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Tab Ramos

FIFA U-20 World Cup: Reaction vs. Spain – June 21, 2013

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos, midfielder Mikey Lopez and defender DeAndre Yedlin provide their thoughts following a 4-1 loss to Spain in the opener of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup on Friday in Istanbul, Turkey.

U.S. U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On the team’s performance against Spain:
“We played an excellent team and they showed it. At the same time, I think that our team did some of the things that we wanted to do. We were able to take the ball from Spain, which hasn’t been easy at any level. The score doesn’t indicate it for us – there are some very positive things for us.”

On Luis Gil’s play:
“I’m happy with the game he played. I think he made a great effort and scored a great goal. Probably for us, he was our best player. But I was happy with a bunch of other players, as well.”

On the defensive challenges when pressing on the other end:
“It’s very difficult to press Spain for 90 minutes. I thought we did a pretty good job with that. I thought the players were on the same page and what happens when you press is that once in a while when the press gets broken you are vulnerable in the back. At this point, certainly there are some things we need to work on. But at the same time, when you have players like Jese, (Gerard) Deulofeu and such great players, the timing of their runs is excellent. Sometimes great players will win the game regardless of what you do.”

On getting ready quickly for France on Monday:
“I think that’s a challenge for us. There’s no question that getting prepared for a game after the monumental uphill effort that we made for 90 minutes, it’s certainly a challenge for us to get our team prepared for Monday. But we will do our best. I think we have a lot of positives to focus on. There are not many times when you’ll find a team losing 3-0 that makes the type of effort that we made today. I think that’s something to build on and a positive to move forward with.”

On staying proactive and not sitting back defensively:
“It was a big gamble. You come out and you play Spain and you try to play the game on their side of the field, it’s a gamble. But with the way I see football, it’s a gamble that I wanted to take. I didn’t want to be the team that defended on my side of the field the whole game and still lose the game. I took a chance on winning the game, and unfortunately it didn’t work for us at the end.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder MIKEY LOPEZ
On the match against Spain:
“They’re good. It’s Spain, and right now they’re one of the best teams in the world. There were some mistakes that we had, a couple miscommunications that we had that led to their counterattacks and their goals.”

On possessing the ball well but it not showing in the final score:
“It’s obviously disappointing. Having the ball and having such good possession that we had, it’s disappointing coming into the locker room down 3-0. But that’s how soccer is sometimes. You could be dominating a game or you could have more of the possession but still give up goals and be down.”

On turning things around against France on Monday:
“We just need to put this game behind us and learn from it and try not to make the same mistakes that we did today in the France game. We have to get back to work tomorrow and get ready for it.”

U.S. U-20 MNT defender DeANDRE YEDLIN
On the match overall:
“We felt pretty good about the game actually. They’re obviously a good team. They have players on Barcelona, Real Madrid and other teams in Spain. We felt pretty good about it. There are little mistakes that we need to cut out, and that’s what they capitalized on. When you have players that are that good, they will capitalize on any mistake that you give them.”

On the defensive challenge against Spain:
“It was very difficult, especially the way we play – it’s pretty much man-to-man. It was 4-v-4 and how we push our outside backs up, their wingers didn’t really track back with us. So we were pretty much chasing them from behind the whole game. It was tough.”

On the opportunities missed:
“We just need to capitalize on those chances that we have. We had a lot of chances and if we put a couple of those away it’s not such a lopsided game and we have the momentum.”