It was certainly a very poor start to the game, down a goal in the first five minutes of the game against a team like the Czech Republic, which actually defends very well and at that point were very comfortable in sitting back and absorbing any kind of pressure and countering us.
I’m very disappointed in our start. I’m very disappointed in the performance of a number of our players over 90 minutes. The better team won today. Give them credit. They punished us for every mistake we made. At 1-0 we had a chance, Claudio (Reyna) hits the post, they come back and get an absolutely great goal by (Tomas) Rosicky.
In the first half I though we played OK, but we go down two goals and we’re chasing the game and to chase the game against a team of that quality is very difficult.
I’m not sure what first half he was watching. But he was right about the chasing. We did a lot of that.
Now the players…
Steve CHERUNDOLO (USA)
It was not a good day for us. We need to get better now and keep our shape better in the next game with Italy. We didn’t win enough of the second balls, but we absolutely still have a chance. We will overcome this loss and present ourselves in a better manner next time against Italy.
Josh WOLFF (USA)
To concede such an early goal is always going to put you in a tough spot. We did OK at points in the game, Reyna hit the post and we had our moments, but we will really need to improve ahead of our next game (against Italy).
Eddie LEWIS (USA)
That early goal really killed us. We had a game plan and an idea in our heads about how we should play, but after that goal it all went out the window. We had to push forward and that left us susceptible to the counterattack. Their shot-to-goal ratio was good, but they are world-class players and that’s what world-class players do: they take their chances.
Brian McBRIDE (USA)
We just didn’t play well enough tonight and we came up against a really good team. We have to learn to play more composed at speed and have a little more confidence. Now we need to build on the few things we did right and get back on track.
John O’BRIEN (USA)
The early goal made things pretty hard on us. But I think we have positives we can build on. Captain Claudio played very well tonight. I’m just happy to be here after all my injury troubles and do whatever I can do to help the team.
Bobby CONVEY (USA)
We need to forget about this game as quickly as is humanly possible. If we come out and play like this against Italy we’re going to lose again. We really need to learn from the mistakes we made tonight.
Landon DONOVAN (USA)
We played OK in the first half and we are still alive if we get a result in our next game. All is not lost and we will keep on fighting.
Convey and McBride nailed it. Forget this match and get ready for the next, otherwise we’re toast.
What I don’t get is how many players noted the early goal. Sure that’s deflating, but that happens. A team gets a break or executes and scores early. How can an entire game plan go out the window after an early goal? Was the plan to get up 1-0 and then stifle on defense? I really hope it wasn’t and if it was, we sure as hell should have had a Plan B.
OK, enough grousing – time to get psyched up for Italy. This isn’t the end of the world, we had a BAD match. But we move on and if we can beat Italy, we may get some wind in our sails again.
Petr Cech showed a lot of class with his quote.
UPDATE: Arena went a bit farther in the latest Reuters article (Be sure to hit Page 2):
Arena blamed his veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller for "putting the
ball upfield where we have nobody" at the start of the sequence that
led to the first goal.
has an uncontested crossing and Koller is in front of the goal to knock
it in," said Arena. "It’s very disappointing. I can’t explain why those
Arena also singled out PSV Eindhoven midfielder
DaMarcus Beasley — alongside Donovan one of his most important players
— for strong criticism.
"We got nothing out of Beasley on the night," Arena said.
"Not enough players took the initiative. We didn’t get too many good performances."