US SoccerUS Soccer
Thomas Rongen

Post-game Quotes U.S. Under-20 MNT vs Korea Republic

Post-match Quote Sheet
USA 0, Korea Republic 3 
FIFA Under-20 World Cup
Oct. 2, 2009

U.S. head coach THOMAS RONGEN
On the night’s match:
“First we congratulate Korea, because clearly, today they were the better team and deserved the three points and to move on. Unfortunately in today’s game, to be really frank, technically and tactically Korea was superior to the U.S. You just have to move on. We’re bitterly disappointed in the result. We came in with high expectations, we always set the bar high. But at the end of the day, we just weren’t good enough to get the result that we needed.”

On whether he thinks the U.S. players were overconfident after the win against Cameroon:
“We knew the importance of this game coming in obviously, and we knew that a tie or a victory would have put us through. We felt we could build on the Cameroon result and try to get even better in terms of possessing the ball and creating chances, which didn’t happen. Korea is very organized, very disciplined and we struggled today on both sides of the ball. With the ball, we weren’t good enough and defensively, even with our aerial strength we weren’t good on set pieces.”

On Germany’s result against Cameroon:
“I guess we’re still somewhat alive depending on other results. The reality right now is that we walked away with three points out of a potential nine. As I said, as a group we set high standards and tonight was very disappointing.”

On strategic changes made in the second half:
We decided to go to a 4-4-2 in the second half. Tony Taylor aggravated a hamstring injury so we had to make some choices. We went to Peri Marosevic and we wanted to get some height with him up front so we added Brek Shea. We played Dilly Duka out on the left, he’s played there for Rutgers and he is a pretty good creator out of that position and a pretty good crosser of the ball. We wanted to play on their half and try to get back in the game one goal at a time. We had some half chances and obviously the red card and penalty really hurt us. After that we were really chasing the game. We went with more numbers up top, talked about playing more direct and looking for second balls. Our intent was to start that way in the game but that didn’t happen.

On why the result didn’t go his team’s way:
“We didn’t manage the game, from the opening whistle, to get the results that needed. We played to win, that was our intent, but we also knew that we should have been smart enough to see the game out at a tie. Nothing really fell our way tonight because it wasn’t really a great performance from our team in this game against a very good Korean team.”

On how the team will move forward not knowing whether it will have another game:
“Right now we’re going to go through our normal regeneration. We’ll practice tomorrow and hope that some results go our way. If that happens, then we have to draw some conclusions. We have a few people on the bench who probably deserve some playing time, but I’m not concerned about that right now. My biggest concern is whether we can still advance in this tournament. If we do, I think we have some very capable players who might give us some fresh legs in the Round of 16. That’s why you travel with 16, because you know that cards and injuries will play a role as we go through the tournament, so we’re prepared to deal with that.”