US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. head coach Wilmer Cabrera Reacts to FIFA U-17 WC Draw

U.S. head coach WILMER CABRERA
On learning the team’s opponents for the World Cup:
“It is exciting to learn our opponents. We don’t know anything about them right now other than they are going to be good and motivated, but I imagine they might be thinking the same way, and maybe they don’t know too much about us. It’s an exciting group. It looks like all four teams have done well so far in qualifying and that’s why they’re in the World Cup.”

On the two venues, Torreon and Pachuca:
“It’s going to be interesting. In our preparation we’re going to have to figure out how to deal with the temperature in Torreon. The heat is going to be a factor in that city. We have to manage different environments because we’re going to have to play in two different venues, Torreon and Pachuca. Pachuca has a high altitude and it’s going to be very positive for our players to deal with those challenges.”

On how much the team’s recent trip to Queretaro, and planned training camp in Pachuca ahead of the World Cup will help the team:
“It’s going to be important because our third game will be in Pachuca. We have to organize something where we’re going to play in the heat because we’re going to play our first two games in Torreon, and they are our two most important games. They will give us the possibility to go through, so we need to start emphasizing playing in the heat.”

On being one of the seeded teams ahead of the draw:
“I think it’s important for U.S. Soccer that we were considered one of the seeded teams. We’ve made every U-17 World Cup, and as CONCACAF champions that shows that we’ve been working hard and that we’re a respected team. it’s an honor. It’s something to be careful of though for the kids. We have a big responsibility and have to try to do our best during each game in the World Cup.”

On playing three very different opponents in the group stage:
“There is no doubt that they’ll have different characteristics. Maybe Czech Republic and Uzbekistan are a little bit similar because they aren’t too far apart, but it’s definitely going to be challenging and new. It’s going to be fantastic. That’s what the World Cup is all about. Three different teams, different cultures. We don’t know them.”

On the players’ mentality about a month ahead of the World Cup:
“This is the most important tournament and they’re working hard. They’re motivated and positive, but they’re working hard because they know this is a great opportunity for them. They all want to have an opportunity to perform well and do as best as possible during the World Cup.”