World Cup Quote Sheet - Jermaine Jones

Jermaine Jones spoke with the media ahead of the U.S. MNT's plane ride to Natal for its first World Cup match on Monday

On the Brazil-Croatia match and Brazil’s penalty call:
“I would say it was a good opening game with a lot of goals. The U.S. was watching it in the hotel. The penalty is not my group, not my team, so I don’t care really about the penalty. I saw a nice game, so that was the point for me; what I’d say is important.”

On if a similar penalty call could affect the USA’s game:
“Before the tournament started, I think like two days before, some referees were in the hotel and give us the rules and to say that some rules will be hard. We have to watch out with tackling in the box, with holding and corner kicks and all that stuff. I think every team has the refs in the hotel, so we know it and don’t touch the guys in the box.”

On Tim Howard falling asleep during the game:
“Yeah we train hard and Timmy’s like a little bit older so he has to sleep.”

On following Fabian Johnson in Germany:
“He’s younger than me so I would start to watch his games and I think he plays in Munich. When he was starting to play there, I watch his game sometimes and I know him. He is a good player and he shows it in Hoffenheim too. I clap for him. He’s one of the key players in the tournament for us.”

On U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann motivating the team:
“He does a good job. I think it’s important too that we have some guys that have to step on and have to take the team and push the team. For me, it’s the first World Cup and I want to try to win all these games that we play. I hate to lose. In my eyes I have like Timmy [Howard], Clint [Dempsey], Michael [Bradley], Jozy [Altidore] when we see that the team is maybe in a bad mood or you see that some guys feel a little bit down, you have to take them and push them onward. You have only one chance to win your games, and we need everybody, so that’s the point why we have to push everybody.”

On the anticipation of playing their first match:
“Everybody is happy today to start. We fly out today to Natal and we can play on Monday. The World Cup started yesterday and we are excited to play that game on Monday.”

On expectations of Ghana:
“I think out there it will be really hot, so Ghana they have like maybe a little bit more chances or better rhythm because they already play in Africa, all the qualifying games. We know it will be a tough game, they are a physical team, they have good players with [Michael] Essien, [Kevin-Prince] Boateng, [Kwadwo] Asamoah, but I said before we have a lot of respect for this team, we are not scared. We try to go there and win this game.”

On the USA having one of the biggest groups of supporters in Brazil:
“It’s always nice to see that the people are behind you and try to push you. We know that, in America, a lot of people will sit in front of their TVs and scream for us and we try to make the people happy.”

On leading up to the game on Monday:
“We fly out today, we have a gym session in the morning. In the afternoon, we will fly to Natal to settle down and have beach training out there. Nobody is injured, everybody is happy to go. We have big respect for Ghana, but we want to start with a win in the tournament.”

On seeing Ghana on film and what is different than teams the U.S. is used to playing:
“I would say that they are a real physical team and they have a lot of good players and I would say the key players are all in front. They are really good in front. The important stuff is that you don’t have to put so much focus on Ghana; we have to focus on ourselves. If everybody works for the team and everybody does what they have to do then I’m 100 percent sure that we will win the game.”

On Ghana being so quick and if the U.S. has to play conservative:
“When everybody does his work and has the trust in themselves and trust in the team, I’m 100 percent sure that we can beat them and we don’t have to sit back and wait for them to play the game. We have to play the game that we play always so that we know 100 percent that we win the game.”

On Kyle Beckerman as a player:
“He loves to make it work for the team. He is always one of the guys who pushes the team, pushes the players. He never gives up and sometimes you need that kind of player on the team. Outside of the pitch in his [private life], he is like a really quiet guy, sometimes he makes a joke and everybody is like, ‘Oh, Kyle, you’re here!’ He’s a really nice guy.”

On Boateng and if they trash talk:
“I made trash talk when I was 18 or 19. I will wait until the game comes and I will see him before the game, so we will talk a little bit. Maybe we will have more contact after the game, maybe when we win maybe then I do some trash talk but right now I wait for the game.”

On Boateng and slowing him down:
“We have to play like a team. We know they have special key players inside Ghana. We have to play like a team and we can stop them. We’re strong enough and we show that in a lot of games against big teams too. I have a lot of respect for [Kevin-Prince Boateng] and what he does and the teams he plays for and everything, but for that 90 minutes, I don’t care what goes on with him or what he does. I want to win that game.”

On how the U.S. defense will come together against a fast Ghana team:
“I would say that you can see that everybody comes now, you can see that the World Cup starts on Monday and everybody is really in good shape, concentrate 100 percent and the guys in the back too. When I see [Fabian Johnson] what he is playing right now is unbelievable. DaMarcus Beasley, nobody talks about him but he’s playing crazy. He was a striker and he plays left back now and it’s amazing. Then you have the guys in defense like [Geoff Cameron] and Beasley, they’re doing a good job. This is the point where we have to trust them and maybe mistakes happen, but we know that we can be a tough team who sticks together when everybody does their job and doesn’t try to make more than they have to do.”