Team USA News Conference
I'll be back later with a Benny Feilhaber interview, but for now, highlights from the USA news conference at the team hotel this afternoon:
Bob Bradley: "We're excited about this match. A lot of talk about how difficult it is to come to Costa Rica and win -- the stadium, the crowd -- therefore it is a great challenge for us, one that we have talked about as a team, one that we are very excited about."
Landon Donovan: "Cuba and Guatemala were tests [on the road last year], but the El Salvador game [in March] opened our eyes. ... We will be prepared for it. ... My first away qualifier [in his USA career] was in Costa Rica. You watch the games on TV and you hear about it, but that was a massive wakeup call for me. It's exciting, and at that time, it was intimidating, but now I look really look forward to these games. They are a lot of fun for us."
Bradley, on options at right back with Jonathan Spector and Marvell Wynne: "In both cases, we feel that the players have had good experiences along the way with some of our youth teams. Certainly, Marvell benefitted a great deal from his Olympic experience last summer. Jonathan playing in the Premiership has seen what it is like to come up against great players and play in difficult environments. So we feel good that, when there are injuries and when there are suspensions, we've got players that can not only step in, but we've had them in camps, we've had them in games. It's familiar to them how we go about our business."
More on the continuation.....
Bradley's keys: "Our ability to control the game, try to keep the crowd out of it by putting Costa Rica under pressure, by moving the ball well, by dealing with the moments in the game when maybe things do get going a little bit quickly and we need to re-establish our control. It requires a lot of things over 90 minutes. The leadership on the field is very important and those are all things that pay off in important games."
Bradley, on Jozy Altidore's form despite the recent toe injury and lack of playing time: "Jozy has worked hard and communicated with [the fitness staff] when he wasn't playing regularly. He is under consideration for being in the team. He is coming off good games with us and we feel he can help us in this match."
Donovan, on finally winning at Saprissa or Azteca this summer: "First and foremost, it's about qualifying for the World Cup. There is a part of me that thinks we are more prepared now than we have ever been to win a game here or win a game at Azteca. That's exciting and that makes the possibility exciting for us, but at the end of the day, it's about qualifying. And if, knock on wood, we don't win here or Azteca and we qualify, that is the goal."
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