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Post-Game Quote Sheet: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Mexico

Post-Game Quote Sheet: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Mexico
March 3, 2013

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach TAB RAMOS
On the team’s effort against Mexico for a runner-up finish in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship:
“I’m proud of the effort they made. I’m proud that they were able to grow in a game like this. This is an experience that obviously we couldn’t pay for. There’s no way in the world we could travel to get a game against our rival in their country for a trophy. I think our players proved a lot. They got a lot out of tonight.”

On handling the Mexico-favored crowd:
“I have to give the players a lot of credit. This is their first time playing in a situation like this and they responded incredibly. They played a great game and I’m very proud of that. I see it more as here are some players that are coming up through our system who can do this, and I think that’s really important for us.”

On the team’s response to Mexico’s early goal:
“I think we did very well. This just shows the character of the players that we have coming up through the U.S. We’re not only playing in a difficult environment but we take a goal early and we take a goal when we’re attacking, and the players responded well. We got a goal back and we almost got another one right away. I’m very happy about the response of the players.”

On the team’s tired legs and Daniel Cuevas, who did not play because of an ankle injury:

“There’s no question with about 10 minutes left in the game, in regulation time, that I started to think about the possibility of making some changes to try to either win the game right at the end or start thinking also into overtime. If there was a possibility, I know that Daniel Cuevas really wanted to play. The doctor, we had a discussion during the game, and the doctor didn’t think it was a good idea. Daniel said ‘I really want to play.’ But that was one of those things where maybe we could have put him in for 10 minutes and I didn’t want to put him in the last 10 minutes of the game because then if we didn’t win we’d have to go to overtime and he couldn’t play for that long.”

U.S. Under-20 MNT goalkeeper CODY CROPPER
On the hard fought effort against Mexico:
“We’re disappointed with the loss, but there are a lot of pluses we can take away from this game and how we played. At times we played very well and I’m happy with everybody’s effort today. I’m proud of every single one of these guys.”

On responding to Mexico’s early goal:

“I think we did well to respond so quickly. We got ourselves back in the game, and possibly if we waited any longer we don’t get back in the game. Benji stepped up and took the penalty and put it away. That’s all we could ask from him.”

On the World Cup-like environment:

“It’s massive experience playing Mexico in Mexico. It’s a crazy feeling. You go out there and everybody is screaming at you. There’s nothing better than that to get you pumped up.”

U.S. Under-20 MNT midfielder BENJI JOYA

On Sunday’s effort against Mexico:
“We go home happy and proud. Our team gave it their all. We came to do our job and we did. The score didn’t go our way, but we never gave up.”

On responding from Mexico’s early goal with a game-tying PK:
“We gave up an early goal, and it was the same situation against Canada. The team didn’t put its shoulders down. We went out there and did our job. Scoring the PK was great. Shutting the whole crowd out was just amazing.”

On the environment and how it prepares the team for the World Cup:

“The World Cup is going to be much like this. We’re just going to continue working and we have to get used to this. We’re going to Turkey and it’ll be the same situation. We have a strong group mentally and physically, and we will continue with that and keep putting it to practice.”

On the players trudging through a 120-minute match and a thin bench:

“It was tiring, honestly. We’re humans. We get tired. But the last 30 minutes was just playing with heart rather than our legs and stamina and all that. I’m very satisfied with what the team did and what we accomplished tonight. We showed many people out there the U.S. has talent, and we’re going to keep working. Hopefully the World Cup goes great.”