Post-match quotes from the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team match against the Korea Republic in the 2003 FIFA World Championship in Lahti, Finland.
Head coach John Ellinger
On Danny Szetela getting the start
“He does a good job as a holding midfielder, but also gives us an offensive punch as well. He’s very good in the air and has a little bite to him as you can tell. He just brings you another dimension to the team. The additions of Steve Curfman, Danny Szetela and Jamie Watson have just made us a better team in the last month.”
On the play of Freddy Adu
"Freddy is a very important player on our team. I’ve always said I’m glad he’s on my team because he’s a very special player and at any given moment he can turn something that you didn’t think was anything into something that we get a goal opportunity."
On how this game was different than the match against Korea in late May
"I think this time around we knew what their physical fitness and work rate would be like and impose on our game. So this time we had the opportunity to prepare with six to eight games against teams with similar style to them. I think that helped us and we dealt with it quite well. Last time we played in a 4-4-2, but this time we played with a 3-5-2 and it worked out well for us."
On if he wanted to take the penalty kick
"I wouldn’t have minded it, but as long as it goes in. It could have been Phil (Marfuggi) our keeper who put it in and it still would have been the same."
Forward Freddy Adu
On winning 6-1
"I didn’t think we’d win by so much. We played this team a couple months ago and they beat us pretty bad 3-0. Coming into this game though everyone was pretty psyched up to play and it showed on the field."
On his first goal
“It was just instinct. I had the ball and I was actually looking for someone to pass the ball to, but I saw my opening and took advantage of it. Fortunately for me I got through and scored.”
On if he felt any pressure going into the game
"Yes I did. I was extremely nervous, but when you get out onto the field it’s a whole different place. You just kind of settle down and you’re like, 'oh, let’s have fun.'"
On if he thought he played well
"In my mind I didn’t play a great game at all. Usually, I know when I play good. Today, I just didn’t have any rhythm and wasn’t making good runs, but things went our way and I was able to get lucky a few times and finish my opportunities."
Defender Brandon Owens
On the own goal
"I was just trying to chest the ball down, but due to the wet conditions of the field it took a weird bounce on me and hit off the side of my shoulder and went in. It was unlucky for me, but I just tried to look past that and do what I had to do."
On his goal
"The ball was crossed in and usually I crash, but that time I felt like it was going to pop out, so I kind of faked in and stepped back, and the ball came to me. It hit off my thing and then I just hit it low. It just felt really good to get that weight off my shoulder and get a goal. It was the best feeling."