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Quote Sheet: U-23 MNT vs. Cuba Post-Match Quotes

U.S. Head Coach Peter Nowak

On not getting the win:
“We had a good side and we put the pressure on the Cuban team. We got the goal that we needed. All we need to is to keep our shape. I think in terms of the tournament, this is just the first game so we should play better and we could play better.”

On slowing down after the first goal:
“We had enough chances to win the game. We have to capitalize on our chances we had in the first half, and also in the second half. As I said, it’s the first game and we had a difficult game. We’re going to be ready for the next game.”

On Forward Josmer Altidore leaving the game at halftime:
“Jozy got knocked a couple times. We did talk to our doctors, and talked to Jozy. There’s some precautionary stuff as we have another two games.
Hopefully, he’ll be ready for Thursday.”

On changes between now and Thursday:
“The most important thing will be to still play our way of football…soccer. We did a pretty good job, especially in the second half, when we made a couple of substitutions … to make sure that we stay compact, and still attack from the wings.”

On Honduras:
“I think we still have to worry about the next game, which is going to be the game versus Panama. When the time is right, we’ll go and get together, and make the necessary adjustment and be sure that the boys are going to be ready.”

U.S. Midfielder Freddy Adu

On not getting the win:
“First off, when you go into the game, you go into the game with the same mentality. Whether you’re the underdog or not, you just go into the game, prepare for it. It’s 0-0 when the game starts and today I felt like we had a lot of chances. We were a bit unlucky. I think we’re going to go back to the drawing board and just rebound.”

On the team possibly slowing down after the first goal:
“Peter hit everything on the spot. It’s tough. He did tell us we have to keep playing the same way we’re playing. It just felt like maybe, maybe, we took our foot off the pedal a little bit. But, then again, that’s something you learn from, and you know, come back the next game and keep going. Because if you relax just a little bit, when everyone’s all over the place, that’s when the other team starts going and getting chances.
Next game we’ll do a much better job of being compact and being harder to penetrate and play against.”

On the play that led to the goal:
“That corner kick we’ve practiced; we talk about it – yesterday obviously – and we talked about when the right time was to do it in a game. It was the right time to do it and you always want to hit those on goal. On goal in this case, no one touched it so it’s a goal and that’s what happened today. Charlie Davies, I give all credit to him, he made a great dummy, and the ball went in the back of the net. It’s all a team, and we were able to execute it so that was good.”

On the free kick towards the end of the game:
“As far as the free kick goes, when the ball is on the right side like that, usually a lefty hits it. So, we talked about it, and I asked Dax [McCarty], if he wanted to hit it and he said, ‘nah, you should hit it.’
Obviously I wanted to hit it, so whoever’s feeling it at that time, is the one that hits it.”

On frustration for missing chances:
“Obviously, it does get a little frustrating, but that’s soccer. You’re going to hit some on target, some of them are going to go off target. You just rebound, you know, that plays over, and you think about the next play and you just move on. That’s what happens. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. That’s the way game goes. As a professional, you can’t worry about it, you just move on and keep playing for the next play.”

U.S. Midfielder Sacha Kljestan

On getting a tie versus a win:
“We got one point. If we win our final two games, we can win the group.
That’s our mentality right now. We’re looking forward to Thursday.”

On morale:
“It’s good, it’s fine. We still are in control, the game is in our hands, we know if we win the next two games, we’ll go through. We have to keep our heads up and keep focused and keep confident on what we can do in the next two games.”

U.S. Captain Maurice Edu

On how the team played:
“I think we started off well, and we had them on their heels a little bit.
We were pressing forward and putting pressure on them. We kept the play in their half for the most part, but then there was a little bit of a momentum shift. The play began to go back and forth.”

On the second half:
“In the second half we started pressing them again and were creating a few chances. We were unlucky not to finish one. If he had put one of those in the net, the game probably would have been out of reach, but that happens.From here we just move on and we know we’ve got to get points in the next game.”

On Cuba’s goal:
“We took our foot off the gas a little bit, maybe it was a bit of a mental breakdown. They capitalized on it. We’ve got to be sharp mentally for the whole 90 minutes and we need to minimize their opportunities.”

On looking ahead:
“It’s the first game and we just need to bounce back. There are still two more games in our group and now we’re looking to pick up three points in each one. We need to keep our heads up and just put our focus on Thursday’s game.”