Quote Sheet: Arena and Moore Discuss Upcoming World Cup Qualifier vs. Barbados in Foxboro
CHICAGO (Wednesday, August 9, 2000) -
BRUCE ARENA, U.S. Men's National Team head coach
On what Joe-Max Moore brings to the team: "Joe brings a lot of energy and a different type of leadership that we might have been lacking a little bit. He gives us a composed player in front of the goal and hopefully that all adds up and gives us positive contributions next week."
On changes to the back-line: "Fraser is playing with a hand injury and is not completely 100 percent. With Greg Vanney it is a numbers game. We are bringing back some more veteran players in Jeff Agoos and Carlos Llamosa. Pope is available now at 100 percent. I think that clearly the reasoning behind the left-back position is that I have David Regis available as well as Agoos and John O'Brien. It is not anything that would give the idea that Vanney's performance was poor or anything. It is simply that I am now able to bring back a veteran group of players that have a little more experience in these games."
On the form of Joe-Max Moore and Brian McBride: "Moore has played a number of matches in pre-season in England. I know that he is really fit and had some really good training and competitive matches. I am not really concerned with Moore's fitness. I watched McBride play against New England and I thought that he played very good. He looked fit and he has an Open Cup match tonight and I think he is coming along quite well."
On Joe-Max Moore: "The closer we can get him to the goal the better. He is a very determined, experienced player, and cool in front of the goal and we need someone with that hunger to score goals. Just having Moore on the field for 90 minutes with that enthusiasm can only be contagious."
On revolving door of national team players: "It is both a good and bad thing. I think having a large pool of good players is very important. Obviously in the first two games we had to work hard to get 18 players with a combination of club commitments and injuries. This time around, this is the strongest roster that we had in long time and it allows me to have to make some tough decisions which is good. But it also gives us some very good players coming off the bench when needed late in the game. I think it is a positive. I think all of the six games will expose a number of players to World Cup qualifying and that is a plus. Hopefully it will pay dividends in that we not only get through this round but also in the final round and using that experience in the 2002 FIFA World Cup."
On expectations of Brian McBride: "McBride does a lot of good things for us that does not always include scoring goals though he has scored numerous goals for the national team. His activity over 90 minutes is critical. He is the perfect player to play forward to. He can hold the ball, he wins fifty-fifty balls and he is able to create opportunities in our favor. He is a very good player when the other team has the ball. He is very active and naturally we would like to see him score a few more goals just like we would like to see all of our strikers score more goals. I think McBride has developed into a good player and we miss his qualities on the field."
On John O'Brien playing different positions: "That is one of the qualities that John has and he has had that role also with Ajax. However, at some point in time we would like to see him get settled in at one position not only for Ajax but for us as well."
On D.C. United defenders: "They have given up a lot of goals on set pieces. I look at it individually how they can help us here. Jeff Agoos and Carlos Llamosa played very well in the U.S. Cup. Agoos has a lot of experience at this level. Llamosa has proven to be solid player. Eddie Pope looks the best he has been in well over a year and he has really come into great form the last couple of weeks. I am excited about them. I know that individually they are very good players and have played well with the national team, and I feel that they can help us win these next three games."
On bringing in three quality forwards: "I think that this is a critical time for our team and this the first time that I have the luxury of bringing in these three forwards. All three of these players will have an opportunity to shine and I feel much more comfortable and confident with this roster than the previous ones."
On leaning towards Brad Friedel in goal: "Friedel has played in numerous games with us this year and is a lot more familiar with our players. He understands what we are doing tactically and that gives him the edge right now."
On the USA's preparations: "We are not traveling to the extent that we traveled for the first two matches. We know the venue very well and arriving in Boston as a team on Sunday, only giving us a couple of days to prepare, is not bad. The schedule as it is, is one that we can be successful."
On Ante Razov: "I have not decided about a starting lineup for next week. Razov is getting better every year, but is still young internationally. Playing with the Chicago Fire has helped him develop. The goals he is scoring has made him very confident. I think that he is ready to make a contribution. We are going to bring him along slowly."
On recapping first two qualifying matches: "I think that we didn't have any real good goal scoring opportunities in the first game. We were just trying to hold on. In the Costa Rica game we had a few chances. I think that game was one in which we were on the back of our heels at the end of the game. We need to do a better job of holding the ball. If I had to do it all over again I would have picked more MLS players because of their fitness. Some of the European players maybe were not as fit because they weren't in their season. That may have been my mistake in selecting the roster."
On referee disciplinary action following Costa Rica match: "My understanding is that CONCACAF is still looking into the matter."
On U.S. Soccer's reactions to post-match behavior following Costa Rica match: "The first time I had a conversation with someone at U.S. Soccer was today. I understand their concerns and we spoke briefly about it."
JOE-MAX MOORE, U.S. Men's National Team Forward
On his return to the U.S. Men's National Team: "I am very happy to rejoin the national team. It has been a long time. I have a few injuries that have kept me from playing with the U.S. National Team. I know that we have a big game coming up and I am looking forward to playing in it and in Boston. It is a great city to play in and the fans are unbelievable."
On his injury at the moment: "It is fine. I strained the MCL in my right knee about four months ago so I have had plenty of time to recover. I've gone through the pre-season training at Everton and have played in a few games. I feel 100 percent."
On expectations being too high on his return to the national team: "I don't think so. We need to win all of our home games. This first home game in Boston is crucial and we need three points. I am coming back to do as much as I can for the team and am looking forward to getting back into the national team. Hopefully I can score some goals for the national team next week like I have been able to do in England."
On recap of his injury: "I injured my right MCL, medial collateral ligament, on April 8 against Leicester City. I didn't see the player coming and I was tackled from behind. I started therapy right away and after about three weeks I was able to run straight and do some leg strengthening exercises. It took me little bit longer than I expected because I suffered a 'grade two to a grade three tear' and this was the second time I had injured this knee. The first time was at the Confederation's Cup. Hopefully this will be the last injury that I have. I had nothing surgically done to my knee."
On pressure from Everton about playing with the national team: "I will be available for all the games. Manager Walter Smith is very understanding about me playing with the national team and me wanting to qualify for the World Cup. He knows that I will miss a few games though everyone here has been very accommodating. I am not sure how many games I will be missing, but it shouldn't be too many."
On differences after playing in the English Premier League: "I don't think you will see a ton of differences in my game to be honest. I may be a little smarter with keeping possession. I just feel lucky to be able to come here and play at the highest level."
On experience of playing for Everton: "It has exceeded my expectations. I worked my way onto the team last season and worked my way into the starting lineup. Everything has gone better than I could have ever expected. As of right now it couldn't have gone any better, except for the injury, it has been a dream come true for me."
On best position on the soccer field: "I think that I am fit right now and I feel sharp. I think the closer I can get to the goal the more contributions I can make to the team. I can also played in the midfield. To be honest either position would be fine with me. I told Bruce that I am willing to do whatever will be best for this team."