Post-match quotes from the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team match against the Sierra Leone in the 2003 FIFA World Championship in Lahti, Finland.
Head coach John Ellinger
On the match:
Sierra Leone is a very dangerous team with great individual players. After watching them play a very good Spain team and tying 3-3 we did not expect an easy match, but we were hoping we would be able to hang in there defensively and then come away with the win. So, obviously we are very happy with the result.
On Jamie Watson and Freddy Adu playing upfront together:
It's been a big plus for us in the last two months. Jamie has not been a regular starter, but in the early part of June we started playing with Freddy underneath of Jamie and the combination play of those two have really given us a boost. If I had to classify Jamie as a player, I'd call him a pest. He'll just work, work and work. He'll create opportunities for us just by the ability to put pressure on. We can play any kind of ball into him and he can hold it. He's also good at laying balls off first time. His play has been a tremendous boost for us and playing Freddy underneath has worked wonders for us as of late.
On Freddy getting a goal despite getting fouled often:
That's the beauty of Freddy. That's why you leave a Freddy Adu or Landon Donovan in a game because they can deal with him for 89 minutes, but then it's that one minute, that one moment in a game when they can explode on you. That's why Freddy is in there.
Forward Freddy Adu
On getting fouled so much:
I learned how tough I can really be. Sometimes I get hit all the time and I have to come out of games because it hurts so much and today was brutal. But, we just dug deep and worked through it, and ended up getting the winning goal.
On getting the yellow card for simulation:
I didn't even know I had a yellow card until after the game when the coaches told me. I got hit. It doesn't do anything for the next game though, I'm not going to think about it. It won't take away my intensity at all.
Goalkeeper Phil Marfuggi
On the game:
We didn't play as well as we liked to, but obviously we got the job done and we got the win that we needed. We're a team of fighters, so we did what we needed to get the result.
On the game:
It was a tough game and was going back and forth. You can look at the stats and the possession could have said 99 to 1 for Sierra Leone, but weren't going to stop until the final whistle blew. That's what we said we were going to do at halftime. Any mistake they had we were just going to pounce on them.
On the winning goal:
He's like, 'Jamie, Jamie, put me in.' When Freddy yells put me in, I'm going to do my best to put it in. I just flicked it on to Fred and he put it in.
On the play of 'keeper Phil Marfuggi:
I don't know if there's words to describe Phil's play in goal. Coach (Ellinger) told us we were going to create our own luck at halftime with hard work. I told Phil after the game that he created our luck because if he doesn't come up with those big saves it could have easily been 3-1, 4-1, with 20 minutes left in the game. He definitely kept us in the game."