USA-Italy Post-Match Quotes
Following are quotes from the USA’s 1-0 loss to Italy in Catania, Sicily on February 13. The USA will play Honduras next at Safeco Field in Seattle on March 2.
U.S. head coach BRUCE ARENA:
"We missed opportunities in the first half. With Italy making four changes at halftime, it made a big difference for them. There were many positive things for us in the game today, but it would be foolish to look at this game as a moral victory. We are pleased with the effort as we continue to move forward in our preparations."
On the play of Landon Donovan:
"He continues to get better. He needs to get stronger physically. We still wonder if Landon makes a better midfielder or forward. We need a big, strong forward tonight who could hold defenders off. Tonight would have been a good night for Brian McBride."
On the effect of Italy’s four substitutions at halftime:
"I thought we played well in the first half. If would have been different if we went into halftime having scored a goal. We knew they were going to come after us in the second half. With their changes at halftime they were able to press and put us under pressure and that made the difference. In a normal game no team could sustain that type of pace."
U.S. captain CLAUDIO REYNA:
"I think we caught them a little by surprise, so we can feel good about that. The plan was to come out and attack them and keep the high tempo. You don't come to Italy and control the first half like the way we did without something happening. I bet Trapattoni had some strong words for them at half time. They made four substitutions at the start of the second half and became fresher. We just didn't have any solutions left.''
U.S. forward LANDON DONOVAN:
On his breakaway opportunity that hit the left post:
"I didn't think I was going to be in that (scoring) position. I know if I knew I was going to be alone like that I would have (shot) better.''
U.S. midfielder JOHN O’BRIEN:
"I was able to get behind the defense several times. We just lacked the killer instinct.''