From the U.S. locker room ...

[REACTION] U.S. players admitted Panama was again a hard team to break down in their rematch, but they said they played much better the second time. For what Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Freddy Adu, who teamed up for the winning goal, had to say ...

Clint Dempsey:

"It was a frustrating match in the sense that it was real tight. We found it difficult trying to get the ball in between lines. They were a very organized team. That’ s why they are in the semifinals. I think we showed our quality in being able to grind out a result even when it wasn’t our best game, and now we find ourselves in the final."

On the goal:
“It was a great ball from Freddy [Adu] to open up Landon [Donovan]. Once Landon gets in those positions, he normally finds a player. All I had to do was try to put myself in a position that he could find me. I felt far post was the way to go. He hit it hard and low, and all I had to do was put my foot on it. That’s why after the goal I tried to go and celebrate with him, because without that pass there was no goal.”

On playing in his home state of Texas:
“This is where it all started for me in Texas, in the small town of Nacogdoches. Being able to represent my country is something I dreamed about as a kid. It means a lot to be able to come back to Texas and play. It always feels great. The most important thing is that we are playing in a semifinal here, and that made it a little bit sweeter.”

On celebrating the goal with Landon Donovan:
“In the first game, he got an assist as well to Jozy [Altidore]. This was his second assist in the tournament. He’s been playing non-stop for a long time and doing it consistently at the highest level. He’s a top quality player. He’s a guy you always want next to you in a big game, and he proved his worth tonight by being able to keep his calm in that position in the final third and being able to find that pass. I just wanted to show my appreciation to him for being able to find me in that spot and get the goal that put us in the final.”

Landon Donovan:

“The game was a little difficult. We did a pretty good job of creating chances playing against a really good team. Your role as a substitute is to make an impact. Freddy and I were able to combine well and make the play that won the game.”

On whether team has improved since the loss to Panama:
“We are playing a lot better. Sometimes it’s good to get a wake-up call. We’ve said all along that this tournament is a marathon. You can’t get too caught up in one result or one performance. You have to keep getting better as the tournament goes on, and now we find ourselves in the final with a chance to win it.”

On the goal:
“It was a good play. We got out of our end well. I made a run forward and I wasn’t sure that Freddy saw me, but he played a great ball. My first thought was to hit it first time to Clint, but I saw the defender back off so I wanted to be aggressive. I ran at him, and Clint and I made good eye contact. I knew if it was going to get there I had to hit it hard. Clint made a great play to get his foot on it.”

On whether he was surprised to be a reserve:
“Not surprised at all. Bob and I spoke about it all week. Throughout the years, we’ve always been very open and honest with our communication, so there’s nothing left to the imagination. We spoke about it and agreed that the team played very well the other night. I’ve certainly been the beneficiary of playing well, the team playing well and you staying in the team. It’s been that way my whole career. We were on the same page, and I wanted to make sure that when I came in I could make an impact.”

Freddy Adu:

On getting the opportunity to play:
”It was very important for me, personally, and very important for the team. I haven’t stepped on the field for the national team in over two years. To get a chance to be out there, I was very happy and very fortunate. The goal as a substitute is to get out there and bring a lot of energy and make a difference. It worked out well.”

On the pass that led to the goal:
“We’ve had some similar plays in training. Landon is a player that knows the right runs to make. I had seen him before I got the ball, and had to put the ball in his path and I knew he was going to get there.”

5 comments about "From the U.S. locker room ...".
  1. Ernest Irelan, June 23, 2011 at 8:46 a.m.

    it certainly is true that Panama is a great team, they were not broken down, nor was games such as this, if one gets a chance, it must be taken successfully, that makes the difference of a win or loss...two accurate passes, to be on the final end for goal was great by Dempsey...defense by both teams I thought was key, it just seemed neither side had the ability to make a break thru of the defense for shots on goal....teams that could play any day an either team could win. No doubt about it, Panama is a great team, very physical an fast, well organized. I think that coach Bradley is still loking for that team matchup that will excel as a unit. He is getting closer, I sure am looking forward to the final..

  2. Brad Hallier, June 23, 2011 at 10:06 a.m.

    Bob Bradley deserves a lot of credit here. I admit, I turned my back on him after the loss to Panama, but his strategies and decisions are paying off now. The team is starting better and playing complete games, which they'll have to do against Mexico.

  3. Andrew Post, June 23, 2011 at 11:51 a.m.

    ERNEST and Brad,
    Really guys? Bradley deserves a lot of credit and Panama is a great team? Boy you guys sure do drink the punch don't you! No Panama is not a great team! They havn't ever qualified for the world cup or come close and they won't again the next time. No bradley doesn't deserve any credit! They beat Panama 1-0 only after he had to fix his lineup mistakes from the first half.
    Look at his roster and look at who he has starting.
    Kljestan and Wondolowski do not deserve to be on the roster and mickael bradley hasn't played in months for a club ( he rides the pine for his loan club) yet he starts and plays every minute. He is TERRIBLE. Bradley benches the leading USMNT scorer and puts Kljestan in a CAM role?
    Bradley has no clue how to coach a team at this level. Perhaps you did not realize the US has never lost a group stage match until the first Panama game.
    Why on earth you bozo's think Panama is a "great team" and bradley deserves any credit is beyond me. Have you not followed USMNT soccer long enough to know that bradley has brought this team down from what was a very promising furture at the 2006 world cup?
    We are coasting on talent and talent alone, not on any brilliant coaching from bradley.

  4. John Soares, June 23, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.

    MR. Post, nice that you don't make it personal. No Panama is not a great team, neither is the US. At their level they are equally poor, good or great. I too am very dissapointed with the level of play at USMNT. Would have expected much better by now. However, very much like you. I do not have an immediate solution. The difference being you name players you don't like but really have no fix. There is a long list of players/saviors that (according to the critics) were going to make the US a succsesful scoring machine yet all failed, at least were of no help. In recent years Twelman, Cooper, Gomez, Buddle..... Exactly where does Bradley(or any coach) go next. You do however demonstrate your expertise. "A very promising future after 2006 WC". Yeah right, one goal scored, no wins, came home rated #32 of 32. AND FYI, Bradley was not in Italy. We probably need a new coach to at the very least "shake things up". But there will be no miracles, and the critics/experts will be happy for about a month; if that.

  5. David Huff, June 23, 2011 at 8:03 p.m.

    @ Andrew, you know how to hit below the belt. It could be worse though, they could be as "dumb as a doornail" (although that may not be that far off from being a "Bradley") :)
    @John, i love your "straw-man" logic where you say that Gomez, Buddle etc. were touted by critics as saviors as scorers and then in the next breath say "yet all failed" WTF!? The only failure that those two had during WC2010 was the failure to escape Team Bradley's bench so that YOUR GUY Bob Bradley could play the "incredible" scoring machine of Findley (who couldn't score if he had an open net in front of him with no GK) or the "wonderfully" talented Redcardo Clark and Bradley Jr. all 3 of these no-talent guys BB started in the crucial game against Ghana. In the meantime, YOUR CORRUPT Bob Bradley sits Mexican League Scoring Champion Gomez(imagine that, an American who for the first time takes the goleador title in the very competitive Mexican league)and Buddle who was tearing things up in MLS and who scored 3 goals in the friendly against Australia in South Africa days before the WC. For someone who claims to be a Portagee I would have expected a better perspective on the beautiful game and how the US soccer structure needs improvement.

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