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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Men vs. Canada


U.S. Manager BRUCE ARENA
General Comments:
“I think tonight’s game was a good start for us.   Although we had a 3-0 goal at half, I thought we were a bit sloppy.  We did better in the second half.   The field conditions were difficult.  It was the first time out this year for both teams, so it certainly wasn’t perfect.  It’s good to get our group back together and start building for qualifying in 2004.  For the first game of the new year, I rate it as a good performance.”

On which U.S. players stood out in tonight’s match:
“I thought our two center backs played well.  This is their second time together.  Califf doesn't have the opportunity to play this way with the Galaxy, so I was pleased.  I thought Convey had a good game at left back.  He’s a kid who has the potential to play there, so we wanted to give him a look.”

On the play of Chris Klein, who scored his first international goal:
“Chris has gotten better each time he’s been in with the national team.  He’s been pretty fit.  We’re still working on him putting in some better crosses at times, but he’s grown as a player.  It’s good to see the way he’s come back after the knee injury in 2001.  I think he’s doing pretty well.”

On the play of Steve Ralston, also a first-time goal scorer:
“Steve is a good player.  He had a real good camp this week.  We had five injuries this week, and he was one of them.  I’ve been very impressed with him over the last two weeks.  He’s a quality player, and I think we need to give him a stronger look than we have in the past.”

On whether there will be changes in the roster for the Argentina and Jamaica friendlies:
“Maybe a couple players for Argentina, and few more for Jamaica since it is an international fixture date and we have the possibility of bringing in European based players.  Our next camp we anticipate that Eddie Pope will be able to start training.  He came into the last camp and made progress, so we’re hopeful he’s going to be able to participate when we regroup on Jan. 26 in Bradenton.”


U.S. forward and captain CLINT MATHIS
On opening the year with a solid victory:
“It was a great start to a new year.  We’re moving on to the next year.  We’re going to have a busy year playing some big times, and this is a good way to get the younger guys a new taste who haven’t had that much experience.  It’s a good win.  Now we have to continue to work harder and get ready for Argentina on Feb. 8 in Miami.”

On his increased responsibility with the national team:
“I’m looking forward to it.  I think it started a little bit last year after the World Cup, and now with Bruce giving me the armband, I think it’s only going to better my career.  I definitely feel rejuvenated.  I’m more focused now.”


U.S. midfielder and Chevrolet Man of the Match LANDON DONOVAN
On assessing the team’s performance in the first game of 2003:
“Not bad. It’s hard to gauge from the game.  I think a more telling factor is practice.  It’s been great the last two weeks, and super competitive.  I think guys saw the success we had in the World Cup and they want to be a part of that next time around.  It’s exciting to get back into it.”

On facing Argentina on Feb. 8 in the Orange Bowl:
“Obviously you don’t beat Canada 4-0 and expect you are going to do the same with Argentina. I think some guys started to get tired at the end of the game, so I think fitness will be an issue.  Regardless of who they bring, it’s going to be a different story.”


U.S. midfielder CHRIS KLEIN
Describing the goal:
“Jeff Cunningham did a good job taking three guys on.  Really, the ball just bounced my way, and I was fortunate to get on the end of it.  I went one-on-one with the goal and put it right under him.  I was just thankful to get it in.”

On scoring his first goal with the national team after eight appearances and recovering from knee surgery:
“It feels great.  I feel a lot more comfortable each time I’m in with the national team.  I really feel healthy, so it’s good to finally get a goal.”


U.S. defender CARLOS BOCANEGRA
On his first career goal with the U.S. National Team:
“What we usually do is have me or Danny Califf run to the near post space where I got the header.  I just got lucky that Bobby Convey whipped me a good ball.  I don’t even think they marked me.  I was wide open.“

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