Quote Sheet: U-15 BNT Head Coach Hugo Perez Wraps Up The 2013 Development Academy Showcase
The U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team earned a 1-1-1 record against advanced competition at the 2013 Development Academy Showcase at Premier Sports Complex in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., and leaves the competition headed in the right direction for its next challenge in the New Year. Head coach Hugo Perez sounded a positive note about the work accomplished during the week-long competition.
Dec. 15, 2013
© U.S. Soccer
On the overall result of a week of advanced competition
“It went well. We played three tough games that are going to help us when we go out [for international play], which is very important for us. That was the main thing. This was like a mini-camp for us. We played two years up and that will help us when we got out and play next year when we play our age or a year up, so I think it was helpful.”
On the team’s final performance on Sunday against the New York Red Bulls Academy
“Good for most of the game. We struggle obviously on the physical part. We played two years up and have guys that are still growing. That’s our issue right now.
“The positive thing is we are getting more out of this game than if we were to play our ’99 age group. That wouldn’t help us. The players need to learn how to play against these big guys and they can do it. We did it these five days that we’ve been here. But, some days it’s going to catch up to you because obviously there’s a difference in the physical size. But, the football, the technical part, the idea… excellent.”
On the teaching moments throughout the week
“One is when we play teams that are more physical than us, we need to learn how to play quicker, we need to learn how to be smart in our decisions when we play, and we need to possess the ball. Today against the Red Bulls Academy, in the first half, we had 71% of the ball, which for us is fantastic. But, then what happens is people get tired. [Red Bulls Academy] did well to bring some players in that were more physical and that’s something we struggle with, but it’s a normal thing. We just don’t want to play our age, it won’t help us. This is what the players need to learn.”
On any particular performances from players throughout the week
“I don’t like to point out individual players because for us the group is more important. We do our assessment of each player individually when we go back home. But, everybody did a good job, that’s the main thing.”
On what the focus turns to now for the U-15s
“Our next training camp. We have some games there. The focus of this group is for [U-17 MNT head coach] Richie Williams to have options. We communicate every week and my job is to get them better for whatever he wants. He already has three guys from us, a left back, center back and goal keeper, which is good.
“I’m sure they are looking at other players, but look, the [U-17] World Cup isn’t for another two years. [My players] in another six months are going to be a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger and will have played more football.”