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USA v. Germany: Player Quotes

By Marc Serber



WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 02: Jozy Altidore of the United States and Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann celebrate victory after the International Friendly match between Germany and the United States at the RFK Stadium on June 2, 2013 in Washington, DC
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 02: Jozy Altidore of the United States and Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann celebrate victory after the International Friendly match between Germany and the United States at the RFK Stadium on June 2, 2013 in Washington, DC

TIM HOWARD:

On giving up the late goals and how to rectify that going forward:

We are gonna try our best. It was tough but at the end you can’t take anything away from our performance and the result. We’re always trying to get better. Always. No matter how good we play, it can always get better. We’re always looking for that. It’s not perfect, it’s a work in progress. How do we get better? We just keep plugging away. We harp on points where we see that we can get better and not allowing ourselves to relax. 

On making adjustments between the Belgium and the Germany game:

At this level that’s what you have to do. You don’t have any time to rest. You play another opponent who plays in a different style and you got to make an adjustment on the fly. You got to travel, you got to get your rest, you got to get on the training pitch and implement game plans. It’s never easy but that's the challenge of being on the national team. 

Clint Dempsey 

To win on the centennial for the US:

Its good to win against a good team like this and to win in a game that marks 100 years of soccer in this country. We want to show that the game is moving in the right direction and it gives us confidence going into these qualifying games. The most important things is that we do well in those games and make sure we qualify for the World Cup. 

On both goals:

The first one in was a great ball from Jozy [Altidore]. I just wanted to take my time with it and make sure I kept it hard and low. The second one I was trying to get a shot with my right foot. I cut it back because it looked like it was gonna get blocked if I took a shot with my right foot, so I just tried to bend it far post and it went in. 

On Jurgen Klinsmann saying it is a privilege to have Dempsey as a player:

It’s great. Anytime you have a manager who’s done so much as a player and to have him say he believes in you or he believes in this team, it does give the team confidence. Thats huge. We just got to continue learning form him and his experience and also from Andy [] and the other guys that we have on the staff. As a team we need to keep moving, keep working, keep playing with confidence and not be scared to take risk and take advantage of the opportunities we have in front of ourselves and the way we can do that is in these next three games. 

On the adjustments the US made between the Belgium game and the Germany game:

It was our mentality. We just said we got to be more aggressive, we got to be in their face, we got to make the game difficult for them, we got to foul a little bit more. Break up plays sometimes because it slows the game down and then you’re able to get a little bit of rest. Also, I thought we did a better job of keeping possession, being more smart in the attacking third and picking and choosing our moments to take more risk. We finished well today and we scored four goals. So that’s six goals in two games. So thats good and hopefully we can carry that into those World Cup qualifying games, but on the flip side of that we conceded seven goals in two games and we need to do a better job of that because we gotta to limit the goal scoring chances and the goals we concede if we want to have a chance of getting results out of those next three games. 

Matt Besler 

On his thoughts from being up 4-1 to only 4-3

I was thinking that we had to hold on. We had put so much effort into the game and we played very very well and it would have been a shame to give it all away in the last 10 minutes. Germany did a really good job of putting pressure on us. We bent a little bit but we didn’t break.

On what changed between the Belgium and the Germany game:

I think it all starts with attitude. It’s about getting pressure on the ball. When you’re around the ball and you have a chance to win it you’ve got to go and win it. When you play good teams and top teams like Belgium and Germany, if you don’t get that pressure they are going to tear you apart. So I thought our pressure was a lot better and  I also thought our possession was a lot better. That helps us not fatigue as quickly. We kept the ball very well today. 

On whether or not Klinsmann told the defense to get the ball to Jozy Altidore:

Not necessarily, specifically for this game but we are always looking to get Jozy the ball. I thought Jozy had an amazing game tonight. I thought his runs in-behind were really good. He held the ball up well. It was just a complete game for him, he played really well. 

On his chemistry with Omar Gonzalez and the addition of Brad Evans to the back-line

I thought this was just another opportunity for me and Omar to get some experience. We still have a ton to work on. Nothing’s complete right now. We’re just looking at any opportunity that we get to step on the field. We want to try make the most of it. 

On today’s performance alongside Gonzalez:

I think when you look at the first half especially and then probably extend it to the first 60-65 minutes we were very sharp. I thought as a team we started to fatigue a little bit. We got a little bit sloppy there at the end, giving up the goals. But, if we can stay tuned in and we’re on the same page, I think its tough for teams to get past us.   

More on his partnership with Gonzalez:

The main thing we talk about is that they can get by one of us but not by both of us. So as long as we’re covering each other on every play, we’re gonna make it hard for the other team.  

Brad Evans did an amazing job. He did everything you could ask from him really.

Playing in front of the crowd at RFK:

The crowd was great. We fed off their energy. Very loud. Pro American crowd. A 100 years of US Soccer, it was the celebration game. I thought we gave them a good show. 

On the competition for the center back spots and on whether or not its friendly:

Absolutely. This is the US National team. We are trying to qualify our country for the World Cup. The team comes first and I think that’s everyones attitude. There’s still a ton of work left. There’s competition every day no matter who you are. 

On what he has to do:

Just stay consistent. I’m not too worried about the position I am in right now. All I can worry about is every time I have practice or the opportunity to play in the game is to make the most of it. 

On if he made the most of his chance today:

Yea, I think the result was good for us. The game gives us confidence but I also think there is a lot to work on. Today we still gave up three goals. That’s part of it.

On Brad Evans at right back:

Before the game we talked about the attitude, being aggressive. I thought Brad won all his one v. one duels. He can play central too. 

On if Brad Evans is learning the position:

He’s only played one game at right back so I don’t know if he’s learning the position, but he did everything we asked from him today.  

Jozy Altidore:

On why the US was successful:

The way we started the game, we were just connecting and finding passes. The biggest thing was creating chances. I think today was huge in terms of the amount of the opportunities we created, how aggressive we were going forward. I think that was the difference. I think we’ve always had the talent, it’s just a matter of showing it and today I think we showed signs of that. 

On his goal:

It’s the ball. The ball makes the goal. It was a fantastic build up from the team but the ball from Graham Zusi was fantastic. I just had to be there.

Did you feel relief that you scored?

I honestly feel like I’ve been doing the right things. It’s just a matter of being patient and waiting for the chances. I think against Belgium, I was unlucky. I had a very similar chance but [Vincent] Kompany had nicked it with his head ... Today, I had the chance, I just concentrated and I know that if I keep getting them then I can be successful.