Transcript of conference call regarding MLS Expansion Draft and MetroStars new stadium
Bob Bradley on the results of the draft:
"We're disappointed to lose a young player like Pablo Brenes. The rules are written in a way that you are forced to expose some talent. That's what the expansion teams look for. A young player that, I think, showed in his first season that he is capable of doing some good things. So we thank Pablo for what he gave us this year and it is still a disappointment to lose a player like that."
Bob Bradley on the decision to protect Zach Wells over Jonny Walker:
"I would not read anything into it. Jonny just had shoulder surgery and I think that made teams a little bit wary of his situation. We had done a lot of homework and had really gotten the sense that these teams were really looking for the younger players and players that were a little bit lower in terms of the salary budget. We just felt like Zach showed a lot of promise in his first year. He is a talented young goalkeeper that we have invested some time in. We felt like that was the better way to play this game."
Bob Bradley on Jonny Walker's future with the MetroStars:
"At the end of every season you look hard at how to improve yourself. That's a process that is ongoing. We hope that there is going to be competition for every spot. Things that have been written, I would not get too concerned. It's part of the business that at the end of the season, there's going to be things put out there."
Bob Bradley on the effect that Jonny Walker's injury had on his play:
"I think at the end of the year, it had some impact. He handled it pretty well and was able to stay in there for us, so I think at the end of the year, it was a small issue. It probably had some impact on some games down the stretch."
Nick Sakiewicz on the recent issues regarding the new stadium:
"I realize that there has been some confusion as a result of the reports that were out there in the last couple of weeks on the future of the stadium. Some of those reports left our fans confused about this project, and I am sorry about that. I regret that for sure. But for a number of reasons we have not been able to comment on the issue up to this point. Contrary to those reports, the MetroStars stadium development is very much alive. Not only is it alive, but it is moving in a very good track based on the meetings and the discussions that we have been having. None of the recent events over the last couple of weeks have derailed the project. I am more excited than ever that the dream of us having a stadium will become a reality."
Nick Sakiewicz on Governor Codey's comment in the Star Ledger:
"I am not in a position to comment on that particular comment of the Governor. You should ask him. But what I can say is that we are delighted that he believes in the MetroStars and that he has a vision for sports in the state of New Jersey and that that vision very much includes us. As a result of that vision, we have been working in a very positive and productive manner with the Sports Authority to put together a plan that would get a soccer specific stadium built."
Nick Sakiewicz on whether or not the MetroStars will play at the Meadowlands...
"There are some things that I can talk about and others that I can't. I know that in the past we have thrown deadlines out there that we truly believed in and we relied on experts outside of our company to provide those deadlines. I am not going to talk about deadlines I cannot talk about that. I cannot talk about specifics of the deal. As all of you know, we have been working very hard over the past three years to make this happen as have many other sports team in this area that are in similar venue development discussions with various governmental entities. I can't get into specifics on some of those discussions, only that they are very productive and very positive right now."
Nick Sakiewicz on his preference for the new stadium's location:
"What is most important is that the MetroStars fans have a soccer specific stadium of their own because they deserve one and our organization after nine seasons and some real positive development of the sport of Major League Soccer and this area have its own stadium. We have seen what these buildings do for teams and what they do for their fans. It's important that we have our own."
Nick Sakiewicz on the state's recent interest in the MetroStars:
"We are really excited over this governor's new vision and plan for sports in the state of New Jersey. As a result, we are having very productive discussions with the state to build a soccer specific stadium. You are saying that we are abandoning Harrison, I am not saying that. All I am saying is that this new governor's new vision and added focus on sports and sports teams in this state is quite exciting."
Nick Sakiewicz on the date of breaking ground for a new stadium:
"We are not prepared to say it is going to push it back. Again, I am not in a position to throw out dates or timelines. I do not think that that would be wise at this point. We are still hopeful that we can get one sooner than later and 2006 will be better than 2007. But I cannot really answer that."
Nick Sakiewicz on building a practice facility:
"We are still working with the developer in Pequanock on a practice facility up there. We are not abandoning that or taking our eye of that wall. We are hopeful that we will get our practice facility done there. It is still waiting upon some approvals from the DEP and some local approvals. The developer there could more accurately answer those questions."
Bob Bradley on the MetroStars goalie situation:
"As I said before, we are going to consider all of the possibilities in terms of how to improve. We feel good that we have two goalkeepers returning at the moment and yet we will still try to size up what our options are and look for ways to improve."
Bob Bradley on the difference between Jonny Walker this year and last year:
"I think that Jonny has shown that he is a good goalkeeper. I think that there's time that, either through bad luck or not being sharp that you give up a few more goals than you would like. I think that was the case for our team this year. I would just say that we would say that that is a scenario where we must improve. I think we showed in the second half of the year that we were going in that direction, but in order to reach our goals, we need to continue to make strides in those areas."
Bob Bradley on the output of players acquired last season:
"We were disappointed with the finish to the season, there is no two ways about that. I think we showed that we are capable of playing with the best teams in the league. I believe that after 20 games we were in good position. Down the stretch, what we saw was tight games that often time could have gone either way but where we just didn't seem to be able to make plays that counted in the bigger games. Sometimes it's hard to put a finger on what pushes that over the top. Consistency of some of the key players is certainly part of it so you're pointing towards an inconsistency that certainly is part of our efforts to improve."
Bob Bradley on the continuity of his team:
"Obviously not as well as we would have liked because we did not finish the season the way that we wanted. But I think the group still did come together as well as how it played. When you look carefully at things, perhaps again at the end of the season, its that little extra dimension, that edge that comes in different ways. Sometimes it's experience, sometimes it's a hot player. But it's that little dimension that is going to get us to the next step. Again, if you look closely at the games, the scores, you realize that it is a pretty fine line. But that is something that we have to try to look at as a whole in order to get to where we need to be."
Bob Bradley on replacing Craig Ziadie:
"Again, I think in the two years that I have been here, Craig played a lot of games as a right back, and also played a lot of games for Jamaica as a right back. He has talked about the idea that he wanted to explore options in England. Something that he has made very clear. It was something we talked about at the end of last season. He is out of contract, so in that regard, we wish him the best."
Bob Bradley on Eddie Gaven and Michael Bradley's condition:
"We released a statement on Eddie's condition today. Towards the latter part of the season, he was having some groin pain. We sent him to Dr. Cattey in Milwaukee who has done this sports hernia procedure on many players in the league. He found a small tear. It was repaired. That is usually a 6-8 week rehab. That should not be any problem at all. His challenge is to possibly see if he can be ready to help the U-20s in qualifying in January. Michael, over the last couple weeks of the season was back into training. He is at the U-20 camp at the moment in Florida and seems to be over the stress fracture of the novicula."
Nick Sakiewicz's closing statement:
"I just want to clear up any ambiguity our there that may lead people to believe we are not working with Harrison. I started saying, when we addressed the stadium situation, that it is a very good situation and that there are now opportunities as a result of this governor and his vision for sports. I don't want anyone to think that the MetroStars or our organization is walking away from anything. If anything, we have new additional opportunities that we are working on that, and I know that the folks in Harrison are working steadily on this project. So it should not be reported that Harrison is dead or that Harrison is abandoned from our end."