Saturday, March 28, 2009

Brad Guzan On His First EPL Appearance

Tonight, Brad Guzan gets the start for the USMNT in El Salvador due to Tim Howard's suspension on card accumulation. This season is his first in the Premier League and with Aston Villa. Last week he made his League debut against Liverpool, unfortunately the team was already down 4-0 and he came in to immediately face a Steven Gerrard penalty kick.

Brad was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his day to answer a few questions, for the second time, about his debut for Unprofessional Foul.

1. Your first league appearance was certainly trial by fire. You came in cold in the second half and were immediately faced with a penalty kick from one of the world's leading midfielders, Steven Gerrard. What was going through your mind as you prepared to replace Brad Friedel on the field?

I was just trying to prepare myself physically, getting my top on, gloves on and then go out and try to stop the penalty. The score was already 4-0 so it wasn't a pressure situation, I just wanted to go out and do my best.

2. What were your coaches telling you before you came onto the field? Did they have an iPod loaded with video for you to review like ManU had for Ben Foster in the Carling Cup Final?

They just said to go out and do my best, like I said, the game was not going our way and we were not playing our best, so for me to make my debut in that situation they just said to enjoy it and do my best.

3. While you are standing there waiting for the ref's whistle on the PK, what goes through your mind? What are looking for or thinking about at that time and through Gerrard's runup to the ball?

Anytime there is a penalty you try to put the pressure on the taker. As a goalkeeper you are not expected to save it, but if you do you are the hero, so for me I thought maybe he would change his side since it was his 2nd of the game, but unfortunately he didn't.

4. You came into the match on the famous Kop end at Anfield. Can you describe what that experience was like compared to other matches you have played in? What was the best insult you heard from the Kop?

I think because of the score they were not too bothered by me entering the game and were more excited about the scoreline. It was a great place to play, but at the same time I didn't really notice them too much as I was tuned into the game.

5. It certainly wasn't the ideal situation to be coming into, but how did you feel about your performance in the match and what will you take away from it?

For me individually I was able to go into the game and just play. I think I had to make one save on a shot from distance and my distribution was good, so as bad as it was there were some positives for me to take away from it. I will try to build on those and keep working hard.

6. Be honest, are you a little disappointed that Brad Friedel's red card has been rescinded since it will likely keep you out of next week's matchup at Old Trafford?

To be honest, I knew the club would appeal the red card as it was a very soft red. I would have been more shocked if they kept the 3 game suspension. As a player you always want to be playing games, but I know that if I was in Brad's shoes, I would have felt an injustice if it held up.

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