World Cup Quote Sheet: Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi


On if some of the team playing in the German league is an advantage:
“I think that a lot of players from the team, from us, they have experience with the German league, not only me and Michael. There are a couple of guys who know a lot of players from Germany, but it’s not only us, it’s more the team. When you watch the complete team from Germany, they have a lot of players from the German league but they are playing in different leagues too- in good leagues and good teams. We have to be focused like we were against Portugal.”

On his memories growing up, aspiring to play for Germany:
“I think the whole time I played there and grew up, I will say that people are concentrated, always focused. They know what they want to do and when you watch football- there is a high level of football there. I think for me, it’s the best league in the world and the football is really good. I will say that I do think it will be a tough game, but we already showed this against Portugal. Everybody was talking about Cristiano Ronaldo, and we showed that we can play against those teams and I think that after 20 minutes, we were the better team.”

On whether this will be emotional game because of his German background:
“Maybe yes, but for me, I tried to catch all the World Cup games, and I tried to have good feelings. I am happy to play in the World Cup. Germany will be a special game but I will try to win this game. I grew up in Germany- my Mom is German, but I will try to win and try to bring America to the next round.”

On the German style of soccer:
“I think they changed it a little bit now. They have a crazy bench they have, you know, which players sit outside. These guys play for big, big clubs but the style is always similar to Spain in the last two years. They are really good. They know when to hold the ball, they have good players in front, and in the last weeks you can see them use their bench- Klose against Ghana, he scores straight. Muller- he’s a good player. Like I said before, we have to be focused and if not, it will be a difficult game.”

On this game meaning more than usual:
“For this game against Germany, the whole team says we want to play a good game. It’s not the point to be their friend; the point is to get to the next round. That is the important stuff. If we lose and the other teams lose- Ghana or Portugal- and we come to the next round, everyone is happy. This is the point, we have to go to the next round. We will try everything to win this game. We don’t go into this game and say maybe a draw happens, it will be enough. We want to go there and show people that we can battle and we can beat the German team.”

On how he will feel during the German and USA National Anthems:
“I always say that I’m proud of both countries. I grew up in Germany and they gave me a lot. That’s where I had my first steps. I played there my first games in my first leagues, I played for Germany so, I can’t say bad stuff. Jogi Lowe gave me the chance to play for Germany, and its one of the biggest football countries in the world. So, it’s tough to play for this country, but I have my games. But, I am still proud too when I hear the anthem from the United States. I will close my eyes and let it all go through and then will play my game.”

On Michael Bradley’s performance:
“If you want to know something about him, some stuff like whether he can play better or not, you will have to ask him. He tries his best. Sometimes maybe you don’t have the best day but that’s happened a lot of times with me too. The point is that he has to step on and whatever happens, we have the chance for next game. Everybody is 100 percent that we can come through.”

On almost being selected for Germany’s 2012 European Championship team:
“When you are so close to go to a big tournament and you feel that you are in on that team, at this point the coach already told me that I will be a part of the team and then he skipped back and said he will change it. Of course I was upset but I have a nice family and they catch me up. So, I was okay after maybe two, three days and I was there in the final when Germany plays Spain and I try everything and hope that Germany win that. I can’t say bad stuff about Germany. I have a lot of friends and everything is good and everything happens for a reason. So, I play for the United States and I’m happy to play in this World Cup.”

On fan support and his current form:

“I was saying ‘you have to work, I have to work and I will show the people.’ Now it’s the point that you play the World Cup, you pay against the best players and you can show your best. I think I’ve shown the people that I can play against them- it’s Cristiano, it’s Messi, I don’t care. I want to have fun on the pitch and the last two games gave me back the fun. I gave an assist for Clint, I think the first game was okay, second game I scored. So, everything is good and I hope the people support that. I can say that right now they give me happiness- they tweet a lot, they text me.”

 U.S. MNT midfielder Graham Zusi

On preparations for Germany:
“Very quickly switched our mentality over to the Germany game. The preparation has been great. We’ve obviously watched their matches as well and we’re going to try to put ourselves in the best position to have success against them.”

On dealing with a difficult schedule:
“I think our staff has done a fantastic job at getting our bodies in the best possible shape to perform and clearly they’ve done that. The travel for us is not the initiative whatsoever. I think it’s been great that we’ve done it right after the games. It makes it easier for us I think to get recovered. It’s just been a non-issue. I haven’t even really thought about it. It’s something that hasn’t come up.

On record viewing in the states and if they’re aware of the support
“Absolutely. The support that we’ve had has been unreal. We feel it from the people in the stadiums here and also people back home. We see some of the viewing parties and the reaction videos. It’s been amazing to see, their support has pushed us on.”

On the turn around time and feeling fresh after playing in Manaus:
“Yeah I was very, not going to say surprised, but I was very happy with the way the body responded really after a 24 hour period. I was feeling very fresh and great.”

On if playing in the Premiere league is a dream:
“Sure it would be for some us, and for me, yeah. I’m always trying to push my game as much as I can. If the right opportunity came I would definitely look into it.”

On the absence of a clock on the field:
“You can see a tiny one on the big screens, right? Got to get my binoculars out. That’s something I did notice the first game against Ghana. It was a little strange to me, but it allows you to kind of grind down and I think when you don’t see the clock you can push yourself a little bit more.” 

On Tim Howard and how important he has been to the team:
“Timmy’s been great. You look back to not only this tournament but the qualifying process; he’s really become such a great leader on this team. He always has been, but he has taken that role even more so now. He’s a guy that pays so much attention to his detail, not only him but everyone around him as well. It makes our job so much easier.”

On how hot it was in Manaus and Matt Besler saying Kansas City could be hotter:
“I agree. I don’t think it was that bad to be honest. When it got down to it at night it cooled off and the humidity wasn’t as bad. I think after about 24 hours the bodies felt great”

On the recovery process after the match:
“It starts right after the match ends. You get your shakes in, your meals, ice baths, a little massage if you need it, got your recovery pants on the plane. You try to sleep as much as you on the plane and then when you get back, we all had until the afternoon to get as much sleep as we wanted to. When the afternoon came around, we went down and guys who played a majority of the minutes just stayed at the hotel and did a 30 minute bike ride and then got massages and stretched. Just kind of the perfect situation for us.”

On nutrition and what they are getting:
“Same as we’ve been having the whole trip. Obviously we’re very conscious about what we put in our bodies. Immediately after the game, the big thing is the protein, but after that it’s just the same, nice balanced meals.”

On CONCACAF’s performance in the World Cup:
“I think the CONCACAF are gaining quite a bit of respect in this tournament.”

On if Jurgen Klinsmann’s demeanor after the Portugal game:
“I wouldn’t say anything different. He came into the locker room very positive as always. Obviously we were pretty gutted at the end of that one, but in hindsight when you look back at it, we put ourselves in a great spot. Four points after two matches, I think any of us would’ve taken that. He was just being extremely positive. We obviously played a great match and he was trying to get our minds focused on that, rather than what happened in the last couple of seconds.”

On the team’s reaction after the game:
“There [were] a lot of people chiming in and it was all great stuff. Like I said before, it would’ve been easy to hang your head, but I think the guys did a great job taking the positives out of what we could have.”

On how Jermaine and some of the German players have meshed into the group:
“It hasn’t just been this tournament, it’s happened, it’s a process over the last few years now. The guys have integrated very well. This team has really connected and bonded and there’s no cliques, there’s no segregation by any means. It’s just a great group to be a part of. It’s easy, it makes it easy.”

On Jermaine’s evolution on the field how he has blended in:
“Well it has been obvious for us that he’s just fully bought into it. I think that might’ve been the questions before. It’s obvious to us and I think it’s obvious to everyone now that he is fully involved. He has got his head into this. His style of play it’s different, but it’s something that we need as a team. He’s that kind of that work horse guy who’s not afraid to get into a tackle.”