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Post-game quotes: USA 2- Honduras 0

CONCACAF GOLD CUP QUOTESHEET
WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2009 - USA 2, HONDURAS 0

UNITED STATES HEAD COACH BOB BRADLEY
On the game

We knew that this would be a good challenge tonight. Honduras is a good team and this was a game that would go a long way towards determining who would finish first in the group. I thought the response of our team was quite good. Games like this, there’s got to be a good collective effort from start to finish. You need to have the ability at certain points to bring subs on who help. So in all ways I thought it was a solid team effort. Obviously, it’s also special that Santino [Quaranta] scores the first goal. So I think that’s something he has obviously worked hard in many different ways to be here tonight and I think that’s obviously a very special part of the evening.

On giving some players minutes
I think that when both Charlie [Davies] and Benny [Feilhaber] came on the field they brought good energy. Benny has done well in a number of situations as a sub where he comes on he starts connecting plays, gets us going a little bit, gets our tempo moving a little bit faster. And Charlie with his physical qualities has real good ability to step on the field at a time when things are slowing down and make a difference so on both sides I think it was positive. We made two changes for tonight’s game but I would expect there are more for Saturday.

On playing this tournament
You try to establish with your players and the team what harder games are all about and how you need to as a team go about this. We had a few days prior to the first game, the first game was a good way to start a tournament like this but we know that that’s not a big enough challenge. That’s not the kind of game that gets you where you want to be and so tonight we knew would be better. At halftime the only thing you’re saying is we still as a group we have to put more into it, we still have to raise the level a little bit more, and you cover some basic things with individuals but I think the second half saw more of that and as I mentioned you hope that when players are in these kind of games, when they sense what it’s like when the team has a purpose and the team has a level of commitment from start to finish, and now they start to understand better what playing for the national team is like, what playing international soccer is all about. It’s pretty important.

UNITED STATES MIDFIELDER SANTINO QUARANTA
On the game

It was a very special night for me personally. But to be back wearing the jersey was probably more special. Just to be back on the field with the team, and to listen to the anthem was very emotional for me. It’s been such a fun and long road back.

On scoring in front of the home fans
It’s hard to explain, it was special. To be able to do it in front of my wife and my two kids was very special, and that’s the most important thing to me now. Bob [Bradley] said before we got on the bus ‘it’s only a game’ and I was trying to tell myself all day to enjoy it but it was difficult.

On hearing the national anthem
This means a lot to me. To be able to play for your country...before it didn’t mean as much to me as it does now. Like I said, it’s very special to be a part of this.

On the goal and emotions
Charlie [Davies] did very well on the goal. I think he came in and changed the game for us as well as Benny [Feilhaber], he held the ball up and it was just a great layoff and I just tried to keep it on frame. But I mean a million things went through my head when I scored I was just so...I guess more proud to have done it here. Anywhere you score for your country it’s special, but to be able to do it here at RFK where it all started for me...it’s special. I keep going back to that, but it really is.

On his comeback to national team
I just wanted to come back and be a good person. I’ve just been enjoying life and I’ve been very happy off the field. I think being so happy at home has done well for me on the soccer field.

On the most important things
To get our team to the next round is the most important thing. The individual stuff comes, but first off we win, and that’s the most important thing. The other stuff is secondary.

UNITED STATES GOALKEEPER TROY PERKINS
On Santino Quaranta

I was saying before the match how incredible it is to see a player who has so much poteential and talent in 2004/2005 when [Quaranta] was here with me and to see him come some far from being such a hole to being on top of the world. It’s only fitting that he scored.

On playing at RFK and playing with Quaranta
First, it was nice to be out there. Playing here for four years it brought back some good memories. But like I said before, it’s only fitting that Santino [Quaranta] got the first goal and it’s a great strike, a typical Santino strike. He is one hell of a guy, I congratulate him.

On Quaranta’s personal struggles
The guy has battled through a lot, he deserves this. It’s incredible, he scores a goal and obviously on his home pitch.

On the clean sheet
I can’t take too much credit, the defenders have done a fantastic job in front of me. They listen, we move well, we play well together.

UNITED STATES FORWARD CHARLIE DAVIES
On the first goal

There was a great ball played into me and I was able to take a good touch. I looked to my right and saw Santino [Quaranta] making a good run so I was able to lay off a good ball.

On what Quaranta said to him after the goal
[Laughs] He was just like ‘thanks’. I mean it was gratifying for him to score in front of his home crowd and I thinkb he put it a good effort tonight so I’m happy for him.

On the importance of playing
I think it’s important for players to be playing. If you want to continue to develop as a player I think it’s really important that you get games in and are able to work on the parts of the game that you’re weak at. So I think every player is different, of course, with the club situation, sometimes maybe the coach isn’t rooting for you but some guys I think are really taking it seriously this upcoming season and look forward to playing and making a difference.

UNITED STATES FORWARD FREDDY ADU
On heading back to Portugal

Obviously it’s important to get preseason in with your team. It gives you the best chance of being a part of the team for this season so both the coaching staffs, my coaching staff here obviously and the coaching staff in Portugal thought it was important.

On Santino Quaranta
It’s great. Obviously being back in front of the home fans and getting a goal and basically man of the match honors, it’s great. I’m so happy for him. I said before the game he’s come a long way and now he’s back with the national team. Tonight he got out there and made a difference. Definitely helped the team out and definitely helped us win the game.

On the game
Tough game, tough game all around for the team but we worked hard, we kept pushing, we kept them on their heels and at the end of the day we won a game. It’s important when you’re in a game like this, when things aren’t exactly going 100% the way you want it to, it’s important to do the little things right and keep pushing, pushing, pushing, and that’s what happened tonight. We were able to get the first goal and things opened up. It became a little bit different.

On being part of the National Team
It was very important to me to be part of the Confederations Cup roster because I got to be there and I got to see basically the quote-unquote action, I had a front row seat for all that. It was improtant because that’s where I want to be as a player and to see the way those teams play, teams like Brazil, teams like Spain, and our team, and the guys that are playing in the position I play; to see the way the guys play, you learn a lot from it and I’m just happy I was there to be a part of somethign very special. And I’m happy to be a part of this Gold Cup roster too because thank goodness I got a couple of game in. You just have to keep working hard and take it one step at a time and hopefully you get there. But obviously the most improtant thing is playing, get some games and that keeps you sharp.

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Doug Hicks, dhicks@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5448,
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Cristina Cruz, ccruz@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5440