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U.S. MNT vs. Guatemala Post-Match Quote Sheet

Head Coach Bob Bradley
On the match:
“I think it was a good learning experience, particularly for our younger players. It’s a different kind of game, one that they need to see, because we all understand that we are going to see these kinds of games in qualifying. At times tonight it seemed like we were afraid to make a mistake.  We have to find the confidence to push the game harder.  There is a mentality that goes along with it, that even if the goal doesn’t come easily, it’s not that something that you allow to frustrate you.  Those are things that hopefully we can learn from.”

On whether there is things to learn from tonight that will help for the June 7 match in the Gold Cup:
“Sure - an understanding of the possibility of another game that feels like this.  Knowing how to stick to the task a little bit better, knowing how to break things down … it’s certainly good for us to experience this kind of game.”

On his plans for next couple months:
“I need to get to Europe and see some games there and begin the process of talking to some of those clubs about the summer schedule. I’ll see a lot of MLS games.  There’s a lot of planning in terms of two important tournaments this summer.”

On the play of Kenny Cooper:
“I think he continues to gain experience from being in camps and getting some minutes.  Sometimes we see some very good things. I still think he’s learning about the speed of the game, learning to think a little faster.  So it was good to get him on the field tonight and let him see some of those things.”

On the play of Eddie Johnson:
“Throughout the first three months of the year he has come back into the national team with a really good attitude.  He’s worked really hard.  A lot of people have almost pushed him aside.  I think we have seen progress.  The game the other day I thought his movement was pretty good and his effort was pretty good.  There were still times with the ball where he rushes or needs to almost shift down a little bit. Tonight is more a thinking exercise for him. Finding the right spaces and making the right choices in a tight situation has never been his best thing yet.  We feel like he is a young player who still needs us to challenge him.  We’re not giving up on him.”

Forward Kenny Cooper
On the crowd’s ovation when he came into the match:
“Yea, it was very nice. It was very special to be able to play here in Dallas. Going to high school here, I’ve said before there’s so many people in Dallas who’ve been so influential in my soccer career, whether it’s been coaches I’ve played for, my parents that where here, my whole family that was here. It was very special.”

On his opportunities during the match:
“I think I played about 30 minutes and I’m very grateful for that, I appreciate that. To come into this camp, I feel honored to be a part of it and be a part of this game. To represent my country is a huge thing for me, very exciting. It was fun to be out there and have fun to play again.”

On if the match was frustrating:
“I guess one of the things was that we didn’t finish. I felt we had good possession of the ball at times and created some good chances, but I guess we didn’t have the final touch tonight.”

On Guatemala sitting back and defending:
“They were tough to break down. We did have some opportunities that we weren’t able to finish, but credit to them, they did well to keep us out of the net.”

Defender Frank Simek
On earning his first cap:
“It was pretty cool. It was something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now and it was a great honor to get my first cap. The result could have gone better for us I thought, but they sat in and frustrated us. All in all, it was a decent performance, but we should have ended up better.”

On the similarities between this game and one with his club in England:
“Not many. There’s not many. It’s night and day really. The pace of this game is a lot slower. Obviously, when you’re playing a team like Guatemala they are going to make it difficult for you as well. It was night and day, that’s for sure.”

Midfielder Landon Donovan
On if they created enough quality chances:
“Not really. There were a few decent ones, but still, in a game like that you’re probably not going to see a lot of chances. We didn’t do a good enough job to get the ball into the places where we needed to create chances.”

On if he thinks Guatemala would play a similar way in the Gold Cup:
“Sure. Why not? It worked, right? They don’t care what it looked like, they were there to get a result. Give them credit, they did what they needed to do.”

Defender Jay DeMerit
On getting his first cap:
“It was good. I enjoyed every minute of it. Obviously, there are still things to improve on, but as a first time out we held together and kept a clean sheet. It would have been great to get a win in your first cap, but overall I enjoyed it and we got a decent result. It was a great challenge and hopefully, there is more to come.”

On his future with the national team:
“I’m hoping I can continue on the road I’m on. Obviously, I try to improve every day of the week and that’s the main thing. And if I can do that with U.S. Soccer as well, I’d love for that challenge."