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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Men vs. Argentina

USA vs. Argentina (1-0 L)
Feb. 8, 2003 - Orange Bowl, Miami 

BRUCE ARENA, U.S. head coach

General comments:
“I thought today’s game was a very good game for our team to play.  If we could be at fault for anything, I think it is the way we came out and started the game.  I thought we demonstrated a lack of confidence in the early going and it took our team 20 minutes to really get in the game.”

“I thought we saw some good performances from some young, quality players for both teams.  And it speaks well for the future of the Argentina team, as well as the USA.”

On the goal:
“I thought it was a great goal.  Gonzalez did very well in catching Tim Howard off the line.  Pablo committed to early on the ball, and it gave them an opening and it was a great finish.  Our two center backs had a great game and I thought Bobby Convey played well.”

On the play of the Argentina midfield:
“The Argentine team was superior in the midfield, in particular the ability of D’Alessandro to hold the ball and play-make a little out of that position.  We don’t quite have a player in this group who is capable of doing those types of things.  I thought Klein was effective, and Beasley was effective, we just didn’t have the creative player in the midfield that Argentina had.  I thought Mastroeni, Klein and Beasley all had good games.”

On the play of some of the young U.S. players:
“I am very happy with some of our young players, in particular our two center backs in Califf and Bocanegra.  Overall, it was a great game for some of our young players, and an invaluable experience that is going to help them out down the road.”

On the USA’s attacking play today:
“Obviously we did not come out and play well in the beginning and they came out and scored a great goal and were then comfortable with leaving with a 1-0 win today.  They didn’t push their backline or their team forward as much as they did against Mexico and Honduras, and that made it extremely difficult to get behind them.  So basically over 90 minutes we didn’t create too many dangerous goal-scoring opportunities.”

On the importance of matches like this against Argentina and Jamaica on Wednesday:
“It is important. With these two games we are basically mimicking World Cup qualifying with a weekend game and mid-week game against two difficult opponents.  It is good to see how our young players will respond to this type of pressure.  As I said earlier in the year, the results aren’t as important as the experience our players are acquiring and also my ability to evaluate a pool of players.  I think these two games are going to be very positive for us.” 


General comments:
“We gave them too much time and respect on the ball in the first 15 to 20 minutes.  We started playing after they scored the goal.  We gave a great effort in the second half, and created a few good opportunities to equalize.”

“In the first half we were getting stretched defensively and they did a good job creating spaces and running off each other.  At times we were outnumbered in the midfield, and in those situations, I need to be more patient.”

“We did a lot better in the second half, but I think there was too much of a feeling that we needed to prove something.  You lose focus on what your job is at times when you are going against a great team.  You want to go out and get after them.  Part of learning to play at the international level is learning when to pick your spots.”


On Argentina:
"They played well.  They played very well.  We could not get around the ball at all, and they had time to do what they wanted, and that hurt us.  Against a team like Argentina you have to be ready to play or you will pay for it."