US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. Under-20 MNT vs. Uruguay Post-Match Quotes

Head Coach Thomas Rongen
On the match:
“We knew going into this game it was going to be a hard game. This was one of the toughest third place opponents that we could have faced. Their result and how they played against Spain is clearly an indication of a high quality team and we didn’t expect anything less today. It was a hard fought game that went all the way to the wire.”

On goalkeeper Brian Perk’s performance:
“There was an injury-related change to Chris Seitz that had a collision in the last game against Brazil and couldn’t go today with a very deep thigh contusion with a lot of swelling that kept him out of the game. I said before the tournament and I said it before the meeting when we said that Perk would start, and that is that we have great depth on this team. One of the things that happened in the U.S. over the last 10 years is that we’ve developed more quality players. Perk, a college player, that hasn’t played in this many games just showed great composure and did great throughout 90 minutes, plus.”

On coming back to win the game:
“Uruguay made it very, very hard for us to establish any kind of rhythm and we struggled quite frankly throughout the game. But great teams find ways to win and I think our will power, the willingness to sacrifice, the willingness to go where it hurts, which we did, to go down and come back and eventually win the game and hold on for dear life, showed me the quality of the team that only through games you find out. You talk about being courageous and today they showed they’re a team (that is courageous).”

On the substitutions he made:
“We had to chase the game so we put in some offensive guys in. Our attacking midfielder ended up playing right fullback, Dax McCarty of FC Dallas. We gambled and it paid off for us.”

Michael Bradley
On the team’s resolve to come from behind:
“I think as a team you have to be able to win all types of games. Tonight was a game where we just needed to roll up our sleeves and fight for each other and run for each other and leave everything out on the field. To be able to win a game like that where you go down 1-0, it’s not going your way, but then come back and get two late goals is an unbelievable feeling.”

On his game-winning goal:
“I ran to the near post, but it went over my head. I spun back around and Jules (Valentin) played it back towards the near post and I just put it in. Great pass from Jules.”

On what he said to his teammates after going down a goal:
“You can’t really practice what you’re going to say or do at that time. The main thing was when we went down with 15 minutes left, everyone just looked at each other and we knew we had to run harder and compete even more.

Goalkeeper Brian Perk
On whether he knew he’d be playing today:
“I saw Seitz leading up to the game and I kind of had a feeling I might play. I just stayed ready and prepared like I was going to play. I woke up expecting I would play in the game and my number was called. I just have to say thanks to everyone on the team. They gave me so much confidence.”

On how he felt starting the game:
“I would say about 30 minutes in I started to get in my game rhythm. There were some shaky moments during the game, but once we got into overtime I felt really confident. I had made some decent saves up to that point. Uruguay took it to us, but our defenders were able to stick together and we pulled it out as a team. It’s a testament to the kind of team we have that we were able to win this game.”

On if he thinks he’ll start the next match:
“It would be nice, obviously, but I want Seitz to play. He’s the number one goalkeeper on this team. I’m going to do everything I can to get him better. I hope he’ll be able to go, but it not, then I’ll be ready and try to do exactly I did today. That’s all you can do.”

Captain Freddy Adu
On the match:
“It was a tough game for us. We just had to fight back. Guys like Michael Bradley, Danny Szetela and everyone else just really dug in and battled tonight and it was a definite team victory.”

On coming back in the match:
"We played a great game tonight. It was a tough one for us and we had to fight our way back into it...and we did exactly that. A champion team has to find ways to win when the chips are down. No team can win a world championship without winning one of these ugly games."

Midfielder Danny Szetela
On the match:
"This was a game about guts today. We had to fight for everything on the field. It's important to show you can come back from a goal down and win these ugly games. It wasn't like any of our first round games and I couldn't be happier with making the quarter-finals."

Midfielder Dax McCarty
On having to play right back:
“When we tied things up, the game dictated that we move back to our regular formation and that meant I was going to fill in the right back position. I’m obviously a midfielder, but the team needed me there and I just tried to be versatile. I’m not going to lie, I think I probably scared Thomas a bit too much when I went forward a bit, but it was just my midfielder mentality coming out. If I would have played differently, I probably would have hurt the team more than helped them. Everyone around me helped me out and it was a great team effort, and one I’m happy I was able to contribute to.”

On the substitutes all making an impact:
“We have a lot of guys on the bench that are hungry for playing time and hungry to play in the World Cup. We all respect Thomas’s decisions to play whoever he feels will help this team win, and when our number is called you just have to be ready. I think all the guys have that mentality.”

Forward Josmer Altidore
On coming from behind to get the victory:
"Our team deserves all the credit in the world. We're a bunch of hard men. Uruguay are a superb team and to come back in a game like this, in these circumstances, we showed great heart."

On facing Austria next:
“I haven’t seen them play, but I’m sure they are a very tough and talented team. We’ll just have to prepare for them in the next couple days.”