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Reactions from the U.S. locker room
October 15th, 2009 7AM


[USA-COSTA RICA] For postgame reactions from the U.S. contingent after the 2-2 tie with Costa Rica, including Coach Bob Bradley's description of his halftime talk, when the USA was trailing 2-0, and his visit with Charlie Davies in the hospital prior to the game. ...


On winning the group: "We are very proud to win the group. It took a really determined strong effort by our team and we always talk about when you step on the field, you show people what you're all about. Tonight is not the way you draw it up on the board before the game but it still showed the mentality, the spirit and we're very proud of that."

On what he said to the team at halftime: "We did finish the first half pushing hard. We had a number of really of good chances at the end of the first half. We talked about the fact that we needed to continue in that regard. The biggest thing I was unhappy about was just the times that we weren't playing the ball fast enough. I got on the team for that, the fact that you need to play the ball quicker, you need to push the game harder. And making sure we understood we came here to win the game and win the group and the first half now was behind us. The response came from all those guys."

On Oguchi Onyewu's injury: "[Oguchi Onyewu has a] torn left patellar tendon. Obviously, we've had two days of tough news and Gooch has been such an important part of our team. That's normally three to four months, he's young, he's healthy, our doctors are good. He's someone that we're sure is going to get back and ready to go. But, nonetheless, it's another setback for us."

On his visit to see Charlie Davies at the hospital: "It's a tough time. Our players would have all been there with me, but it is not possible at the moment. I made sure that Charlie and his family knew that every player on our team, every coach, everybody involved with U.S. Soccer is thinking about him and we have the faith that he's going to be back with us pretty fast."


On his game-tying goal: "It was in stoppage time and we were pushing extremely hard that whole second half and we got a couple corners late in the game. Then you know what happened, you go up for a corner and Robbie Rogers put in a good ball and we threw a lot of numbers in the box. I don't usually go up for corner kicks, usually I stay in the back, but for that one, I was like, I'm getting in there. This is last shot effort. He put in a good ball and I just found myself wide open, no one marked me, I kind of snuck in there. The ball fell to my head and I just put it away."

On the emotion of scoring the game-tying goal: "I think the whole team wanted to go out and put a good effort out there today, for Charlie, for his family and for everyone that was involved in the situation. To get the tie to go onto the World Cup as first in our group, I think it shows a lot about our team and what we're all about. Hopefully, going forward from here we can keep getting better and prepare for the World Cup."

On whether there is a special significance to finishing in first place:
"There's a huge significance. Our whole goal from the beginning of qualifying was to win the group. Whenever you step on the field you want to win every game. All 10 games, I think we set out to do our best and try to get the results that we needed in order to ultimately win the group and, to do it, I think we have to be really proud of ourselves and I would say there's huge significance in that."


On his thoughts when the team was down a goal and Oguchi Onyewu was injured after the team had already made all three allowed substitutions: "The way the game was kind of going, that was a ride. That was after we got the goal. To be honest, they got in a shell. I thought they got really nervous. We dominated the flanks. We were able to get the ball into Robbie (Rogers) into Steve (Cherundolo) and out to Landon (Donovan) and Jonny (Bornstein) so they were really giving that up. They were really hunkering down the middle. That game was wide open at that point so all we did was add to it.... It wasn't as if the game had a different shape and they were going to combine and use their 11 men to their advantage. They were sitting in. It didn't really matter too much at that point."

On what the comeback tie says about the team: "It felt like a huge win, which it wasn't, it was a come-from-behind draw. It was just the way the crowd was tonight. They were awesome and they deserved a show. We were down 2-0 and we couldn't put anything in the back of the net. It was a lot of fun to be able to do that. We were probably going to give a lap of honor and celebrate with our fans anyway. It just made it more special."

On Jonathan Bornstein scoring the game-tying goal: "Guys like that work their tail off all qualifying and defend and do the dirty stuff so it's good that he gets the glory."

On coming from behind to tie the match: "It happens that way sometimes, but I think the team has shown good character this year coming from behind and I think we did well again to come back, especially with a man down and do what we did tonight."

On Charlie Davies: "It was definitely something difficult for us to get through. For me and a lot of the guys Charlie is a brother. We're all very close and that news hurt us a lot. We played with him in our hearts tonight and I think it helped us out big."

On his relationship with Davies: "A lot of the guys were hurt but, I am real close with Charlie. It was tough to swallow and you never know what could have happened that night. I am thankful that God was watching over him and he came out of it better than it could have been. Our hearts are with him, our prayers are with him and we hope he gets better soon."

On coming out too emotional: "I was very emotional the past few days. I am not going to lie, I just couldn't get my mind off of it, you know what I mean. It is unbelievable to think how your life can change in one night, in one minute, in one second. It was tough to swallow for me. I played like he was out there with me tonight."

On the way the team finished tonight as a tribute to Davies:
"It was a great dedication. We saw everybody put out the '9's in the ninth minute and it means a lot because he was a big part of this team this year and when he gets back he is going to continue to do that. We are all going to be behind him. He has a great support staff around him and we hope he is going to bounce back."

On the comeback: "It shows the character of the guys. It was a good exercise for us going to the World Cup. Especially with Gooch going down, the character of the team showed."

On what Charlie Davies brought to this team: "I think the energy and the work ethic he brings all the time. I was watching video yesterday and noticed how hard he works, he tries to help both sides of the ball. He is getting better, his technique was improving, his movement off the ball was improving, his speed of course helps us a bunch. He was definitely growing into his own, he was finding his feet and for him to go down now is definitely a sad time. He worked so hard and he wanted it so bad."

On coming from behind to tie the match: "Down 2-0 at halftime is never what you want, but I thought we had decent stretches in the first half. We were able to create some good chances and obviously the end product wasn't good enough. To be down 2-0 at halftime is never what you want, that is pretty clear, but I thought in the second half and even at the end of the first half when we were down 2-0, the response to push the game and keep running and fighting and just to keep going, I thought that was really good. On that end, we can all be really proud of ourselves tonight."

On finishing in first place in the group:
"It's great. I think we've seen in this cycle more than any that Concacaf has gotten a lot stronger. Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, us, it has been a battle. So, to finish first is a great achievement. Maybe it gives us a little chance at a seed in the World Cup. If not, the experience that we've gained in these games here is certainly going to help us as we go forward."

On Jonathan Bornstein's goal: "Jonny is a great competitor. Out on the left he's up and down the whole game. He keeps himself going. I thought he was a real plus for us tonight out on the left side so for him to get a huge goal for us, I thought was great."


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