US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. - Ecuador Post-Match Quote Sheet

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Thursday, June 7, 2001) -

%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%Bruce Arena, U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach

Opening Comments: "I think it was a good game for us to have in preparation for the matches later this month. It was a good game for a friendly, and I thought Ecuador was a great opponent out there. Eight of the eleven starters played in their qualifier against Peru, so it was a good team that we faced out there."

On how this game fits into preparation for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers: "The plan here was not to get some of these young players ready for qualifying. It was just to get them a little exposure at what we're doing, get to know them a little better on and off the field, and keep them in mind for the future. As I've told some reporters previously, we've broken qualifying down into three phases, and we're in the second phase. Stage one was to get to the final round of qualifying. Stage two obviously is to qualify for South Korea and Japan. And stage three is just to make this team better. I think we're on track to accomplish all three."

%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%Jovan Kirovski, Chevrolet Man of the Match, U.S. Men's National Team Forward

On the performance of the team: "I thought I was a little unlucky. We made a few good chances, the goalkeeper made a couple very good saves. I was getting good balls played into me. I thought we defended really well. We did okay keeping the ball. Overall a pretty good game. We gave them a few chances. They put a lot of pressure on us. I think we had most of the chances and the better of the play."

On his return to the national team for the first time since October 11, 2000: "It was an important game for me. I haven't been in the team since the last time we played in Columbus against Costa Rica, so it was important for me to show Bruce that I'm still capable of playing at a high level. He knows I'm a good player, and I just wanted to remind him. I think I can still help the team. The last time I played here, I was in midfield. I'm actually more comfortable up front now because I've been playing there for Sporting Lisbon."

On playing with a roster that comprised many new players: "Most of the guys have played together for quite a while. I think we're used to playing with each other. A few games came in; maybe for them it was a little different. I thought we did OK passing the ball around and made some good chances. Sometimes we were caught a little bit in the middle, but I think we played reasonably well."

%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%Pablo Mastroeni, U.S. Men's National Team Defender

On earning his first cap after getting his U.S. citizenship less than one month ago: "This is like a movie unfolding for me. All these different things have happened: the Fusion doing so well, and now earning my first cap, it's an amazing thing. It just goes to show you can't take anything for granted, because you never know when this movie is going to end. So I just go along with it and enjoy it while it lasts."

%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%Hernan Dario Gomez, Ecaudor Men's National Team Head Coach

Opening Comments: "The result or the game is satisfactory, especially against an excellent rival like the U.S. I was very impressed with the U.S.'s team ability in this game. They have improved a lot. I congratulated our team in the locker room. I liked the game very much, and they did put one great effort in this match. Basically this game is preparation for us. It is the type of different opponent and style that we might face in Copa America."

On any American players that impressed him: "That's why I liked this game so much. Both teams played as a unit without the need to compare individual players."