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The Rise of Ricardo Clark

FIFA.com interviews the Ricardo Clark, whose gritty defending and tough tackles for the national team often go unnoticed in the headlines. The Atlanta-born Clark is a product of the U.S. national youth team system. He earned his first cap at the senior level in 2005, and he garnered attention this June at the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, where Clark started four of five games for Coach Bob Bradley's team

Clark on the loss to Brazil in the finals of the Confederations Cup: "We were up 2-0 on Brazil [in the final] but we just couldn't hang on. If we end up in the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, we'll know how to close out the game against a big opponent. We won't get caught again."

Clark on his game-winning goal against Trinidad & Tobago: "It was a good feeling, I was pretty pumped up. We needed a goal and although I'm not usually the guy to get them, I was thrilled. We needed those points. The last thing we want is to end up in fourth place and facing a playoff with a South American team. Every point counts and South Africa is the goal."

On the USA's upcoming match against Honduras: "Honduras is loaded with talent. Last time we played [a 2-1 U.S. win in Chicago in June] they punished us on the counterattack, going up a goal early. They are ferocious at home. It's a huge match for us and a huge match for them. A point wouldn't be the end of the world but we'll be pushing to the get the result. We want to book our place at the World Cup as early as possible."

Read the whole story at Fifa.com »

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