Quote Sheet: Post-Match Quotes from Men's Olympic Team Match vs. Spain
SYDNEY, Australia (Tuesday, September 26, 2000) -
CLIVE CHARLES, U.S. Men's Olympic Team head coach
Opening remarks: "First of all, Spain were a very, very good team. I felt that we were just a yard off tonight I think the effect's of our last game took it's toll a little bit on us. The guys have hard to work very hard in all of the games that we've played, and I just think it caught up with them. Plus, the fact that we're playing against a very, very good team. We tried to play through them, and in the second half, they dropped off. We kept trying to play through. That final ball was never really there. Our first touch was never really there. And we knew that, and the guys after the game, I told them to keep their head up because now we have to try and prepare to win a bronze medal. They've played so well up until this point. I'm disappointed in the result, but I'm not disappointed in the team, because they've been fabulous."
On giving up the two early goals: "We just never got out of the starting blocks. We were just a tad off in basically everything. It didn't make any difference who ... you know we brought people on. Everyone was just ... they were a yard quicker than us."
On the two substitutions before halftime: "Yeah, well, we went two-nil down and I thought, 'Do we make some changes at halftime or now?' Whenever you make them with 10 minutes left to go in the half, you're always giving the other team an opportunity to maybe figure out what you're doing at halftime. The way we were playing, we needed to inject a little bit more into the team, so we made the two substitutions and we got a goal. But we just couldn't step on it."
On whether the team was excited about the game or a little "spent": "Oh, no, they were ready to play. They were up for the game. They gave everything they had. They have given everything they had, which is all we ask. Again, they've been brilliant. (I have) no complaints ... none at all."
On Danny Califf's difficulty containing Spain midfielder Jose Mari: "I looked at Dan and I looked at Chad (McCarty, defender), and they've both played so well and they were in for a tough time about 10 minutes into the game. They're playing against two quality strikers. Dan and Chad have been chasing around world class strikers for the last 12 days and done very, very well. It just got to the point tonight where we were just a half a step slower all around, and we played against a very good team--a brilliant team."
On what to expect versus Chile: "That's what we're thinking about now. We didn't talk about this game after it was over, because it's gone. We don't worry about it. We've done too well to dwell on the negative. We're just thinking, starting now, preparing our bodies to play for a bronze medal."
On whether it was the result was due to fatigue or a skill gap between the U.S. and European countries: "No, you see, I was waiting for one of those questions. We've been playing European teams, we've been playing everybody. We worked so hard the other night that, with emotions and everything else, we played 120 minutes. I think it took its toll on us tonight. We lost the game. We lost a game against Spain. On this night, the best team won, but I'm not going to talk about gaps. We've closed the gap, there's no question about that. It's closed."
On if the men's Olympic team is out of the shadow of the women's team and their success: "First of all, we're talking about how our women's team has done very, very well. They're the best team in the world and we're all very proud of what they do. We never compare ourselves to the women. We've got the men's game on one side, and we've got the women's game on the other side. We are just as competitive on the men's side, as the women are on the women's side. Our men's team beat Germany twice last year. And we've beat a lot of very good teams in the last two years. We're very fortunate that the (United States Soccer) Federation has two quality teams."
On his prediction for the final between Cameroon and Spain: "It's going to be a good one. I think Cameroon in their victories have been very, very good. Spain plays more of a possession game--they keep the ball a lot more. It's hard for me to tell how good they are because we played Cameroon early on, and we played Spain later on. I think Cameroon played a different U.S. team than what Spain played."