#USAvCUB Post Game Quote Sheet

Post Game-Quote Sheet
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Cuba


His thoughts on the team’s 6-0 win against Cuba:
“Overall, it was a very nice performance. We got the job done from the first second on. They were spot on. They wanted to make sure there were no coincidences or bad things happening. They deserve a real compliment for that match tonight and now we’re in the semifinals and we’ll take one game at a time. That was enjoyable. It’s not easy to get a rhythm going with that heat for both teams. Here and there if there are more quiet minutes on the field, that’s understandable. Overall, throughout the whole game they tried to add another one, tried to make the fans happy. The atmosphere was tremendous, it was a wonderful crowd. The players enjoyed it and it’s a nice result.”

On Clint Dempsey’s goal scoring run in the Gold Cup:
“In a game like this, for us being the favorite, obviously the pressure is on us. Cuba deserves a huge compliment for what they did. The expectations are on us and you just want to make sure they get the message -- that they start with the right approach, the right attitude. For strikers especially, it’s a huge opportunity. You don’t want to kind of miss that chance. Maybe you’re getting more opportunities than you usually get in the international game. That’s what I told them. I said, ‘Don’t waste any chances.” I think this is actually one good point throughout the tournament so far – we don’t need many chances. Once we’re in the box, we’re very clinical. I think Clint is the best example, there’s no doubt about it. Those are the games where you want to add a few more than maybe you have planned. I gave them an example, in my World Cup 1990, we had a game against the United Arab Emirates, and I didn’t take it so seriously.  I only scored one goal in a World Cup game – I should have scored five. That’s what I told them – take it seriously, make sure you’re kind of not wasting anything there. Throughout the 90 minutes, the whole team was focused, it was a tough moment with that heat, but they deserve a real compliment.”

On young strikers Gyasi Zardes and Aron Johannsson scoring and the new additions to the team:
“For Aron, obviously he’s not there yet with where Clint is. It’s important to keep growing and get the opportunity to score goals and when you have them put them in. That’s how he was throughout the game – he was hungry, he was waiting for the next opportunity. That builds more confidence, it gives you a bit more standing in the group and when somebody is leaving a camp and somebody else is coming in, it’s about repositioning the ranking in the team and he wants to move up in the ranking, there’s no doubt about it. This was a good opportunity. He scored a beautiful goal. It always shakes things up a little bit when you bring three new players and three have to leave. I was glad that we gave Joe Corona 45 in the second half and we’re waiting a little bit with DaMarcus Beasley because he got a knock in his first training – that’s why you didn’t see him coming in.

On the challenges that Haiti and Jamaica bring:
“For the coaching staff, we’ve got to watch that game. They are two very difficult teams to play. We played Haiti and it was a real grind. You can expect that for both teams. Whoever goes through now, it’ll be a tough match on Wednesday night in Atlanta. I think when you work yourselves into a tournament game by game, the opponents are watching you as well that there’s a growing respect for us. We won’t make it easy for anybody. They’re two very different teams in their approach and therefore we’re going to prepare the team the best way possible to get over the next hurdle in this Gold Cup.”

What he learned about the team against Cuba:
“We wanted them to take it really seriously. We didn’t want to waste anything. We didn’t want to fool around and kind of show off or anything like that. I made it very clear, if there’s somebody on the field that takes it lightly, we’re going to take him off after 10 minutes. You have to be on your toes in these types of games. You cannot have the wrong body language or maybe be a little bit arrogant. There’s no reason at all for that. Cuba deserved to be in that quarterfinal. They did a tremendous job. What the coaching staff is going through for that team is unthinkable for us. I give a huge compliment to them for what they achieved and also to our team, they were very serious, they were down to business, they were focused and got the goals early. They showed the crowd a very good game.”

On Timmy Chandler’s injury:
“It shouldn’t be a big deal. He said during the water break at the half hour that it bothered him and I said for him to go until halftime and we’d make a switch. It shouldn’t be a big problem.”

On his thoughts on the crowd in Baltimore:
“We really enjoyed every day here. It’s an absolutely gorgeous city. Two years ago, how the people treated us was great. The venue is great, having 40,000 people tonight against Cuba is outstanding. It’s a growing soccer city. They’ve done a very good job with the field as well. We’ve had some other fields where they were not easy to play, but that field today was great for both sides. We’d love to come back.”

On Clint Dempsey’s play
“What we’ve really enjoyed the last couple of weeks is his energy, his energy to also come back and help out and to constantly stay in the game. He’s not switching off at all. He’s hungry. He’s hungry for goals first of all, and that helps us. He has two more meals. This is what a striker is keeping in his mind non-stop. This is what drives you. Every day, a striker is thinking, ‘every day I want to score’. Right now he seems happy, balanced and he seems to be alright with himself as well. He’s in good physical shape, which is important. He has the feeling that he can always get ahead of my opponent. Now we make sure he really enjoys the next two games. Those are the big ones. These are the ones where you really want him to score.”

On his lineup decisions at the back against Cuba and thoughts for the next game:
“I think the back line wasn’t really challenged today. Everything was totally fine, but there’s not enough there to go into a ton of details. I have my thoughts. I’ll keep them to myself until Wednesday night.”

“We approach every opponent in our own specific way. We were fortunate to go through the group stage with two wins right away that allowed us to rotate some players and find more elements that we wanted to see. We’re in a good spot right now, going into Atlanta, we’re well prepared and our goal is as simple as that – to win this Gold Cup.”

U.S. MNT forward and Budweiser Man of the Match CLINT DEMPSEY

On his hat trick scoring in this tournament:
“I feel good. My teammates have given good service and have put me in good positions to get good looks in front of the goal and I’ve been able to put them on target.”

On using the momentum on to the next game:
“I think we look at some of the good things and some of the bad things and we know the game is going to be more difficult and we’ve just got to make sure that we’re sharp and that we’re doing everything we can to try and win this tournament.”

U.S. MNT midfielder GYASI ZARDES
On scoring his first Gold Cup goal:
“I saw Fabian Johnson lined up and I knew he was going to cross it over the top and I just tried to slip in between the lines. The biggest thing was just making contact and putting it on frame. It’s definitely a blessing. I’m thankful just to be on the field. Just to get a goal, that’s big time, that’s huge on this platform so it’s wonderful and I’m enjoying every experience.”

On the team’s performance:
“It was huge man. It was very hot out there and just for us to keep playing and to keep working hard for each other was just an amazing team effort.”

On carrying the momentum on to the next round:
“As for me I just listen to the coaches and listen to the veterans on the team and our captain. They always steer us in the right direction to prepare for our next opponent.”


On scoring his first Gold Cup goal:

“It’s a big, big relief to finally get my first goal in the Gold Cup and build on this performance with the team. We can do something good in this tournament.”

On the team’s win tonight:
“I think it’s nice. We came out here today and we showed we’re a very strong team and we had a very dominant performance and in the end it was 6-0 so we’re on to the next round.”

On taking today’s success into the next round:
“Obviously we scored a lot of goals and we had some good rhythm in the team and we need to focus on the good things we did today and hopefully keep on scoring a lot goals in the next game.”


On scoring his first international goal:
“It felt great to get my first international goal. Hopefully I can start scoring some more. Now that I got my taste for that one goal, I’m hungry for more now. It feels good, but more importantly, I’m happy we won the game and now we move on to the next round.”

On building off the Cuba win in the Semifinal:
“We can’t get too high. Obviously we’re very happy with this win, but we know there’s still a lot of work ahead of us. Two very good teams, whoever they are, to be in that position, means they’re going to be very good. We have to stay focused, stay hungry and be ready for whatever is thrown at us.”