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Quotes from 2010 Finals Week Placement Matches

Post-Match Quotes
2010 Finals Week Placement Matches
U-17/18 Age Division
Carson, Calif.

Varder U-17/18 Head Coach DEMIR MUFTARI
On preparing the players for their performance tonight:
“It was our plan all along to keep things as normal as possible and keep it just like any other game. But, it’s much easier said than done. It was a long day for us. The boys were up all day and anxious, a little bit on edge. It’s obviously a big stage for them to be on. They worked so hard to get here and they wanted to give their all. It took most of the first half really to find our legs because we almost played a little bit timid. We weren’t quite ourselves. I think that had to do with Crossfire and the stage being a bit big for us.

On pushing for the next goal after it was 1-1 at halftime:
“We felt fortunate to be 1-1 at halftime. We felt we were outplayed to be perfectly honest. We didn’t feel like we gave our best effort. We were confident that there were things we could do better in the second half and get back to doing things the way we know how. The boys really responded well and had a really good second half. It was good not only to get the second one, but also – I give the boys full credit for this – to get that third one and put them away.”

On what it means to the club to win its first Development Academy title:
“It’s a great thing for the club – something we’re all very proud of. We’re proud of this group and we’re proud to be associated with this. This is the top level of youth soccer in this country and we’re honored to be a part of it. For us to make it here with so many quality teams and quality players around the country and to achieve this is something unforgettable not just for the kids but [the club] as well.”

Real So Cal U-17/18 Head Coach JULIO CASTILLO
On winning third place at Finals Week:
“We played loose. There was really nothing more to prove. We came here to win and we were unlucky by one goal. It’s ok though. Today [the team] was having fun. I was able to get the substitutes in and most them played the whole game. It was good.”

On the team’s performance across their four game schedule:
“On a scale of 1-10, I would give them an 8.5, only because we gave up a goal in the last few minutes of the second game and we allowed one in the first game too. But other than that, we did really well – maybe just one bad half, 10 or 15 minutes of up and down. After that, we played solid. I’m proud of their effort, the skills and the ability to perform under pressure.”

On playing at Finals Week as a local team:
“It’s great. It feels like home field advantage. We played a couple of games that were must win and we were in front of the crowd, the parents, the families. This is the first time the families have seen them play in such a showcase and the parents were surprised at the talent that the country has this much talent. They are very proud of this group.”

On the Finals Week experience in general:
“Awesome, just awesome. The team really enjoyed it. They had a great experience and I’m sure they’ll pass the word along to the little ones. That’s the key – bring the little ones along and get them better.

Baltimore Bays Chelsea FC U-17/18 Head Coach STEVE NICHOLS
On the attitude going into today’s game:
“We had a little bit of a disappointing week. We got off to a good start. Due to a few injuries, we didn’t get the results we would have wanted, but this club is about pride. I think today they just wanted it a little bit more and the pride came out.”

On what gave them the edge in the final third today:
“We had a little bit more urgency today. Dallas is very good team and a very good technical team. We play a little bit differently. We get up in your face and pressure. I think we suffocated them a bit and had them pinned in for most of the first half. We had a couple of chances and couldn’t finish it off. It was good to get that one late because we could have had one before.”

Concorde Fire U-17/18 Head Coach KEN KURILEC
On the team’s performance today:
“I thought the performance today was a lot better than what we’ve had. We settled down and played a little bit. We got some injured players back, which made a big difference. I was happy they closed out well. That was the biggest thing to look out for today, giving the effort in this last game.”

On how the team did over the course of the week:
“During the week we had some struggles. We were missing some key players and we could’ve had some people step up for us. But, we were playing quality competition. We were a bit flat early in the week. When you play this level of competition, you can’t come out flat and we did that and made some key mistakes. But the team kept battle, which is what I was looking for as the week went on.”

On being at Finals Week:
“It’s a great experience. This whole thing is first class. From the way they treat the athletes, to the way they treat the coaches, the support we’re given on and off the field, everything is just fabulous. For some of these kids, this is the second time out here and they just enjoy it more and more. You can’t get a better experience.”