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U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Costa Rica Quote Sheet

U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Costa Rica: Quote Sheet
Post-Game Quote Sheet: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Costa Rica
Feb. 22, 2013

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach TAB RAMOS
On the team’s Group A-winning performance against Costa Rica:
“For one thing, we came out ready to play. We knew we were playing a very difficult opponent, but I thought we had the game under control the whole time. I’m happy about that.”

On the lineup changes from the Haiti game and the reasoning behind Daniel Cuevas on the bench:
“Danny had quite a few hits from the last game, so he had a little bit of a thigh issue. He could have played tonight, but we thought we would save him a little bit. If anything he was ready to play 20-30 minutes at the end if we needed him to, but fortunately we didn’t need him. I think he’s in good form. He’s somebody we can select for the [quarterfinal] game if we choose. Jose Villarreal played the No. 9 role, and I think we have versatile players who can play different positions. Today you could see that the players could switch positions and I thought Jose did a pretty nice job.”

On Villarreal tallying a set-piece goal:
“It was great for us that we were able to capitalize on a set piece because we’ve been working on them. We’ve been working on the runs into the box. But overall, I’m more satisfied with the whole performance of the group tonight. I think we are getting better and hopefully it’s at the right time.”

On Danny Garcia’s first game in the tournament:
“I have full confidence in the roster that we have and I have full confidence in Danny Garcia. Obviously he didn’t play the first game, but as you could see he stepped in and played 90 minutes, played well tonight, helped the team, worked hard, and he’s a very good player. We built the team around players who wanted to work this way and I think fortunately tonight we showed it.”

On goalkeeper Cody Cropper coming up with a clutch second-half save:
“Cody’s a very good leader to the team, and today he had to come up big once and he did. He knows there are going to be a couple times in a game where you’re going to have to keep your team in the game. Every good goalkeeper knows that and I think he was prepared for the moment.”

On the win and heading to the all-important quarterfinal to qualify for the World Cup:
“I don’t want to take away the fact that the players should enjoy that we won the group, so we want to do that for a little bit. But at the same time we have to recognize that we’re here for Tuesday’s game. Everything we’ve done so far for the past year and a half has been for Tuesday’s game, and we have to get there. Today was just another little step toward our goal.”

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team midfielder LUIS GIL
On Friday’s victory against Costa Rica:
“It was a big win, obviously. It was important for us. I think it was just plain and simple we put in the work defensively and offensively and worked as a unit, and I think that’s what helped us the most.”

On assisting Jose Villarreal’s goal off the corner kick:
“We’ve got chemistry with him. It just takes that one play. Not all the free kicks were the way we wanted them, but it just takes that one play, and we put it away. We get into a little rhythm with each other and feed off of each other, and that helps us.”

On Tuesday’s quarterfinal for the right to play in the World Cup:
“We’ve got to be prepared for it. We’ve got to be mentally sharp now and move on from this game. I feel like this is the past now. It’s just that one game that can make it or break it.”

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team forward JOSE VILLARREAL
On the game-winning goal:
“The goal was a good set piece run by Luis and he put in a perfect ball. I was by myself and I managed to get up in the air and put it in for the team.”

On his connection with Gil:
“The connection between me and Luis is something different. We know each other. We know each other very well. We’re good friends outside of soccer. We manage to connect pretty well on the field and we’re happy with the win.”

On the team’s readiness for the quarterfinals:
“We’re very prepared. Mentally we’re getting there, but physically I think we’re fit. Mentally we’ve got to work on a couple things and we’ve got to fight through it like we did today.”

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team forward DANNY GARCIA
On getting his first CONCACAF start:
“It was really great for representing my country and getting my first start in CONCACAF. I just went out there and did my best, worked hard and worked for each other. It was great.”

On his improvement in play during the match:
“The first half wasn’t my best, but the second I came out I had more confidence in the second half, knowing how [Costa Rica] actually played and everything. I felt better in the second half.”

On the quarterfinal stage:
“It’s a go-hard-or-go-home game, so we’re just going to come out here and train harder and get ready for that game and make it to the World Cup.”