US SoccerUS Soccer

Suhnholz, Yi, Countess & Donovan Comment on USA vs. China

MENDOZA, Argentina (Sunday, June 17, 2001) -

%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%WOLFGANG SUHNHOLZ, U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Head Coach

General comments: "I am a little disappointed, but on the other hand I thought we saw two good teams out there play good soccer for the first game in this tournament. It must have been exciting for everyone to see these teams, because I thought both teams performed very well. China had more of the play in the second half, and I thought we gave a much better effort in the second half. The result is not what we wanted, but there will be another."

On what were some of the USA's problems: "The result shows that we didn't score goals. I thought that at times we were trying to be a little too cute out there. I thought that is part of the reason we didn't get it done."

On the U.S. up front and in back: "I think that we needed some changes up front because we didn't create enough chances for us up front. In back I thought we played pretty well, although we did give them a goal, but other than that I thought we played well."

On the USA's chanes of getting to the next round: "I think we still can reach the next round. We came here to reacch the next round, and with two good results in the next two games we are gonna make it. I am very positive. I realize this is the first game and it is always difficult, especially for nus because we had players arriving in Argentina late. Besides the result, I am actually quite happy with our performance today."

On Landon Donovan: "Landon is a player who you don't really need to talk to too much. He felt that he didn't do enough in the first half and that he wasn't really involved in the game. I thought that in the second half he showed us what he can do. With any luck I think we would have scored a goal. And I think that Landon is a big reason we were able to take over the game in the second half."

On the USA's plan to attack China: "We tried to play the attack through the outside, and we thought that if we were able to do that we would be pretty successful. I thought that we did that, but we did not do it enough. In the end we tried to go through the middle too much with short passes, and I think it was not the right way to attack a team like China."

On the flow of the match and the two halves: "I know that China is a very good team and they gave us a lot of problems in the first half. I knew that we would not be able to dictate the game like we have in the past. Finally in the second half we came out and got the game under control. I think we did most of the attacking in the second half. I think China is a very good team and I expect them to do well."

On using a 3-5-2 formation: "We felt that we could do the job against China with 3 in the back and it would give us a little more strength in midfield. We knew that China was strong int he midfield and had a lot of bodies int he middle. We wanted to match up with them there and we wanted to use our outsides as well."

%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%ALEX YI, U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Defender

On the China team: "China was a very talented team. It was very hard for us to disrupt their play."

On what the team can improve for the next match: "I think as a whole our crispness out passes our sharpness as a team can get better. Some of our touches were a little off also. We just have to come out and concentrate a little more on the game."

%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%D.J. COUNTESS, U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Goalkeeper

On how the U.S. played: "China was a very good team. I think that up top we had a tough time progressing the ball. But at the same time, China is a very good team and they did well today. Give them credit, that is just the way it happens some times. Defensively we did pretty well, offensively we created chacnes we just couldn't get on the end of them unfortunately."

%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%LANDON DONOVAN, U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Midfielder

On the USA's effort: "Sometimes you play poorly, that is just the way the game is. You can't play good all the time. We just had a bad day."

On not spending much time with the team before the Championship: "It didn't have a lot of impact, but it definitely helps to be able to train together and gel as a team - like we were able to do with the Under-17s. It is going to take some time, but we are going to be alright."

On the USA's improved play in the second half: "We did well in the second half. We had a few chances and if we could have done better with them we would have been right back there. If we would have made the final touch or the final pass we could have done better with them and it would have been a different match."