Quote Sheet: Post-Match Quotes from Men's Olympic Team Match vs. Kuwait
MELBOURNE, Australia (Tuesday, September 19, 2000) -
CLIVE CHARLES, U.S. Men's Olympic Team head coach
Opening remarks: "After a rough start, I thought we played very well. I felt that if we scored the first goal, we'd have a chance to win. Goose (U.S. defender Jeff Agoos) sent a great ball in and Danny Califf and the guys attacked like gangbusters. Then we changed the line of attack and started attacking the central midfield. When we switched to three up front, that upset them a lot. We got a little out of whack when we started that formation, but that happens. We were fortunate enough to go out in the second half and score a couple more and win."
On the team's performance compared to the first two games: "If I'm going to be totally honest, we felt that we probably played better in the last two games (versus the Czech Republic and Cameroon) ... But I'm not going to complain after getting the three points."
On the team's medal chances: "I'm confident that this team will perform well against whoever we play against ... I feel that we can compete against anybody."
On why he made the substitution of Donovan for Casey so early in the match: "Because we didn't need a big target player. After five minutes, they basically had five defenders. They had three defenders and two wide midfielders who dropped back. There was no bark in them, no fight in them. To have our people come up a little bit, we needed to have someone small and quick."
On the decision to stay with Danny Califf in central defense: "That position is a very important position in a back four. And when our captain (defender Brian Dunseth) came and told me that he couldn't play the first game, Danny came in and was outstanding. I was reluctant to make a change (for Danny), because the back four, and the back two in particular, were playing very well together. Sometimes it's not always the best player you pick. When it's two central defenders, they have to work well together. And those two did, so I left them alone. The person I feel sorry for is Brian Dunseth, because he made the ultimate sacrifice."
On his success in getting the team to the quarterfinals for the first time in U.S. Men's Olympic history: "First of all, these guys accomplished it--I just manage them. I feel very proud of what they've accomplished, and it's always nice to be the first to do something. But coaches don't win games, players win games. I'm just happy to be a part of what they've accomplished and I feel very proud of these guys for what they've done."
On who the best or most dangerous player on the Kuwait team: "Number 10. Very good. Very good."
LANDON DONOVAN, U.S. Men's Olympic Team midfielder/forward
On the difference in level of play from the U-17 to U-23 level: "Yeah, it was a big step the first couple of times I played. But Clive brought me in early and let me get settled in and it's really helped me out."
On his lack of playing time up to this point: "Well, I think any professional soccer player is disappointed when they're not playing. That's part of the game. Obviously, you can only have 11 players on the field at a time. But the two forwards that are playing ahead of me and Pete Vagenas, all three of them have played tremendously for the first two games. So... I can be disappointed, but I can't complain. They're creating chances and doing their job. I was just waiting to get my chance, trying to be patient and just trying to help the team."
On his expectations about getting to the quarterfinals: "Yeah, we all expected to get through our group. U.S. Soccer's not at a point any more where they're saying, 'Let's try to get a win here and pull off a win there.' We're going into every game thinking we can win it and, as Clive said, we feel like we can compete with any team out there."