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Quote Sheet: U.S. U-23 MNT vs. Panama Pre-Game Quotes

Team captain Maurice Edu:
On Tuesday’s game:
We started the game off well. We were pressing forward, putting them under pressure a little bit and keeping the ball mostly in there end. There was a bit of a momentum shift and we started to get back on our heels a little and they got the goal late in the first half. In the second half we started pressing them again and creating a few chances. We were unlucky not to finish a few of those, but that happens. From here we’re just going to have to move on and focus on the next game. We have to get points from the game against Panama and we’ll go from there.

On the change in momentum during the game:
I think we took our foot off the gas a little bit. We had a bit of mental breakdown at the end of the half and they were able to take capitalize on it. We have to be mentally sharp throughout the course of the game and try to minimize their opportunities for the full 90 minutes.

On playing Panama:
We have to bounce back from this. We got a point out of it and there are still two more games in our group and if we can pick up points in each of those games we’ll most likely move on. So, we just have to keep our heads up, focus on the next game and we’ll look to get a win there.

On playing three games in five days:
We can’t dwell on last night’s results. We have to quickly put it behind us and focus on getting a result in tomorrow’s game. The games come so quickly, so we don’t really have time to sit back and concentrate on that. Tomorrow we play Panama and that’s where our focus and attention is now. We’re all ready for that game and ready to get a result there.

On scouting Panama:
We’ve seen some footage on them, but we really just need to go out there and play our game. We can’t really be distracted by worrying about how they’re going to play. We really need to just focus on playing our game and our style of play, doing what we need to do to get a result.

On the expectations of this team:
I think the group of players we have here and the coaching staff with us, we’re all confident that the expectations to qualify are realistic. We expect that from ourselves and of each other.

Forward Charlie Davies:
On what the team could have done differently:
It felt like if we kept pressing them, then we would have gotten the goals we needed. We’re just looking forward to the next two games and do what we can to get points from those games. After we scored it kind of felt like we sat back a little bit and let them play and get comfortable. If we continued to pressure them maybe we would have kept playing our game and maybe there would have been a different outcome. They were making it really tough to attack, staying compact.

On regrouping after Tuesday’s game:
As soon as you get a good night sleep and realize that you have another game in less than two days you have to just move on right away and Panama is looming. Once you shift your focus to the next game, it’s easy to get over the last one pretty quick.