US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Belgium - Post-Game Quote Sheet

Head Coach John Hackworth

On tonight’s result:
We’re very happy, and we’ve accomplished our first goal, which was to get out of our group. We did it the toughest way possible, but I think that shows a lot about the character of this team.

On the next opponent:
I think at this point in the tournament, you’re going to get the best out of anybody. We have played all over the world and been successful against many different styles of play. This group in fact had three distinctly different styles.

On what it will take to advance further:
We need to do what we did today, which was trust what got us here, play the kind of soccer that we are capable of playing and do it collectively. That will be our goal no matter who we play.

On the difference between this game and the two previous games:
We had moments in our two previous games that were pretty good, but we didn’t do well for 90 minutes in those games. Today we stuck to our game plan throughout and didn’t get rattled by anything. That was the key for us.

Defender Mykell Bates

On how he is feeling after the win:
I’m ecstatic right now. After the Tunisia game, everyone thought that we were out of it, and next thing you know we have a chance to go through. We didn’t want to let this opportunity go to waste. We had to make sure we got this win and right now it feels great to have accomplished our goal of advancing, now matter how we did it.

On the next opponent:
Whoever our opponent is, we just have to play our own game and worry about ourselves.

On how the team is feeling:
The team right now is relieved to have played well tonight. We know we still have work to do in this tournament. We’re going to relax and enjoy this win tonight, and then its back to work.

On what the team can accomplish at this tournament:
The sky is the limit for this team. We just lost two games in this group and advanced as the second-place team, so anything can happen in this tournament.