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Tab Ramos

FIFA U-20 World Cup: Reaction vs. France – June 24, 2013

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos, goal scorer Daniel Cuevas, midfielder Luis Gil and defender Shane O’Neill discuss the USA’s come-from-behind 1-1 draw against France in Monday’s group match at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Istanbul, Turkey.

U.S. U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On the team’s performance against France:
“I think the team made a great effort. Overall, I felt like as a team we didn’t have our legs today. It was a difficult match for us. We didn’t play I thought as well as we did the other day. I’m a little bit disappointed with that. Obviously the result is what it is. We could have won the game. But we certainly want to play a lot better than we played today.”

On the lethargic demeanor of the match for both teams:
“It seemed like things weren’t clicking. It wasn’t just one player. It wasn’t just two players. I think as a team we were sluggish today. That and the fact that we’re playing against a very athletic team, you put those two together and it’s very hard to play good soccer. I think overall we have to do a lot better. If I had to assess the game, I thought it was a pretty poorly played game by both sides.”

On coming away with a draw to maintain the goal of advancing through the group stage:
“I think the result is great. That’s what’s important here – we were able to get a draw. I look at the way I think our team can play and my disappointment is because I thought in a game like today we should have gotten all three points. I think we played poorly. But at the end of the day, I think it was great courage by the team and it was great effort. Without having our best we worked hard all the way to the end and we got a tie. I think that’s very important. Let’s not forget that France is a very important team in this tournament. We stay alive and now we go into the last game hoping for the best.”

On the defensive effort against France, particularly Paul Pogba:
“I think our guys did a good job. We prepared for them. We knew that Pogba had over a hundred touches in the last game and we wanted to limit that. I think we did that. We did a pretty good job of limiting him.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder WIL TRAPP
On the match against France:
“Anytime you can play a world power like that with the quality players that they have, it’s exciting. But we’ve got one more game to go (in the group) and we want to get three points and move on.”

On the defensive performance:
“There was a period where we had to weather the storm a little bit. It got pretty tough and they had a lot of the ball. But we worked our way out of it and got the goal right after that. It’s a tough match and you’re going to have to weather the storm throughout games.”

On the Daniel Cuevas equalizer to salvage a point:
“It was monumental. It keeps us alive in the group and that’s what we needed the most at that time and the guys came through.”

U.S. U-20 MNT defender SHANE O’NEILL
On earning a point against France:
“I thought it was a good result for us. Obviously we kept it solid in the back and allowed only one goal against a good attacking team. They had some chances, but we’ll take it. We’ll take the result.”

On the defensive effort overall:
“They’re definitely quick, and they’re definitely big and strong. There are a lot of different aspects. It’s not just a big center forward or one quick guy. They present a lot of different things, and I thought we coped pretty well with it.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder LUIS GIL
On the free kick that led to Daniel Cuevas’ goal:
“I really didn’t want to go high on the ball because they’ve got some tall guys in there. I was trying to look for a short pass. But I saw a little bit of space in the middle inside the 18, so I just played it. I saw Mario (Rodriguez) make a run and there was a little scramble in there, but Cuevas put it away.”

On getting a much-needed point:
“It was big, obviously. It keeps us alive and we just need to take care of business against Ghana.”

On scoring the equalizer:
“I’m just pretty happy that I scored and we got to tie the score. I felt we should have scored earlier.

On the buildup leading to his goal:
“It was a little bit of confusion at the beginning because Mario (Rodriguez) was in the wall. At the end, I was the one in the wall and luckily the ball went my way and I got it in.”