US SoccerUS Soccer
June 12, 2010: U.S. Men vs. England

June 16 Roundtable Quote Sheet

On what problems the Slovenian forwards might pose for the defense:
“They look like they’re strikers that work for the team. They’re hard workers, they run all across the field, they’re going to do the dirty work in order for their team to come out on top. We’re ready for that, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. We just have to go out there on Friday and play the way we know how to play.”

On any different preparations for the Slovenia game:
“No, it won’t differ. I think we have a routine and a way of doing things that has been pretty standard since we’ve been a team. We’re excited for the game, we know it’s a big game. It’s why you play.”

On his experience playing against some Slovenian players:
“Up front, guys like Novakovic and Dedic both play in the Bundesliga. Both have certainly gotten their goals in Germany. Robert Koren’s a good player, the defenders are all strong and solid players and the goalie plays at Udinese. He’s got a presence and is a good shot blocker.”

On the matchup with Slovenia:
“Obviously they’re at the top of the group right now, they had a good result against Algeria the other day. It’s a game we need to get something from, preferably a win obviously, and we feel we should be able to do that. But we know they’re a good, talented team, extremely well organized so we know it’s not going to be an easy match for us.”

On Slovenian striker Milivoje Novakovic:
“He’s a good player, a good finisher, obviously can score some good goals. For being a big guy, he certainly likes the ball at his feet a bit. So that’ll be something we’ll try to close down and try to deny him space and time.”

On how he prepares for individual opponents:
“Well, you’re looking at a player’s tendencies. Who does he like to try to link up with? Does he like to get the ball at his feet, or in the air? Just try and make the game as difficult as possible for the opponents and don’t let anything be easy for them.”

On the chance to play in the World Cup:
“I have to constantly keep reminding myself that I belong. During training sessions, slowly but surely my confidence keeps growing. I think if you ask anyone on the coaching staff, they’ll say I’ve come a long way. I’m getting the sense right now that the whole ‘Cinderella’ story is great, but I want more. There are a lot of people excited for me, and I’m excited to be representing millions and millions of Hispanic-Americans. I know I have a huge opportunity, and all I have to do is just be ready.”

On Slovenian’s playing style against Algeria:
“I thought they were very disciplined. They kept their shape pretty well and defended as a team, and when they did win the ball, they looked to counterattack and get as many opportunities as they could. I thought it was similar to how we play, being very structured and not just sending guys on wild runs. But as the week goes on we’ll hear what the coaching staff has to say, because they’ve seen them play more and we’ll get a better feel for them.”