US SoccerUS Soccer

Quote Sheet: U-20 MNT Pre-Austria Quotes

Head Coach Thomas Rongen:
On the team's strengths:
I know tactically we are sound within our system, and Americans have a tradition of imposing athleticism. I didn’t know emotionally if we were ready to gut it out against a wily opponent like Uruguay and we showed a lot of character, and found the last ingredient that you want to have to try and find yourself in a final four.

On whether he is using his quarterfinal experience to his advantage:
I talked to the group about the game against Argentina in 2003, and Freddy and I talked about it as well – he was the only player on our roster who was there. Just as we learned from the three guys who played in Holland when we took Italy lightly and didn’t want that to happen against Uruguay. I can look back at 2003 and say, maybe we were content just reaching the final eight and we felt that was a pretty good accomplishment. I said to the guys, we have enough ingredients to go further and we owe it to ourselves to be happy but to not be satisfied.

On whether he has thought about the possibility of getting to the semifinals:
We don’t really talk about what it will be like to get to the semifinals, and we like to take it one game at a time. There are reasons why this team is in the quarterfinals and there are reasons why Austria is here as well. I don’t think we can talk about the semifinals yet. We are looking to have a good performance and get a result against a very good team. We expect another nail biter because they don’t concede a lot of goals. We certainly don’t look beyond them.

On his team’s confidence:
We’re confident and we’ve proven that we can get results. We are preparing for a tough match but we’re feeling pretty good about where we are mentally and physically right now and we’re looking forward to battling with another good European team.

Midfielder Michael Bradley
On what the team is expecting from Austria:
They’re going to be very organized and we know they have some talented attacking players as well as strong defenders. It’s going to be a difficult game, and any game that you play in the quarterfinals is going to be a difficult one, but we’re excited to compete and get after it.