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Post Game Quote Sheet: USA vs. Uzbekistan

U.S. head coach WILMER CABRERA
On the game:
“We talked to the boys about going in with a lot of concentration knowing Uzbekistan was coming hard to play for their life, their possibility to survive in the World Cup. We spoke with them about Uzbekistan being a team that was going to play with a lot of heart and passion. The players went onto the field too relaxed, in slow motion. When we finally reacted we were down 1-0. This is a mental game. Uzbekistan was motivated and more aggressive, more into the game than our players.”

“We wanted to make some changes at halftime to give a different perspective to our team and we tied the game, but right away there was a penalty kick and again we started to chase the game. It was something that our players didn’t manage well and we fell into the game.“

On whether his team was too confident:
“We talked about Uzbekistan coming hard. We knew that for them, this was the most important game. We warned the players not to be too relaxed and to be careful, but they only tried to react once we were losing. We were always chasing the game. That’s something that you try to warn the players about, but they have to go onto the field with that mentality. They didn’t and now they pay the price.”

On the travel day before the third game:
“[The travel day before the match against New Zealand] is going to affect both teams the same way. We’re going to travel tomorrow and so there are no excuses. We have the chance against New Zealand and we have to play for our last chance to try to go to the next round.”

On the USA’s style of play and how Uzbekistan countered it:
“We cannot change the way we play. We need to be able to play the same way, because when you change the way you play, you’re going to be doing something that you don’t know. The United States has been playing like this the whole time but the players cannot fall into the other team’s rhythm and that’s what our players fell into. They made more 50-50 challenges, going in on the ground. I would say that the problem today was not soccer. It was a mental problem from our players. We needed more concentration and more awareness about what was happening on the field to try to sort it out without getting into Uzbekistan’s strengths.”

U.S. midfielder and captain MARC PELOSI
On the game:
“We should have come out harder from the start. They came out faster and with more heart and scored the early goal. That really gave them a jump on the game.”

On whether the change of venue and altitude will affect the U.S. in the game against New Zealand:
“It’s the same for both teams, so it shouldn’t really make a difference. We’re going to try to come out and we have to win that game to secure first place in the group.”