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U.S. Men's National Team vs. Poland: Post-Match Quotes

U.S. Men's National Team vs. Poland
International Friendly
Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.
Oct. 9, 2010

U.S. Men's National Team head coach BOB BRADLEY
On the play of Jermaine Jones:
“He meshes on the field so I think there were some stretches in the game where we all saw some very good plays. He played a very good ball for the first goal that Jozy scored. And it’s going to take some time just as far as overall movement and coordination and everything else, because I think it can still be better.”

On defensive giveaways:

“You know again as I said earlier, we paid the price tonight for some failure to clear balls. And so yes, that was a mistake that hurt us and you know I think he would be the first to tell you, he’s an experienced player who’s been in many, many big games and he knows the danger of losing balls in that part of the field.”

On the play of Maurice Edu:
“Mo played as a central defender for our Olympic team. We’ve felt that he has qualities that would give him a chance to be a very good central defender. Obviously, we know that with his club team he plays in the midfield and we’ll continue to try to look at the talents of all our guys and figure out good ways to put them on the field. I thought, all things considered, in one of his first starts with the national team in the back there were some good things.”

On Altidore:
“He was active, worked hard, took the first goal well and had some other chances that made a difference in the game. It’s nice to see him get on the score sheet because that’s something we need him to do on a more consistent basis. He had, in addition to the goal, two or three other very good chances. He had the one in the first half that went off the cross bar and then he had the one-on-one in the second half. So, good to get the chances and it would’ve been better to see him put one more in the net at least.”

On playing the game without MLS players:

“We’ve got a pool of players. If you look at what’s gone on the last few years there have been games, depending on the circumstances, where it can be tilted a little bit. But we try to take advantage of opportunities and still take into account the timing for MLS teams and the importance of what’s gone on this time of year.”

On the team’s defensive strategy without Carlos Bocanegra against Colombia:

“We’ll see. The plan has been to bring Heath Pearce in. So we would consider him as a possibility at left back. Jonathan Spector is also someone that played left back in training this week. We have, in addition to Gooch and Maurice, Clarence Goodson and Michael Parkhurst and Eric Lichaj. I think we kind of looked at these games as good opportunities to look at some different guys.”

On substitutions:

“Again when you have two games I think there’s an opportunity in the second game to play some different guys. That’s been our plan all along. We felt like the way the game was going, the one sub made sense. We considered the possibility of Eddie Johnson coming on the field but decided that the attacking players, we were satisfied with them at the end. And the other reserves tonight were defenders so as I just mentioned I think the plan all along is that there’s the possibility of seeing some different defenders in the game on Tuesday.”

On how the team managed the game’s tempo:

“Actually, that is something we’ve already talked about. I thought we had a very good first fifteen minutes. I thought that the tempo of our game was quite good. I think we were finding people quickly. We scored, obviously Poland responds and for fifteen minutes I didn’t think we did a good job. We picked it up a little bit at the end of the first half so that was a plus. And then in the second half when we went up 2-1, I really thought that there was an opportunity for us if we could again get sharp and pick the rhythm of the game up to finish the game off. And in that period we got a chance or two, but I thought that we were in some ways in low gear. So, that was a part of the game where I think when we had the chance to really finish it off we didn’t take advantage of it. Our tempo in that period of time was too slow. Almost like at times having the ball, but a casualness that for me, ended up sort of letting them back into it and ultimately they get the goal. Certainly there are times you can do that and still get your goal and make it 3-1 or not make a mistake, but still I didn’t think that was something we did well enough today.

On Onyewu:
“Well, clearly without matches we would be concerned about his ability to play 90 minutes. This is his first full 90 minute match since South Africa. But at the same time, it was good to get him back on the field. He’s been in regular training for six or seven weeks and you know it’s going to be important for him to get games. And so tonight was a good opportunity for him to get a 90 minute game.”

U.S. midfielder JERMAINE JONES

On playing his first game for the U.S.:
“I’m really happy to have played my first game and it’s unfortunate, I felt badly that we couldn’t win the game. I am very happy that Bob Bradley gave me an opportunity to be able to wear the USA uniform for the first time. I hope I get another opportunity to come back after these games.”

U.S. midfielder CLINT DEMPSEY

On Tim Howard:
“Yeah, he did a good job, made some big saves for us, especially the break away they had. I thought he did a good job of not coming out too quickly and making the forward have to make a decision instead of making the decision for the forward. So I thought he came up big for us on a few plays.”

On the tempo of the game:

“We wanted to go out and do well. It was good for us to get the early goal but you know, we went through a spell where we weren’t keeping possession. They had most of the possession. You know the field wasn’t the best either. Players having to take at least two touches every time, it was really bumpy. So that was frustrating. But still we put ourselves in the lead twice, we were unable to keep it. Like you said, one was a missed clearance, one was a play where a midfielder was trying to find me and he got picked off, so it was frustrating but it’s just a friendly, it’s not the end of the world.”

U.S. goalkeeper TIM HOWARD

On the match:

“I thought we controlled the game for the most part and they didn’t really hurt us, but unfortunately we gave them a lot of chances that they shouldn’t have gotten.”

On playing with the lead:

“I thought we were OK. We had the lead twice and we let it slip, so that’s never good. Again, as I said, in parts I think we controlled the game and whenever you have the lead the other team is going to press because they are desperate, so particularly in the second half I thought we did OK to weather that.”

On the match:
“Being a little bit more mobile and a little bit more dynamic, that could have helped us tonight, but having said that there are still some positives. We’ll take those positives and look to build on them.”


On the match:
“I thought they were organized well and they capitalized on their opportunities. I think it was a fair result. Poland is a good team and we knew that. They have guys fighting for positions for the [European Championships] so it was a good challenge for us. They came out strong, and after we scored in the first half they put some pressure on us and got the goal back. They did the same thing in the second half as we gave up the second goal.”

On the two goals Poland scored:

“I think throughout the game we had a few poor clearances and we were a bit naïve, which shouldn’t happen because we were on top of them and we can’t let teams in with chances like this.”


On what he thought of Poland tonight:
“I didn’t know what to expect asI had never played against Poland. They’re a young team, but they passed the ball very well and their movement off the ball was great. It was definitely a difficult game.”

On the pass from Jones that led to his goal:

“I made the movement and I thought he did great to look up and his awareness was great. It was a perfectly weighted pass. Kudos to him, I think he had a good night tonight.”