The U.S. U-17s enjoyed a day of rest following their 1-0 win over Uruguay with players spending time with family and friends that made the journey over to support the team. The team will resume training tomorrow at Bill McKinley Park.
After the final day of group play at the world championship all European countries were eliminated. One of the pre-tournament favorites and 1999 UEFA Champions Spain were sent home early after falling to Mexico 1-0 and finishing third in Group B with four points. Group A favorites Poland were eliminated after being downed by host New Zealand 2-1 and finishing fourth with two points. Germany finished the world championship with a 0-1-2 record which left them at the bottom of Group C with two points.
JOHN ELLINGER (U.S. U-17 Head Coach)
On advancing to the quarterfinals:
"What a great feeling to win the group. It is something that we talked about doing before we got here and I knew that we could do it. I am excited for the team, they played for the full ninety minutes and did what it took to get the result. We knew going into the match that we were in the quarterfinals and I think that put some of the guys at ease. Uruguay is a good team and will give Ghana all sorts of trouble."
On losing Alexander Yi who received his second yellow and will miss Mexico match:
"The only downside to our win over Uruguay was that we lost Yi for the next game. This was the first time that we had all four of our backs in the game. We will have to make adjustments for the Mexico match but I am confident with any starting eleven I put out on the field."
On playing Mexico:
"It has been almost two years since we last played Mexico. They are a very technical team and I had a feeling that they could advance out of their group. Any team that beats Spain is a good team. I expect a very physical and skillful game with a lot of passion. The rivalry between the USA and Mexico has always been intense and it will be a war on Sunday."
OGUCHI ONYEWU (U.S. u-17 defender)
On scoring the game-winning goal against Uruguay:
"We've been working on our set plays in practice all week. Beasley hit a perfect ball to the near post and I headed it in. Words can't describe what it feels like to score the game winning goal in such a huge match and at the world championship. It is the greatest feeling in the world. We will be looking forward playing Mexico in the quarterfinals."