Quote Sheet: U-20 Poland Post-Game Reaction
Head coach Thomas Rongen:
On tonight’s result:
After a hard game against South Korea, where we didn’t play particularly well, obviously the win today was important for us. In order for us to get the win we needed to do a few things better emotionally we had better focus, and we were without a doubt a lot sharper on the ball today. We might have played the best under-20 games I’ve ever seen, and one of the best games I’ve seen an American side play. It was total football, which is something that I try to teach because that’s my background from Holland.
On how the team played compared to Saturday:
I think we all knew that we were capable of playing much better than we showed in the first game. We felt in this game that we could demonstrate some of the things that we’ve done so well over the past year and a half to get here. We moved the ball well, used our athleticism and speed today. Our key guys played well today and that’s important for us.
On Julian Valentin’s injury:
I think Sarkodie did well coming in for Jules and that our depth really showed in that situation. We of course missed Jules back there, but I think his play and a few others showed our willingness to sacrifice ourselves today.
On playing Brazil on Friday:
We’ve said from day one that this is a tough group and that every game will be hard. We don’t expect Brazil to be any different. We’re looking forward to playing what a lot of people consider to be the best in the world.
On Freddy Adu’s performance:
I’ve said all along about this team that if we perform well as a team and do what we need to do, then some of our individual players could shine. I think Freddy was a good example today of individual achievement because of the team playing well.
On the pro-Poland crowd:
The people that are here, which include family members of the players, it’s a small group but their presence is felt.
On Adu’s first goal of the night:
That goal was good. All of the goals were great. As I’ve said, special players make special plays within the team concept. I can’t be more pleased about the way we played for 90 minutes and kept our focus. If you play well and execute well then these things will naturally occur. You’ll get some special plays, special combinations and special goals because of the way these guys put each other in positions where they can shine.
Team captain Freddy Adu:
On tonight’s result:
Obviously it’s a good result for us. We got a win tonight and I think as a team we played great. That being said we have one more game to play in this group, and we’re going to be happy tonight about this game but then it’s back to business.
On whether Poland’s early goal was a wake-up call:
You want to start the game off in the right way. Today we made just one defensive mistake and that happened in the beginning of the game and we paid for it. It says a lot about the character of this team because we responded very well and we just kept fighting. That’s what I love about this team. We’re going to fight until the end.
On the fans reaction to the U.S. possession game in the second half:
At that point we didn’t want to make any mistakes, and we wanted to keep the ball moving. We came here to play and to win, and that’s what we did. The fans were great.
On his first goal of the night:
In the first game I didn’t take any shots. I think tonight, as a team, we were more aggressive about shooting the ball. This is what you train day in and day out for. Today just happened to be one of those days where it worked out great.