To get the first goal was great, because that’s the most difficult one. The second one, the defender just got caught ball watching. Landon saw me, and we know each other, and he played me a great ball. I looked at the keeper and he didn’t come out, and I had time to chest it and shoot it.”

Defender Oguchi Onyewu

On whether this game was a best-case scenario for both himself and the team:
“I don’t really think of myself personally in these cases. I am happy to get a goal in front of my family, but the result and how the team plays in general is much more important. I am just happy we were able to get three points and solidify our spot in the next round.”

On the advantages of qualifying so early through the round:
“The only edge is that we aren’t walking on eggshells for the rest of the round. Now that we have guaranteed a spot in the next round, we can focus on bettering our team for the next round.”

Defender Jose Francisco Torres

On his decision to play for the United States:
“Both the United States and Mexico are great national teams. I made my decision and am grateful for that decision. I have come to a good national team and I am happy that we could get a win today.”

On playing with the team once he took the field:
“My nerves were calm when I first went in. During the week, I got to know my teammates better during training. These are great teammates. They have so much experience, playing in World Cups. The first ball, I was a little nervous. Once I got a hold of it, started passing, and started shooting, I was comfortable.”