Quotes From USMNT Coach and Players

They’ve posted a number of quotes from Bruce Arena and from the USA and Czech Players over at the official World Cup 2006 site. First up – Coach (er sorry ‘Manager’) Arena:

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.

"Grygera
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
things happen."

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."

Ouch.

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  1. Not to add salt to injury but the truth of the matter is that the USMNT has no true soccer talent comparable to the top teams in the WC. There is nobody that the US can depend on when they fall behind, I would certainly not put my hopes on Donovan or McBride to pull the US out of a hole. This is still a young and mediocre team and can only hope to play well and learn from the experience like T&T and Ghana are doing they have no more hope than give their best and put on a good showing. Getting past the group stage against US and Czech Rep is highly improbable and shame on the media and players for getting the hopes of faithful US fans too high- a quote from Donovan saying that the US can beat any team in the WC is a gross exaggeration and self deceiving to say the least- I feel like a fool for getting caught in what is now clear the teams boastful arrogance; the only thing I look forward from this team is to show more modesty and leave their hearts out on the pitch before coming home soon

  2. I’m not sure I’d agree that the team has no talent. I think they are a very talented team. But they played like they were in a daze and that they only way they could get the ball upfield was by kickign it back to Kasey for an upfield kick. The match I saw lacked intensity, not necessarily skill. We’ll see what happens Saturday.

  3. I don’t want to root for a modest team. For the US to win, they have to win as a team, agreed they can’t depend on one or two players to carry them. Yesterday, they were really off their game and played poorly. We can still beat any team on the field as long as all 11 players are playing well. I think that will change in time. But you go to the World Cup with the team you have :)

  4. And that’s just it, I’m not even close to ready to say we have a ‘modest’ team. Like you noted, if they all play well, they can be dangerous. My hope is the player sare REALLY pissed off. At Arena, the fans, the press, and channel it into Saturday. The Italians will be expecting a cake walk and if we come out on fire and attack, we could surprise.

    But I swear if I see more than 4 passes back to Kasey I’m turning off the TV. I have never seen a team rely on punts upfield like we did. Of all the problems, that single thing seemed the craziest. How many successful chances did we get off a long kick upfield from Kasey? I recall we mostly got nothign from it.

    Use your damn foot skills and drive the ball upfield. Relying on your keeper to get the ball upfield is rec league. No keeper should have double digit ball touches from his own players.