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U.S.-ARG WYC Post-Match Quotes

U.S. Head Coach Sigi Schmid
On the game:
“I am very proud of the way we played today. We came out and didn’t play timid and demonstrated that we have the ability to perform with some of the best teams in the world. We played well in the first half and had a great build-up for our goal and in the second half we had some luck at the right time when the Argentineans stepped up their pressure. This is a great victory for the U.S. and takes us a step forward.”

On defeating Argentina:
“It’s indescribable. To beat Argentina is just an unbelievable accomplishment. It is something when you first start coaching that you dream about, that someday you’ll be in a situation where you have a chance to win this game. And to win it is unbelievable.”

On looking ahead:
“We’ve got to stay focused. It’s three points and we know we need at least four to have a chance as a third place team and six will get us a first or second. We know our work is not done, but certainly this fills us with a lot of confidence.

On how this affects the group:
“This probably knocks the group on it’s ear a little bit. As much as people said it was a close group, I don’t think anyone expected us to beat Argentina. So Argentina now has to go into their second game with Egypt looking at the game differently, but I’m sure they’ll recover and do well. It puts us in the driver’s seat. I’d rather be driving the car than be in the passenger seat.”

On Nathan Sturgis stepping in for an injured Jonathan Spector:
“Nathan’s job today was very difficult. When you’re not in the starting line-up and you’ve got to come in without really having a proper warm up and you have to replace basically the leader of the team’s defense against a very good team it’s difficult. You have to give your hat off to Nathan because he came in, was solid, won duels that he had to win and played very well overall.”

On the play of Freddy Adu:
“I thought for Freddy this was one of the best two-way games he’s ever played. Not only did he contibute things to us offensively, but also he also had some responsibilities defensively when you play a team like Argentina and he did a good job of standing guys up and turning them inside, which is what we needed. I was very pleased with Freddy.”

On getting the ball up the right flank:
“One of the things we talked about before the game was that we wanted to get Marvell forward and open up that space on the right-hand side. We were able to do it in the first half obviously and it resulted in a goal. We were able to do it in the second half as well, but either the crosses weren’t hit well enough or he missed it a little bit. With a little finer tuning with that we might have been able to finish another one.”

U.S. Midfielder Freddy Adu
On helping the team beat Argentina:
“Great victory. I could care less if I had 10 goals or I had zero goals as long as we still won. That’s the greatest feeling in the world. We dug it out against a great team in Argentina. We knew there were going to be stretches in the game where they were going to have a lot of the ball, but if we kept it together and dug deep we’d be fine and that’s exactly what we did to come away with the victory.”

On missing his penalty kick:
“I can’t remember the last time I missed a penalty, but a game you win is the perfect time to miss one. After I missed the penalty, I was actually a little more hungry to get a goal to be honest. I felt like I would die if they scored because I would feel like it was my fault that we gave that game away. But we worked our butts off and came out with the victory, so I don’t feel bad about it at all. Sometimes you make them, sometimes you don’t.”

On if it was a penalty:
“The guy definitely touched me. He clipped me. It wasn’t like a very intense foul or anything, but he did clip me and I had the guy beaten, so I think that’s why the ref called it.”

On getting revenge for their loss in 2003:
“Before the game, I told the guys, this is the same team that eliminated us from the last U-20 (World Youth Championship) in the quarterfinals. I was there and it hurt really bad so how sweet would it be to get reveng on them right now and we did just that. It was so sweet.”

On being tightly marked:
“It’s not easy. Every time you touch the ball there’s three or four guys around you. I’ve said in many interviews that if you want to be the best you’re going to have to go through situations where it is not going to be easy at all. This is one of those situations. Coming in here, everyone has heard about you, everyone knows about you, so they are going to watch you closely. You have to find a way to make a difference out there on the field and today I did just that.”

On if he’d like to score:
“I’m just trying to help the team anyway possible. If it’s drawing defenders away from my teammates and giving them room to operate because I’m a guy who gets a lot of attention, that’s great. If it’s scoring, I accept responsibility and if it’s setting up people and assisting on goals, I accept the responsibility as well.”

On Lionel Messi not starting:
“We were obviously surprised not to see him a little earlier, but when he came in he definitely made a difference. He had fresh legs and was running at us, but our goalkeeper came out great and made a couple of saves, and a couple of guys worked hard to stay with him. The whole team was ready to play.”

U.S. Defender Nathan Sturgis
On having to enter the game when Spector got hurt:
“It all happened pretty quickly. I don’t think I had time to really think about it much, so I just had a quick warm-up and went on. I wasn’t expecting it, but it came and I thought I was ready.”

U.S. Midfielder Eddie Gaven
On his play:
“I think it was tough for me to find the game in the first half as I couldn’t find much space up there. We were working hard as a team and just going out and playing for the full 90 minutes. It wasn’t always pretty out there, but we ended up getting the win.”

On defeating Argentina:
“It’s great to beat Argentina. It feels good to get a win to kick off the tournament. This is huge for us and puts us in the drivers’ seat to have three points in our first game. We’re just going to concentrate on the Germany game and try to keep on getting points.”

U.S. Defender Jonathan Spector
On his injury:
“I just got a knock on my thigh. The prognosis is day-to-day and hopefully I’ll be able to go for the next game or else I’m definitely looking for the following game against Egypt.”

On how he got the injury:
“I got kneed there first time in the quad and the second time I got a similar shot. I had some numbness in my thigh and I thought I’d be able to walk it off, but it just got worse and started cramping up.”

Quentin Westberg
On saving Lionel Messi’s shot in the second half:
“I really didn’t see anything, I just reacted to the shot. He did well to dribble down the field a couple of times and got off a fast shot, but I was set already so I just reacted and was able to get a piece of the ball.”

On what he was thinking in the final minutes of the game:
“I had a moment when I thought about the 2003 game when they got scored on late and my goal was to just try and stay calm, and spread that to all my teammates so we don’t concede a stupid goal.”

Chad Barrett
On his goal:
“It looked a lot like the first qualifying goal against Trinidad & Tobago, but Marvell put in a good cross that took a deflection on the way and had some good top-spin. I thought there was a guy behind me and I just tried to head it down.”

On how it felt to get the game-winner:
“To be the guy that scored the goal was great. To kick off the world championship with a goal and get three points against Argentina, you can’t top that right now.”

Argentina Head Coach Francisco Ferraro
On the match:
"We didn't play well in the first half, and that's when the Americans earned their win. We got better in the second half, but even then we were below the level my team is capable of."

Argentina Midfielder Lionel Messi
On playing just the second half:
"It was a very difficult game for us. I am not disappointed that I did not play in the first half. I am part of a team, and I have good teammates."