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Post-Match Quotes: U-20 MNT vs. Congo DR – June 1, 2013

U-20 MNT Reaction vs. Congo DR – June 1, 2013

U.S. Under 20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos, defender Javan Torre and forward Daniel Cuevas comment on the squad’s 1-0 victory against Congo DR on Saturday at the Under-21 Toulon Tournament in Nice, France.

U.S. U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On the game against Congo DR:
“I think it was a good match today, both physically and technically. I thought Congo was a pretty good team in terms of holding the ball. We had some trouble in the first half where we couldn’t get hold of the ball, but as the game went on we slowly took over. Technically, we did well. We held the ball well and we found width, so I’m pretty happy with that. On the down side, I wish we would have created more chances. We’re having possession but we’re not creating enough chances.”

On the team’s improved play in the second half:
“The way we played the last 20 minutes is the way we want to play. It took us a little while to get going. I think Congo’s physicality was difficult for us, but slowly with confidence we started to take over the game and at the end we showed we were the better team. Having said that, I thought that Congo had chances to also score and the game could have gone either way.”

On Victor Pineda’s first game back following injury in 2012:
“Victor was our best player in 2012, and we hadn’t seen him in months, so it’s nice to see him back with us and getting healthy. I think physically he’s not ready yet, but today he was able to play about 55 minutes and I think that’s good for us. We’ll bring him along.”

On Kellyn Acosta’s play at right back:
“I thought Kellyn was excellent. He’s a young player. He’s two years younger (than the majority of the group). I thought he did a great job. He certainly showed today that he has the potential to be able to help us in many different parts of the field.”

U.S. U-20 MNT defender JAVAN TORRE
On the USA defense shutting out Congo:
“That was a group effort. They were fast and clearly they were physical. They knew how to move the ball so we had to be patient and we had to be very careful about turning the ball over in bad spots.”

On creating better scoring chances in the second half:
“From the beginning, we talked about getting the ball and connecting our first two, three, four passes so the game would open up. Once we moved the ball quickly we started to find the gaps and that’s when we found success.”

On the competitiveness of the U-20 MNT roster as players are vying for a World Cup spot:
“I think coming in with the drive to make the final roster you’ve seen people play their best. It makes it a lot more competitive and when we step on the field everyone’s trying to win a spot, ultimately. You see the best come out as a collective effort.”

On the difficulty in the early going to find a goal against Congo:
“Since the beginning, we knew all we had to do was connect passes and we would get chances. The few plays we had, we struggled to connect passes and we knew that if we just played together and moved together as a team that we would get more chances.”

On scoring the game-winner in the 75th minute off of an Alonso Hernandez assist:
“It was a combination play between me and Alonso. I was going to play him the ball back but I didn’t see him after that, so I decided to shoot. In the little space I had, I shot and fortunately it went in.”

On growing as a group and improving individually:
“We’re slowly but surely improving and we’re getting better together and getting to know each other still. So hopefully we’ll get another win in the next game. I personally felt great and I’m just getting back in shape, feeling a lot better and trying to score more goals.”