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USA-GUATEMALA: Reaction from the U.S. locker room
March 31st, 2005 12:30AM

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U.S. Coach Bruce Arena

''It was a very good performance from our team. Probably the final score is not an indication of our dominance. I think we were very good tonight. If were at fault at anything, itÆs not finishing off a few more plays. But I think itÆs one of those nights where you canÆt single out any one player for a good performance, because there were a number of them. Basically, our entire team played well. ItÆs a great performance after three games, with two on the road and six points. WeÆre right on schedule, so IÆm pleased.''

''Our top five attacking players played quite well tonight. Ralston and Lewis on the flanks were excellent. It was a great effort.''

''We had to get points tonight. WeÆre pleased. ItÆs important to win your games at home. If you would have asked me after three games, we want to have five points, and we have six. So weÆre a little bit ahead of the curve right now.''

On comparing Guatemala win to Mexico loss:

''You can never compare games. ItÆs a completely different game. I can say this until IÆm blue in the face, but you canÆt play like this in altitude as a visiting team. You just canÆt do it. I know you people canÆt appreciate that. YouÆre gonna come up with great theories on we didnÆt play two strikers or this or that. ThatÆs idiotic. ItÆs really about adapting to those conditions, and itÆs difficult. You play one of the best teams in the world in difficult conditions. You cannot play the kind of game we were able to play tonight.''

On missed opportunities in the first half:

''You go in at halftime and scratch your head. We could have had three goals at halftime. And when you have a team like Guatemala with Ruiz, he could pull off a play at anytime. He might be able to sell a penalty kick, which he tried tonight. So you never know. WeÆre at fault for keeping them around for too long. It took us too long to get the second goal. That would be our criticism tonight. Ruiz was a handful and we won that battle.''

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller

On coming off of Mexico loss:

''Obviously, in this game you saw that we were able to press quite high the entire game. You just canÆt do that at 7,500 feet and in that smog in Mexico. That was our game plan, to put them under pressure, and cough up a few balls to create a few chances. We could have scored five or six today, but you have to give credit to Guatemala. They kept in the game and had a couple of chances at the end to get back into the game.''

Forward Landon Donovan

On the match:

''First of all, Pablo is awesome. It made my job a lot easier. ItÆs just nice to play the way we want to play at home. We have two big guys in front of the goal, and they put the ball exactly where it needs to be every time. Every time they cross the ball, itÆs dangerous. They were fantastic. It was good to see (Ralston) get rewarded for his goal.''

''We played 15 or 16 games without losing, and we have one bad five minutes against a very good team at an incredible altitude and nasty smog, and all of a sudden weÆre the worst team in CONCACAF. This should make for some peace and quiet for a week. We needed that.''



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