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Post-Match Quotes: Futsal Drops World Championship Opener

Post-Match Quote Sheet
U.S. Futsal 3, Italy 6
November 21, 2004

U.S. Head Coach Keith Tozer:
“Obviously we wanted to win the first game, but it isn’t a do or die situation for us. I feel very good about how my team played today. If we had cleaned up a couple of mistakes and finished our two 10-meter opportunities in the first half I think it might have been a different story. We are very positive and very confident that we will come out Tuesday and play as well if not better.”

On scoring twice on corner kicks:
“We have been working on the corner kicks. We were watching a lot of tape and we have a lot of smart veteran players on our team and we got in the right spot, made a few good passes and got a guy to the far post. We made some adjustments coming into this game and I thought it worked really well.”

On the Italian team:
“They are the European champions and we have a lot of respect for Italy, but we did not fear them. We felt that we played well today. In sport one team loses, one team wins and now we focus on Tuesday vs. Paraguay. They are a very skillful team. You can tell that all of their players play a tremendous amount of futsal. Not only with their club team, but also internationally – many more games than we have done with the U.S. Then again, the thing that a coach has to look at is ‘does your team have a chance to win at the end’ and I think that during the game we had chances to win this game. I am very positive – I am extremely proud of these guys.”

U.S. captain Sean Bowers:
“I think tonight Italy did all of the little things right. There are a couple of things that we did great, and there was couple of things that we need to improve on and they exposed us for our weakness on those things. We didn’t rotate well on one goal. I think four of six of their goals were upper 90 in the corner and those are hard to stop. They are a great side, we respect them but we definitely do not fear them. I think that we can play with anyone in the world when we play our best.”

On the new floor in Linkou Gymnasium:
“I like the pitch out there. There is some good grip. I think that a couple of our guys were slipping. I think when it gets wet with sweat coming down people will slip a little bit more than usual. You are never going to blame the surface for anything.”

Italy head coach Alessandro Nuccorini (through translator):
On the U.S. team:
“It was a very physical team and a very technical team. He did not believe until today that the U.S. was very, very strong and very technical. Italy today did not play at 100 percent, but not because Italy was not good but because the U.S.A. was very good in technical movements and very quickly changed their players.”

On the importance of the match for Italy:
“Today this match for Italy was like a final. If Italy loses this game, it could be difficult to go to the next group. If the U.S. had won today, I am sure that they would beat Japan and advance. The U.S. is a very, very good national team.”

U.S. midfielder Johnny Torres:
On his play in the first game:
“I started out a little slow, but little by little I started to pick it up. Overall, we played a good game. You always want to start with a win in your first game, but we know that we still have a good chance to get out of our group.”

On the U.S. defensive effort:
“We are very confident in the way we play defense. We make it tough for the other team. We decide that we are going to bunker down and defend, and then once we win the ball try to break out of the back. I think that that we showed today how difficult is going to be to break us down.”

On the opening goal of the game:
“I was just trying to work hard on defense. Like Coach Tozer says, good things will come out of hard defense. I was fortunate enough to find myself in front of the goal with the ball. I don’t know what the defender was trying to do, I was fortunate enough to be able to slide it in.”

U.S. Goalkeeper Scott Hileman:
On the Italy goals:
“A few of their goals were good strikes, probably most of them. A couple of them I think that we could have done something about, myself included. I thought we did a good job as far as preparing for the game. We knew what we had coming at us. We created a lot of opportunities, which I am not sure a lot of the guys expected. I thought we did a good job of creating.”

On the U.S. preparation:
“I am not sure that they were as prepared for us as we were for them. I know the final result doesn’t indicate that, but I think we did surprise them a little bit. Obviously we would have liked to come out with a win.”

U.S. midfielder Pat Morris:
On the U.S. corner kick goals:
“We had some plays that we had drawn up, and in the first half they were staying high on the shooter. We had to move to another play where we cut through the middle and in the second half that is what I got my goal from. I came through the middle, flashed though and Johnny played it and I just shot it in.”

On taking a 10-meter vs. Gianfranco Angelini:
“He’s a big guy. It’s a lot harder than it looks. You think 1 on 1 vs. the keeper, but he came out a little bit and I thought that I could get it right by him. I did, but I slid it a little too far. It was right next to the post, unfortunately it did not go in.”