Bradley: Yes we can
USA playmaker Landon Donovan is counting on the support of South African fans in Sunday's FIFA Confederations Cup final against Brazil at Ellis Park. The all-time top scorer for the US has an unhappy record against the holders, who dished out a 3-0 defeat to Donovan and his team-mates in the group stages. But the Los Angeles Galaxy talent is hoping for a change of fortune in the South African commercial capital, with the assistance of the vuvuzela-blowing locals.
"I've never beaten Brazil at any level," Donovan said. "I have one particular lowlight, my first game against them was an Under-23 match in Brasilia - we lost 7-0! We're hoping to rectify that tomorrow, it would be a nice time to do it."
Concerning the local fans, he commented: "One of the best things here was coming to the stadium the other night. I wasn't sure how the crowd were going to accept us, then realised how many South Africans were on our side.
"I think we've shown a spirit and competiveness that people love and find infectious. I expect the same tomorrow, people want to see us doing well."
Donovan went on to talk about the importance of Sunday's final to the CONCACAF Gold Cup winners.
"We're extremely excited to be here, it's a big opportunity for us and one we don't get often. We're going to give it everything we have. There's no promise we'll get back to a final like this, so we're going to take advantage of it," he said.
Coach Bob Bradley said that the appearance of the US in the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 finale was the fruit of a long voyage.
"This chance is not something that's happened in the last few days, it's a result of a lot of things happening in US soccer, like MLS players choosing to go to Europe and our success and disappointments at the [FIFA] World Cup," he said.
"We're continuing our march in the soccer world and this is an important step."
Asked how the US were going to beat Brazil after going down heavily to them already in this tournament, he remarked: "Against Brazil we started tentatively and made critical errors and went a man down.
"I think we've shown in our last two games against Egypt and Spain we've started with more energy and with a balance of aggression and intelligence.
"We've learned from the Brazil game and now we have a wonderful opportunity to start over with them and make sure the beginning of the match is right for us and we come out as champions," he said.
"The expression 'Yes we can' worked for Barack Obama, so we can as well."