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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Under-20 Men 2, Ivory Coast 0


U.S. vs. Ivory Coast
Post Match Quote Sheet
Dec. 8, 2003

Head Coach Thomas Rongen

On the victory…
"The first half was a great game of football. Both teams came out, attacked and won chances. I thought Ivory Coast was very unlucky to not score in the first half. They created a lot of opportunities, but our 'keeper Steve Cronin came up big. We finished our chances well, including the penalty kick. And then, the red card obviously changes the game in our favor."

On playing Argentina in the next match…
“Argentina is Argentina. Their whole team is very experienced. We’re looking forward to the contest. If there is one thing about U.S. athletes it is that they thrive from measuring themselves up against the best in the world. I think our players are looking forward to it. We’re going to give it one heck of a shot.”

On if they fear playing Argentina…
“We respect every team that we play and we clearly respect Argentina, but we don’t fear anybody.”

On if the U.S. thinks it can beat Argentina…
“I would like to think so. I think every coach thinks they can be successful. I’m sure the Argentinean coach is thinking the same way. If you don’t think that way, you might as well go home. We are fully prepared to go toe-to-toe with Argentina and it will be a great game. The best team will win and we have a chance without a doubt.”

On the Ivory Coast goalkeeper getting a red card…
“Getting the red card to their goalkeeper really took a lot of wind out of their sails. We didn’t really perform very well in the second half, but we got the result that we wanted.”

On moving on to the quarterfinals…
“I think moving on to the Round of Eight is a tremendous accomplishment for any team. You start with 24, there’s eight left and we’re one of those eight. We’re very happy with that. When we first came here our goal was to get out of the first round and now we just take one game at a time. Argentina is next and we know we’re going to have to play really well to get a positive result, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Defender Zak Whitbread

On getting to the quarterfinals…
“We’ve worked hard together the past couple weeks to get where we are. It just shows we’ve got great team spirit. We went out in the first half and put the game to them. The boys did well and we’re looking forward to Argentina.”

On facing Argentina…
“It’s going to be a great match. We’ll get rest for the next three days and we’ll go into it with confidence. We’re looking forward to it. Getting the chance to play the champions is an added bonus.”

Defender Drew Moor
On clearing Kassiaty Labi’s shot off the line to prevent a goal…
“I went and covered the far post as the other guys were attacking the shooter and was just fortunate that it came right there. It was basically just a reflex. It was a hard shot and I just kind of stuck my leg out there.”

On playing Argentina…
“I feel that we don’t have a lot to lose. We have a lot of momentum going into the game and you never know what might happen in a big game like that. Hopefully, we can keep our momentum going forward and move on.”

Midfielder Justin Mapp

On the goal…

“They were playing an offside trap all night, so there were a lot of chances to try runs through and get behind them. On that play it worked for us."

On taking on Argentina…
“Obviously, they are the defending champions and one of the best teams in the world. It will be a great test, but if you want to get to the final, you have to beat the best.”

Midfielder Ricardo Clark

On the match…
“We had a pretty good game and finished our chances. That’s what it’s all about. The second half we could have done a lot better, but we got the 2-0 result, which is all that matters.”

Forward Eddie Johnson


On getting to the quarterfinals…
“We’re excited and looking forward to it. It’s good for U.S. Soccer to get to the quarterfinals. We know Argentina is a great team with good players and it’s going to be tough.”

On if we can expect this type of performance from the U.S. in the future…
“We’ve got a lot of good talent coming up the ranks. We’ve got the Residency program where the kids are playing a lot of international games. We’re only going to get better. We just have to take advantage of it.”

Forward Freddy Adu

On his performance…
“I felt I could play better, but we won the game and that’s all that matters. I did some good things and there are some things I need to work on. I’ll go back and watch the film of the game and analyze what we didn’t do too well.”

On playing Argentina…
“I know we are going to be really pumped up to play Argentina. They are the defending champions and are a very good side. We’re not going to back down. We’ll come out and play our game.”

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