US SoccerUS Soccer

Post-Game Quotes following USA-Panama in Tampa

U.S. head coach BOB BRADLEY

“On the night we weren’t good enough. In the game we had the ball early and a chance to gain control. Panama did a good job defending, and as we’re trying to open them and find spaces, we allow them the first goal. At that point their game plan becomes stronger. We still have the same approach, but the second goal makes it hard. In the second half we put a lot into it. We had some good chances, but nonetheless we weren’t sharp enough in the areas that mattered.”

On whether the heat was a factor and if there will be changes for the next game:
“I don’t think the heat was a factor. On the night we’re not sharp enough. With the fast turnaround, we’re clearly going to consider some changes and be ready to go Tuesday night in Kansas City.”

On whether the performance of the referee affected the result:
“At this time we just look at ourselves and see the areas where we think to improve in order to continue to move forward in this tournament.”

On the adjustments he made at halftime:
“We have to push the game harder, and that accounts for a lot of us pushing them back. They are ahead, so they are dropping deeper. In the first half as the game is developing, we have the ball a lot but we weren’t able to take advantage of some situations. What you don’t want to do in that situation is go down a goal. You want to keep controlling the game and controlling the ball with the idea that opportunities will come. When you put yourself behind, you make it much harder to do that.”

On what he said to the team after the game:
“We spoke quickly about some of things I said here. On the night, I don’t think it’s our best. We talk about the kind of game we were just in, and now the ability to push forward understanding that the road to move through this tournament is now a little different.”

U.S. midfielder LANDON DONOVAN
On the match:
“First of all, give Panama a lot of credit. They started the game well, took the initiative to be aggressive and made some early plays. It took us a while to get into the game and our second half was very good, but when you dig yourself a hole that deep sometimes you can’t get out of it.”

On why the team started slow:
“It’s hard to know. Sometimes you just come out flat for whatever reason. At this level and against a good team, you can’t do that. Some nights you come out flat and you don’t get punished and other nights you do. We learned a valuable lesson tonight. We have got to make sure we take that with us.”

On the team getting beaten for the first time in Gold Cup group play:
“It’s bound to happen at some point. CONCACAF teams are getting better and better. That’s a pretty good team that we played against. It’s disappointing but the reality is that it is over now and we‘ve got to learn something from it but that doesn’t help us for Tuesday. We have got to turn around and make sure that we are ready to play. We’ve got to win Tuesday, see what else happens and see where we end up. We’re still fine. We just have to make sure we learn some lessons.”

On the lessons the team learned:
“You can’t start that way. I think for some reason we were just a little lackadaisical, a little complacent early. We had some of the ball and we felt OK about ourselves, but they put us on our heels a few times and they made a play that changed the game. The penalty is a little fluky and now we’re chasing the game. We can’t start that way; that’s the overwhelming, obvious point.”

On the game:
“I think a 2-0 hole was just too big for us to get ourselves out of tonight. Nonetheless, I think the effort in the second half was very good and is something we wouldn’t like to build on, but we’re going to have to build on.”

On what the U.S. needs to do in the next game:
“To go out and play the soccer that we want to play, that we can play, and obviously to win. Nothing less than a win works for us, so we have to win the last game and go from there. It’s going to be the hard route to the final now but we’re ready for it, and we have to get this loss behind us and focus on the next game.”

What the team does from here:
“Spend as little time is possible analyzing this game, and start preparing for the next game. That starts with a good recovery tonight."

U.S. defender TIM REAM
On the start:
“We just came out slow, with not enough energy from the get go and it kind of put us on our heels. That’s what happens: if you come out slow, you are going to get punished for it.”

Comparing the first two Gold Cup matches:
“It was completely different than the way we came out against Canada in Detroit. It’s not like we were looking past this game. For whatever reason we didn’t move the ball quick enough and put enough pressure on and come out with enough energy.”

On if Panama’s style caught the U.S. off guard:
“Absolutely not. We’re used to that. It wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before and we were prepared for that coming in. I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. We gave them three or four early chances and they put one of them away and we were behind all game. That’s going to cost you.”