2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Final Round Draw Quote Sheet

U.S. Men’s National Team Quote Sheet
2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Final Round Draw
Nov. 7, 2012

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
On the first match on the road against Honduras:
“In a draw like that nothing is going to turn out perfect. Usually, a team would like to have the first game at home, but if you don’t have the first game at home you make the best out of it. We are looking forward to going to Honduras for the first game and then we’re going to take it one game at a time. I think it’s an exciting group and it will go all the way down to the last game to decide who is going to the World Cup. We are excited. Finally, we have our schedule and we can plan ahead like coaches want to plan, so it’s all good.”

On the plusses and minuses of playing three of the first four games on the road:
“If you get the results on the road, there will be far more confidence in your home games and you can finish it off. It’s fine with me. We’ve just got to be really sharp and focused and get the job done on the road in difficult environments. We all know that’s what the region is about.”

On if he is happy with the draw:
“You could always be flipping some dates or countries around, but overall we are fine.”

On if he has decided what cities to play in:
“We will start that process now. We can time through our very busy 2013 schedule with the World Cup qualifiers, our 100th anniversary at U.S. Soccer and the Gold Cup. Now, we can get the locations sorted out.”

On if the U.S. is favored in the Final Round:
“If you look at the history in the last five or six World Cups, Mexico and the U.S. have always gone through, but other countries like Honduras and Costa Rica have been there. They are very good teams. Jamaica is knocking at the door and Panama has done really well in the Third Round. Everybody has a chance, the games are there to play and we’re looking forward to it.”

On having confidence that the team will qualify for the World Cup:
“We are confident, but we know that it’s going to be a difficult road and a one-game-at-a-time path. We are prepared for that. We won’t underestimate anybody and we respect and admire every nation out there playing. We have to make sure our players are ready and mainly the players coming in from Europe with the long travels, it’s not easy. We’ve got to get it done and we’re going to get it done.”

On what the difference will be in the next match at Estadio Azteca:
“A World Cup qualifier is always different from a friendly game, there’s no doubt about it. It was a good feeling to win for the first ever time at Azteca. We’ll go there with all the respect for Mexico, they are a very strong side, but we have a good team as well. We want to go there and get at least one point, if not three.”

On if Mexico is the rival to beat:
“All the teams are rivals, all the teams are difficult to play and they deserve all the respect. We’ll take it one step at a time.”

U.S. Soccer President SUNIL GULATI
On opening up on the road against Honduras:
“If you open up with a lot of away games, then you’re going to end with a lot of home games. Honduras is a tough team, but the last time we played there we won and qualified for the World Cup in Honduras. They have a number of players playing in Europe and a lot of our guys play against them and with them and a few in MLS as well. It’s a team we know well and there are no easy opening games.”

On determining the home sites:
“There’s more than five sites. We met at length today and a lot of work has gone into figuring out what venues we’re going to play in. Now over the next couple days we’ll probably send out the first couple. There’s probably a group of 10-12 venues that will be in the mix. In a few cases, weather might prohibit you from playing at a particular site if you wanted to play a certain opponent, that’s really what we needed to wait for today.”

On the criteria on selecting sites:
“Home field advantage. In the Third Round we played in Tampa at a football stadium and the next two were in MLS stadiums. For us, as opposed to all of our opponents there are more factors that come into play. Time zones, venues, television start times – all of those things – weather matters, travel distance from Europe, travel distance between games, artificial surface issues, there’ a lot of variables but we’ve got a pretty good handle on what we want to do.”