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The Players Speak

A few of 'em, anyway. Before we get to the comments, the only injury we know of is midfielder Brad Davis, who tweaked his groin muscle yesterday and tested it today. Our guess is that he will be among the four scratches, which will not be made public until tomorrow.

Oguchi Onyewu

On the intensity of the Mexico match: "I don't think the rivalry has died down any. Once we step on the pitch, the emotions are going to flow and the feelings are going to get hurt, one way or another."

On his introduction to the rivalry, against Borgetti at Azteca in 2005: "I remember it was hot, I remember I couldn't breathe. It was nice to get revenge in that second game" in Columbus.

Carlos Bocanegra

"Obviously, they are our biggest rival and it's an important game but we're not looking too much into the whole series thing. They have a young team and we have a new team, as well."

"We're definitely confident. We're not going to overlook them and we're not going to think, just because we've done well in the series of late, it's going to transfer into an automatic victory."

Life at Fulham with the other Americans: "There has been a lot of change lately. It's nice Eddie [Johnson] has gotten an opportunity to come over and play. We have our little American group. We've got American Airlines as our sponsor. But there are a lot of Americans in Europe now so there isn't that much focus on it" in London.

On young players facing Mexico: "It's an eye opener. I knew it was a big game from watching the World Cup game in 2002, but until you are there in a packed stadium, you don't understand it."

Landon Donovan

On young players being prepared to face Mexico: "If they haven't picked it up by now, they are in for a rude awakening tomorrow. I will try to stress that tonight to some guys who have not been a part of it. Not only is it this game, but it's what qualifying is like and so this is a good test run. ... They are here because they are good players, but everyone needs to know this is not your average game. It's not your average friendly and it's something you've got to be ready for."

On the short preparation time, which replicates the build-up to qualifiers: "This is 100 percent what we want to be ready for. While the game against Sweden [last month] was great, it's different. You are not going to have two and half weeks to prepare for a team. It doesn't happen [in qualifying]. This is, how well do you get here physically? How well do you get here mentally? How well do you jell with the team in a real way, that means you will step on the field and be ready? And how well do you play after a couple days of camp? It's been great so far, but ultimately we're judged on tomorrow."

Less tension and animosity between the teams than in the past? "We know what it is about, they know what it is about. There has been plenty of talking in the past, but I don't see any point to it."

Responding to an alleged quote from Bautista that Donovan hates Mexicans: "That's not true. I've got a lot of Mexican friends."

By Steve Goff  |  February 5, 2008; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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