U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was happy with pretty much everything after his team’s 2-0 win over Panama before a crowd of 40,847 Tuesday at CenturyLink Field.
Some locally focused highlights:
Overview: Obviously we were very pleased with that performance. I thought throughout the entire game we were in control of it. Every area on the field the guys did their job. … Amazing crowd. It was a wonderful atmosphere. The players enjoyed it tremendously – we all did. We pushed for a second goal. That’s what we said at halftime – we want to add another one in the second half. That second goal came, funny enough from Eddie Johnson who plays here. We are very pleased, but we still have another game to go. We want to get those three points as well against a very strong Honduras side next week in Salt Lake City.
On the temporary grass pitch: I think everytime probably when grass is put on top of turf it causes a little bit of discussions. The field was totally fine. The players were fine with it. They did a tremendous job with the field. They accommodated every wish we had: water it here, water it there, roll it again this morning. I can just give the biggest compliments to everyone here for the field.
On the play of Brad Evans: Brad Evans is growing into his role, it making a very strong case for himself right now in our group to play that role. I think that goes for the entire team today. It really was a complete performance from everyone.
On Eddie Johnson: Since we try to double our positions and we try to always have somebody behind who is as good as almost the starter. Eddie’s role was in case something happened to Graham Zusi or even on the left flank we can throw him in there, or even if something up top happens. He’s done tremendously, and it deserves a huge compliment. Talking about Brad Evans before and Eddie, I’m constantly talking to Sigi here about how are they doing, and we kind of have the feeling that we can follow him and help him and therefore we are very pleased to have him in such a strong state now.
Midfielder Michael Bradley went even further in praise of the local crowd:
“Obviously you can’t talk about the game tonight without talking about the crowd,” he said. “Unbelievable. The best crowd I’ve played in in the United State without a doubt. So from all the players, a big thank you to everybody who was here, to everybody in this city who makes this a special night for us, because people don’t know what a difference it makes when you play in an atmosphere like this.”
Here’s what proud hometowner Brad Evans had to say about the crowd:
“It was insane. From warm-ups to thanking the crowd after the game, it was absolutely nuts, but to be expected. It’s nothing new, so not surprising at all. … Everybody is so impressed. It’s really gratifying for them to be outspoken about it, to say, ‘You guys have something special here.’ Why it took so long to get one here, it is what it is, but now that it’s here, you’d better believe there will be more to come in the future. . . The crowd was absolutely insane tonight, the guys had nothing but positive things to say about it.”