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Quote Sheet: U.S. U-23 MNT 0, Honduras 1 OT


U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team head coach Peter Nowak

On what he told the players after the match:
“I congratulated our players in the locker room for their effort. It was a very difficult tournament for us and for both teams in terms of knowing how you’re supposed to prepare yourself from game to game. As we said, we work on the spirit and the team mentality and it worked pretty well. We’re happy to be going to the Olympic Games and sometimes for the players it’s just, they’re relieved to get it all behind them and looking forward to getting some MLS games. We have to keep cool and we have to score goals and I think in the first game we got the goal and in this game they got the goal. But, as I said, we’re still in the selection process. During this tournament we selected a group of players and they will probably go to the Olympic Games and the other ones, we’ll see how the MLS season goes and what they do in their club teams. The tournament answered a couple of questions tonight.”

On not having Freddy Adu and various other European players for this match:
“I don’t think a particular player can change the whole setup. Freddy didn’t play in the group game against Honduras, in the last game. It’s not a drop. We were a little bit impatient with our game, the final pass didn’t come. It’s the sign of a long preparation for this tournament. We spent nine weeks together. It’s a long time and if you achieve what we did, in terms of concentration, focus on a certain pass, we just didn’t have it. Life goes on. We will have another five months to create the group which will compete in the Olympic Games. We’ll see how the group is going to be, we’ll see how the draw is going to be and then we’ll prepare ourselves for the Olympic Games.”

On the team’s attitude and competitive spirit despite already having qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games:
“The tournament, especially at home, we were very happy with what we achieved on Thursday. We talked with the players before this game. When you play at home you want to win the tournament. I’m glad and pleased. They still went forward. They still tried to win the game over the 90 minutes. We did have chances to win the game before the extra time. This is a positive sign of the work we did over the past three months. We look forward to getting another five months to build this thing up. The players need to realize that the selection process didn’t end on Thursday. We’ll get together with Coach (Bob) Bradley and our coaching staff to watch the players, observe how they play and how they behave at their clubs and see what needs to change. Then, we’ll select the group and they can be competitive in the Olympic Games because we want to be successful again.”

On the team not scoring very many goals during the tournament:
“Sometimes the games are such that whoever is going to score one goal is going to win the game. From our end, we didn’t get too much credit because we scored most of our goals from free kicks or penalty kicks which I disagree with because we created a lot of chances in this tournament with the way we played and the free kicks and corner kicks are the result of something positive on the field. Something happened on the field and the other team had to foul our players, either in the box or outside the box. In terms of the whole setup, I think the way we played was very effective. In terms of finishing our chances and the last pass and final pass, progress was made and I’m happy for that.”

U.S. U-23 Men's National Team forward Jozy Altidore

On the game against Honduras:
“No one likes to lose. But at the end of the day you have to look at the bigger picture. We have so many bigger things ahead of us.”


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