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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U-17 Women Down Germany in Semifinal

U.S. U-17 WNT Quote Sheet
U.S. head coach Kazbek Tambi

On the match:
“It’s awesome. I’m just so proud of the kids. Not only in terms of pulling out the result and winning a World Cup semifinal against a great team in Germany, but in the way they played. We played our best game against a great team and played a great brand of soccer. I think we represented America well in terms of some good soccer today, so I am really proud of them.”

On the match:
“You saw great soccer. I think you saw two great teams really trying to play. There was no chippy stuff, no poor sportsmanship, it was just two teams trying to play great soccer and pull out a result. I want to give a lot of credit to Germany. They are an awesome team too and deserve a lot of credit for being here like us.”

On coming back from a goal down:
“That’s the utmost demonstration of character. There is a lot of pressure out there and when things are not going your way, it’s easy to just kind of throw in the towel and say you’re satisfied to get to the semifinals of a World Cup. It takes a different kind of person to say, ‘no, that’s not good enough, let’s play great soccer and stick it out and over 90 minutes we can pull it out.’ And that’s what our kids demonstrated today and that’s why it’s all the more satisfying because they were able to come back from a one-goal deficit against a great team.”

On what he told the team at halftime:
“We talked at halftime and told them they were playing great. The last 30 minutes of the first half was awesome, the passing was great and we were getting chances. So we said, there is 45 minutes left, there is plenty of time, just get out there and keep playing good soccer and eventually things will take care of themselves. And fortunately, they did.”

On the work the team put in over the 90 minutes:
“It was incredible. There was not one person out there jogging for even for a brief moment. It took the utmost determination and work to be able to play with the likes of Germany. They are a great team, and for us to get the upper hand on them, really took the utmost effort and sweat. I’ve got a bunch of kids in the locker room right now cramping because they had nothing left in their legs. We asked them before the game to empty the tank out in this game and don’t leave anything on the field. I think that’s what they did today.”

On Vicki DiMartino scoring yet again:
“She’s gigantic in that she scored in five games now, but really I can’t single out anybody. It took 11 people to pull this out and anything less than that and we’d be walking home on the losing side of the equation. It really took the utmost from every single player out there and there was also really great support from our bench. On many occasions, the fourth official had to calm our girls down because they were so supportive. But I really think that is important because at the end of the day, it’s team, team, team. Teams pull out championships not individuals.”

On Erika Tymrak making an impact right when she got in the game:
“That was our hope. Erika is a tremendous individual flank player who can take people on one-on-one. She had been starting until she got hurt (in the first match of the tournament). She wasn’t in the lineup now because we had stayed with the regular lineup over the past few games, but we knew there would be a point in time where she could make a difference. I think coming in during the second half and perhaps going against a couple tired legs on the German side, and knowing she is a tremendous one-on-one player, she was able to right off the bat turn the corner and deliver a great ball and that was a gigantic part of our victory for sure.”

On Germany’s top striker Dzsenifer Marozsan:
“She’s is awesome player for Germany. Classy. Tremendous skills and great vision. We had girls who were out there really battling with her all day. At times, we had to double team her, but at the end of the day, the defense got it done.”

On German legend Franz Beckenbauer attending the match:
“He was my idol as a young player when he played for the Cosmos in New York. It was about six months after he retired that I signed with the Cosmos. But he was my idol when I was growing up and when I was in high school, when he arrived in the States to play, it was a gigantic deal. I skipped out on school and rode 15 minutes on my bicycle to watch him play. I got to put my arm around his shoulder after that first practice and got my picture with him. For me, it’s an honor to have my idol, even though he’s from Germany, be here and watch the Americans play a great game against Germany. It’s wonderful and what a great story for the women’s game to have the likes Franz Beckenbauer attend a U-17 Women’s World Cup. That’s a tremendous statement because he’s probably one of the most admired soccer people in the entire world.”

U.S. forward Vicki DiMartino
On her goal:
“I knew (the cross) was going over the goalkeeper. Erika played a great ball and I just put my whole body into it and bundled it in.”

On the match:
“We’ve been progressing a lot each game, but we were the underdog in this game. A lot of people wanted Germany or the polls said Germany would win, and we proved ourselves, so it’s exciting.”

U.S. defender Crystal Dunn
On the match:
“I like the way we played. We played with a lot of heart. Obviously, coming from the loss (in the first game against Japan), we were a little bit down, but we knew we weren’t out of it. Each game we’ve improved and in the game against South Korea we really got our momentum. We brought it to this game and everyone is coming together and we are becoming more of a team every game.”

On if this was her best performance of the tournament:
“I would say so. I think with me, I rise to the occasion. [Dzsenifer Marozsan] was obviously a handful, so I knew my job was to stick to her.”

U.S. midfielder Julia Roberts
On the match:
“It was hard being down early in the game, but we just have to find our rhythm. Early on it everything was pretty hectic, but once we settled down and passed around and played our game, everything started opening up and we were getting chances. We hit the crossbar a few times.”

On the winning goal:
“Amber (Brooks) took the shot and I just started running in just in case there was a deflection because it has happened against us a few times. It hit off the crossbar and I settled it, but I felt pressured from behind and the ball squirted off to Courtney and she finished it.”

On the final 10 minutes of the game:
“It was the longest 10 minutes of my life.”

On the excellent play of the midfield:
“We were able to find each other a lot. We had a lot more space in the midfield. I thought all of us were moving without the ball really well, talking, connecting, feeding off each other’s runs and passes. It was just fun to play.”

U.S. midfielder Erika Tymrak
On creating the tying goal:
“I got the ball from Courtney. I looked down the line and saw two players and said I’m just going to go for it. I dribbled down and was able to get a cross off last minute … and Vicki was there like she always is.”

On the match:
“Germany is a really good team. They put up a good fight, but we came out confident and just played our game. Even though we were down, we came back and we all believed in ourselves. It was a team effort.”

U.S. goalkeeper Taylor Vancil
On the match:
“We started a little shaky. We were maybe a little nervous at the beginning. After that, we really started to pull through as a team and we started moving the ball really well. It all started coming together in the second half, we got chances and we put them away.”

On her back line:
“They were amazing. Crystal, Quon and Cloee. I love those guys. I can’t imagine a better back-three.”

On Germany’s attack:
“Germany caught us a lot on counter-attacks. They were quick moving the ball. They all make runs and know where they were everyone is going to be so if we didn’t get numbers back, we were going to be in trouble.”

On the tournament:
“Every game has gotten better. We kept the ball so much better today. It was awesome. The defense has been great and the midfield is really started to get involved in the play, helping keep the forwards attached and keeping things moving.”