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June 3 Press Conference with Bob Bradley, Clint Dempsey, and Marcus Hahnemann


U.S. MNT Head Coach BOB BRADLEY:
On José Torres’ defensive improvement in the past year:
“I think if you look at José’s progress in the last few years, both with Pachuca and with the national team, it’s just been a normal growing process. Taking more responsibility on the field, what he might refer to as working on his defense, for me it’s just an understanding that at the higher level the games go faster and you want players who are more responsible for everything going on around them. More awareness, more commitment. Those are just necessary qualities for players, especially in the midfield, at the higher level.”

On Herculez Gomez’ success at Puebla:
“Herculez had a great season with Puebla. He scored important goals, he came off the bench, he came on strong and it was with that in mind that we brought him into camp and he’s done well. Of course we would hope that he can have the same kind of form, but I’ll say it again—I think there’s a difference between club matches and international matches. We always talk to all our players just so that they’re a little more aware of what to expect when they step on the field for these types of games, but we’re very hopeful that he can contribute.”

On the goals he has for the friendly against Australia:
“We’re still determining how to balance it out. Certainly a week before the match, we want to continue to move our team forward, but that sometimes involves different plans for different guys. So we look at each individual, try to sort out what’s best, and at the same time keep in mind the group and how to be ready for a big match next week.”

On Maurice Edu’s form and preparedness to maybe play against England:
“Mo had a good finish to the season with Rangers, and I think it’s carried over into camp. He brings good athleticism to the field, the ability to win balls, and I think we had some depth in the midfield, some good combinations, and we’ll take all that into account as we move forward.”

On what the goals are for the U.S. in the World Cup after their success at the Confederations Cup:
“When we talk about it, it begins with moving out of our group and into the knockout phase. We prefer to go one step at a time, and the first step in these events is knowing how to get through those three games, giving yourself a chance and being ready to go for broke when you get to the knockout phase.”

On improvements he is hoping to see against Australia on Saturday:
“We’re always just looking to move ourselves forward as a group. That’s everything from all-around understanding on the field, to sharpness, to concentration. Our team, certainly in the last four years, has been tested on a high level. I think we have a good sense of the fact that when we play well as a team we can compete with anyone, and as you get close to big games you want to make sure that everybody’s on the same page with the right mentality and is excited and ready to get going. That just requires a good all-around sense of the work that we’ve established over this time.”

On what they are expecting from Australia on Saturday:
“Australia plays well as a team. They have a great mentality; we’d like to think that there are similarities between the mentalities of both teams in that regard. Their game against Denmark was a fast game, their field is a little tight and it made for a fast game, some turnovers, and put a premium on reactions when the ball turns over, so it wasn’t a game that had a great flow. But I think it provided a good kind of match for getting teams ready, so we’ll try and have the same thought as we prepare.”

On Oguchi Onyewu’s progress:
“I think Gooch has made good progress since we started the camp. We had the opportunity to play him for 60 minutes against the Czech Republic, we were cautious then as far as how we brought him back for the Turkey match, but I thought he had a good second half. We will certainly use him more against Australia, and try to assess exactly where that fits in as we make the decisions for the starting XI versus England.”

U.S. MNT Midfielder CLINT DEMPSEY:
On his relationship with José Torres:
“I wouldn’t say I’ve taken him under my wing. He’s my friend. We get along really well. We have the same upbringing from Texas. I’m able to give him pointers here and there, but he’s a good player and has a lot of confidence. I think he’ll continue to improve; there are still some things that he can learn but he’s on the right track and is a year ahead of where I was at his age. I was 23 at a World Cup and he’s 22, so I think he’s on the right track.”

On facing fellow Fulham teammate and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer in a warm-up game against Australia on Saturday:
“In any game you play in, you always want to score, but it would be good to score against him because he’s always running his mouth in training. Really, he’s a great goalie. He helped us out a lot at Fulham. I think a lot of the success of the team goes to having that experience between the sticks. It’s great having him on the team. He’s someone who has a lot of confidence, a lot of experience and I think he motivates the players around him and keeps everybody organized. I think Australia is lucky to have a goalkeeper of his quality.”

On being injured in the months before the start of the World Cup:
“It’s always difficult when you’re going through injury. It’s frustrating because every player wants to be on the field playing. But what upset me the most was stuff getting leaked out that wasn’t true about my injury, but at the same time the people that needed to know like my family, Bob, people with the national team and my friends, they knew what was going on. We knew it wasn’t that serious, in the sense of needing surgery or missing the World Cup or anything like that. I’m smiling because I’m in the World Cup, and things are going good now. We have a good attitude around this camp and we’re looking to do something special.”

On the rough style of play in the Premier League:
“It’s a very competitive league. It’s fast paced. Playing so many games and grinding out results takes a toll on your body; you just have to do the best you can to keep yourself fit. Those are situations that everybody deals with in every league, but I just feel that the pace of the English game is so quick that sometimes you see people taking risks that they normally wouldn’t take because they just get caught up in the game.”

On the effect Charlie Davies’ absence has had on the team:
“You’re around these guys for a good amount of time, you get to know them better, and when you have something like we had to go through as a team, or more so what Charlie had to go through, your heart goes out for him. But it goes to show that we still have love for him, we think of him often, and he’ll be back soon. That’s why Maurice dedicated his goal to him, and you may not have noticed but I tried to do something like that in the last game, but I can’t dance. We love Charlie and wish he could have been here, but that’s just the way life goes sometimes. We hope that he’s back soon to full fitness and playing in games.”

On how familiarity with English players will help him:
“Well, I think it helps me because it’s one of the best leagues in the world, and for three years I’ve been consistently good. So I’m taking that confidence with me to the World Cup, and that’s how it helps me. When you get to international play, it’s different from club and all you can take with you is your confidence in your form and those are the positives that I’m going to take from that league and take into this game. But we’re going to watch tapes, like we do for any opponent, to know what their strengths and weaknesses are and know what we have to do to get a result.”

On the ability of this team to make history like the 1950 U.S. National Team did:
“If we didn’t believe that we could, why would we be here? It wouldn’t be right. I shouldn’t be part of this team if I didn’t feel we can do something special. Every time you put on the U.S. jersey, you should think you can do a good job. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be here. We’re trying to do something special. Hopefully we can do something special like we did in the Confederations Cup here.”

U.S. MNT Goalkeeper MARCUS HAHNEMANN:
On the rough style of play in the Premier League:
“I think England is one of the roughest leagues in the world as well. You watch an English game, and in England, a foul is a foul. In another country, they’re wondering if it’s a red card or a yellow card. You watch the games, and I do think it’s one of the most exciting leagues in the world to watch, because of the pace. It’s end to end. It’s so competitive, down to the bottom.”

On the tendency for the United States to produce world-class goalkeepers who succeed in the Premier League:
“In the U.S., we’ve had a lot of goalkeepers in England, and the main thing I think is that the games we watch are predominantly from the Premier League. That’s where you want to go, that’s the first choice for anyone to go overseas is England. We grow up playing a whole mix of sports, and all of that helps. I think it’s changed recently, in youth soccer, that kids want to be goalies. In the past, it was always sticking the worst player in goal, but now it’s a sought after position. A lot of keepers have really come in late. I played half and half in high school. I think Brad Guzan came in late as well. We played a lot of different positions, and I think for all of us goalkeeper kind of chose us as well.”

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