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Post Game Quote Sheet: USA vs. Czech Republic

U.S. head coach WILMER CABRERA
On the result, and how important it was to beat the Czech Republic:
“It’s a very important result for us because it’s our first game of the tournament and against a great European team in Mexico. It’s very positive for the kids. They were nervous like every kid, for sure. They played the game, made themselves feel comfortable, and got the result by playing well. That’s important and that’s going to give us confidence to continue improving throughout the tournament. The Czech Republic is a great team and that’s why we played the game very seriously, very hard. We never tried to change our script.”

On the conditions:
“We were in a good physical condition, but obviously it was hot. Two players suffered a little bit of cramps at the end of the game but that’s part of the World Cup. We need to keep the players drinking, resting, stretching. We know that fitness-wise we’re going to be okay. We were running all 90 minutes with the Czech Republic, and yes, we need to work on that. They realize that and now they have to take care of that when they are resting, eating better and drinking more."

On the Mexican fans cheering for the Czech Republic:
“We are very happy to be here. The people of Torreon were great. Obviously they decided to go with the Czech Republic tonight. We are USA and we have a normal rivalry. But, at the end of the game, the people clapped for our kids. That showed respect from them, and we appreciate the support of the people who came to watch the game. At the end, it was a nice response from the people and recognizing the good job the kids did for the game and the respect they showed to the people. Even though they booed at the beginning, obviously we just want to show that we came to play good soccer and we appreciate that we are in this venue in Torreon.”

On whether this is the best that the USA can show:
“At this point we have to wait and see. The first game is one of the most difficult games at this age. The kids, in the second and third games, have to respond. Is this the level they’re going to show, or are they going to improve? The ideal situation is to improve every game throughout the tournament and that is what we expect as coaches. Let’s see how they’re going to respond on the field.”

On whether he thinks his team will go far:
“I always like to say that we’re going to take it game by game. I’m not going to make predictions, especially in soccer. That’s not my position as a coach. What I can do is try to work with the kids and then they need to show on the field. That’s the most important thing - on the field.”

On his goal, and what he knew of Czech goalkeeper Lukas Zima:
“I saw the goalie out, and really just thought ‘if I don’t shoot, I can’t score,’ so I just shot. We knew he was good. We saw the game against Germany and he had some amazing saves in that game, and saved two penalties. He’s an amazing goalie but fortunately if you shoot in the right places they’ll go in.”

On the crowd:
“It was awesome. The crowd was good at times and I understand the rivalry between the U.S. and Mexico. At the end, they showed us respect and we respect them so it was all good.”

U.S. defender MOBI FEHR
On playing in his first World Cup game:
“It was very exciting. I was a little bit nervous but as the game went on I felt more comfortable and we talked to each other and made each other better tonight. It was really exciting. I’m very happy because this is the first time I’ve played a European team and won. To win with the USA in the World Cup is a really nice feeling.”

On the mentality coming into the game:
“We just needed to do what we’ve been doing for the past year and a half. If we play our game and stick together, we’ll do well. I think we executed that very well and I think that we showed what we came here to do, and that’s play well and win games. They’re a really good team, but I think we came out today and just played our game and did well.”

On the team’s confidence and whether he thinks they have a chance to go far:
“I think we need to approach this one game at a time right now. We need to focus on Uzbekistan, but right now we’re playing well and I’m excited.”