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Quote Sheet: U.S. MNT vs. Holland


BRUCE ARENA - U.S. head coach

General Comments:
”We gave up two goals that we could have done better with.  I think we created chances, and they did as well. Their goalkeeper had a great game today.  We had a bunch of players that played extremely well.  I’m certainly not disappointed in the performance.  I think it was just an outstanding game to play in.  The Dutch team was a little bit more experienced and had better physical qualities, but an outstanding game.  I think the number of chances we created was encouraging.  We have to get a little cleaner in the defensive end of the field.  Overall, (there were) a lot of good things today.I said to a couple of guys in the locker room that I remember the game in 1998 looked like men against boys.  This was a real game.  We pushed them and they pushed us.”

On the selection of U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo for the 23rd spot on the World Cup roster:
“I think we need some cover in the back, especially in the outside back positions. That’s why Vanney was going to be selected in this 23-man roster.  I think Cherundolo gives us other options in the back.”

On the status of U.S. defender Jeff Agoos, who left the match in the 41st minute:
“Just a tight calf.  We told our guys last night that if there was any question, we wanted them to come out.  The last thing we want to do is get on the plane with 15 players on Thursday.”

On the play of U.S. defender Tony Sanneh today:
“Defensively, against a very good player, he did extremely well in his one-v-one confrontations.  His passing out of the back was pretty solid, and he got forward and was dangerous at times.   Maybe he could hit some of his crosses a little bit better, but my main concern with Tony is in the defensive end and that was good today.”

On his feelings about the team’s progress to date:
“I’m very pleased where we are.  I think the timetable is pretty good.  In the next two weeks we’ll get better, sharpen up in some areas, and hopefully we’ll be ready to play well on June 5.”

On what he has learned from the three games in the “Nike Road to Korea”:
“There are still a number of spots that are open.  We got some really good performances from some guys this week, and we’re going to evaluate that before we decide what kind of lineup we go with against Portugal.  I’m encouraged by the play of our 23-man roster.”

CLAUDIO REYNA - U.S. midfielder and captain

On whether today’s match demonstrated the fine line between success and failure that occurs during the World Cup:
“The fine line is there can never be any mental lapses.  It’s got to be concentration for 90 minutes.  I think today it was a game where we concentrated for about 88 minutes, probably even a bit more.  It was just 10 or 15 seconds here or there that gave them a couple chances.  But that’s the difference. Great players will punish you, and they did.  Saying that, it’s not that bad that we lost today.  As much as nobody likes to lose, if perhaps we won today people would have set high expectations for us, where in reality it was a good game for us.  It showed us exactly what we need to work on.”

On how the team improves on the breakdowns in concentration:
“It’s a mental thing.  All the players that Bruce has brought here have played in big games before, so there’s no excuse for it.  Some of the younger guys can maybe make a mistake, and that’s expected.  But with anyone older than that, it shouldn’t happen.  That’s why they are on the World Cup team.  That’s really the fine line.  It’s the difference between getting three points or a point from a game.  If we go in 0-0 at halftime that really changes the game, but that’s a big ‘if’ and something we have to realize.  It was a good test for us, and we had some lessons that we learned today.”

On the difference between this team going into the World Cup then the team in 1998:
“I think the overall group is really good, especially the way we work.  We work hard, and I think we are much more dangerous going forward than we were in ’98.  We work much harder, and we’re a better unit on the field.  The last time we played Holland, we had maybe one or two chances, and that was at the end of the game.  In this game throughout the entire game we put pressure on them and created chances.  I think the strides and differences are pretty big.”

TONY SANNEH - U.S defender and Chevrolet Man of the Match

On his performance today:
“I think I did pretty well today. I always do better when I can concentrate myself on just one player. It’s a little more difficult when you’re switching off with other defenders, but today I just had a forward. Physically my body felt pretty good, and I got forward at times. Overall I’m pretty pleased.”
 
On the team’s performance:
“The first goal we were unlucky. The second goal was simply a mental error. For the most part we were pretty good. We just had a couple lapses today.”

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