FIFA Friendly: GERMANY 1-2 USA

On the win:
“I think the team realized after 20-25 minutes that there’s a whole game to play. I think the leadership, especially of Michael Bradley, was tremendous. He was the absolute best player on the field tonight. With his experience, he played all over in Europe and back in MLS now, the players really looked at him and said we’re going to turn this slowly in the other direction and the ball shifted. At halftime we made a couple changes, bringing in Kyle Beckerman, who calmed things down defensively and is I think the most underrated player coming out of the last World Cup. Kyle Beckerman is really just there for the team. He cleans things up and he makes everyone around him look better because he’s doing the dirty work and that makes it easier for us. So I think the shape was better the second half. We were kind of more compact to close down the passing lanes because when they start playing one-two touches it’s very, very difficult. We got the momentum in the second half and turned it into our half and it was pretty exciting.”

On Bobby Wood:

“Obviously we are thrilled at the development of the young players. Bobby Wood is a work in progress. He’s a kid that came over here to Germany at the age of 14. He’s from Hawaii and then he played youth soccer in California then he went to 1860 Munich when he was fourteen years old and then he sort of worked his way up. He had a very difficult season. He didn’t break through at 1860, but he moved on at the end to Aue and got injured. We worked him back.  Erzgebirge Aue helped him a lot in this process. I just gave him the feeling that it’s a process. We are trying to educate our player on what it really means to play in a place like we played tonight, what it means to be a 24/7 professional on the field and off the field. That learning curve for our 19-, 21-, 22-year old players will be still a couple of years. But when you see certain things in training and certain talent then as a coach you just wish they can do it day in and day out. He’s not able to do that yet, but now he gets more confidence and he really deserves a nice vacation break now.”

On capitalizing on opportunities against the world’s top teams:
“I think the important thing is when you try to play with the big teams in the world, you need to have the courage to try and create something and we actually did that in the first 15 minutes. We had some sequences in the first 15 minutes where we there was a shot for Mix Diskerud, and Aron Johansson got a nice shot off there. It’s that learning curve to be courageous and to just go for it and do it, so it’s a different mindset you develop. It’s a lot of psychological work right now that we’re doing with the players because they need to believe we can go to Europe and we can have a game. We also know that games can go the other way as well and we get a lesson and so be it, but I think we’re growing a higher confidence level and we’re learning how to grind down things like we did. Obviously it helps more to have some wins in that process to keep things balanced and calm.”

On what these wins over Netherlands and Germany do for the team heading into the Gold Cup:

“It was a good week for us, for sure. It’s the start of a big summer. Certainly these two results will give us some confidence and we should feel like as we head into big, important games in the Gold Cup that we have nothing to be afraid of and we can step on the field against any team and can cause anybody trouble and can beat anybody.”

On the game:
“I thought the for the first 20-25 minutes it took us a little while to tactically understand exactly the best way to go about it. I thought once we made a few little changes we were able to kind of put the game on our terms a little bit more. And so obviously the goal at the end of the first half helps in terms of getting it back to 1-1, and then the second half I thought we handled very well. In the end, I think the second goal is deserved.”

On the USA fans in the stadium:
“We have unbelievable fans. As the game continues to grow in our country, the fan support does as well. We’re so lucky that we can be in Cologne, Germany, playing a game like this and can have 1,000 fans in the corner of the stadium. Especially in the second half, it was all you could hear.”

On the team coming together at the right time:
“That’s certainly the goal that now as we move into the summer that we’re really firing on all cylinders and really coming together in a good way. And certainly the work that went into these 10 days and into these two games will go a long way.”

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