US SoccerUS Soccer

Quote Sheet: USA 1, Argentina 1

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Argentina
International Friendly
March 26, 2011
East Rutherford, N.J.
New Meadowlands Stadium

On playing against a team like Argentina:
"Whenever we get the opportunity to play against these great teams there are a lot of challenges, and there are things that now we can set our sights on. Argentina was very good with the ball in the first half and found a great rhythm that made it difficult on us, and the goal before halftime changed the thinking. I was very pleased with response from the team in the second half. To come away with a good result against a very good team there are some things to talk about, some things that need to be improved but also some positives."

On Juan Agudelo’s performance:
“Whenever you put him on the field you can tell he has confidence, he puts himself in good positions and when the ball comes (to him) he’s strong and he has something where he’s looking to try things, things that make sense…When we have the chance to bring him in, we feel like (his confidence is) improving and I think, again, he came on and he certainly helped. He’s had a knack now for turning up in some good spots to get goals. We’re pleased with the things that we see and I think most of all he has a good attitude about working on little things and picking things up from other players, so it’s been a good week with him again.”

On the game against Paraguay:
“We knew in this double fixture date that we were playing against two very good teams. Paraguay, as we know, is organized and has some very talented players. The turnaround is quick with the Saturday to Tuesday (schedule) so we’ll think about some different changes and that certainly includes some of the younger players.”

On the 4-4-2 formation:
“You know, we’re still at a point where we’re trying to get different players in, get them experience, figure out what they do. So now in the first half I think the understanding between Michael [Bradley]and Jermaine [Jones]and Mo [Maurice Edu] still needs work. When Mo got pushed a little bit higher, that puts him in spots that in the moment probably aren’t the most comfortable for him and the fact that Argentina came out with such a good rhythm means we get put on our heels. [Being in that position] is not by design. That’s just, now, they’ve got the ball and they’re starting to probe and keep moving. We get deeper and deeper, and when we then are forced back and you’re defending by being tight, the ability to win the ball and play a good first pass and start to move out becomes difficult too because they press really well. So, all of these things come into play. Now I think the second half we find a better rhythm, and, again, having Juan closer to Jozy certainly helped. It seemed like the understanding today in the second half with Mo and Michael was good. For Rangers this year, Mo has been active and moving forward, so we wanted to look at, let him have a little more of that role today, and that meant that the role for Michael was to be a little more the balancer.”

On Timmy Chandler moving forward and channeling on the attack:
“For a player who now comes on for the first time, it was a good first half. He helped the team a lot. As we worked with Timmy this week, his movements coming forward are good. His crossing has been good. I thought he got three good crosses in tonight. And, Timmy’s a player that, in the first half of the season in Germany was still playing with the second team and so he’s come into the first team at Nuremburg. It’s been really important. We’ve been following his progress in the last few months. [Assistant coach] Lubos Kubik went to Nuremburg to speak to the people there and to speak to Timmy and now we have a chance to bring him in and get to know him. So far, he’s come in with a really good way about him. Maybe he was nervous the first day but after that, eager, and I know that this was a good way to get going.”

On if the United States gave Argentina too much respect:
“It was difficult because we really wanted to keep possession, so that means we were having to run a lot. So when we did get the ball, players were a little bit tired and might have been careless a few times with the ball. That didn’t help us because it put us right under the gun again. I thought in the second half things opened up a little bit more and we were able to affect them more on the counter-attack. At the end, it was like anybody could have got the game. We’re happy with the result, but we would have liked to have had more possession and we would have liked to create more chances, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

On whether there is a learning curve:
“It’s a friendly. Take it for what it’s worth. You just go out there and try to get as sharp as you can for the Gold Cup. That’s the most important thing right now. We have to fine- tune some things, and I think it’s a chance for Bob Bradley to see what team he wants to take and make sure we’re sharp going into that tournament.”

On getting into position to get the rebound:
“As a forward you have to look for any goal you can get, but I scored the goal. I feel like anybody could have score that goal, but I thought I was in a good position and I was there for the rebound. I worked hard to get there, but I wasn’t happy with my game and that’s just what I have to work through. I’m not really that happy about the game because I didn’t play that well.”

On coming on as a substitute:
“[I tried to] come in with energy, give more support as a forward and give more support to Jozy because in the first half we were playing a 4-5-1 and in the second half 4-4-2. I just tried to support him and work hard for the teammates.”

On not being happy with his game and what he needs to work on:
“Just holding the ball because we were under a lot of duress and as a forward your defenders look to you to hold the ball and keep the ball for them so that it takes some pressure off the defense. I felt like I should have just held the ball more. It’s hard because Argentina is such a good team and as soon as you get the ball there are five guys around you. I want to improve on that stuff and I’m always looking to get better.”