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Post-Match Quote Sheet: Italy 2, U.S. U-17 MNT 1

U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team head coach WILMER CABRERA:
On the game:
“I first have to congratulate Italy for winning the game because they deserved it. They were clinical with the chances they had, with three opportunities they put two in the net. For us, throughout the competition it’s been difficult to put the ball in the net. We created a lot of chances, we had more possession tonight than against any other team that we played, but we couldn’t find a way to finish our chances. So, now we have to leave the tournament, and I leave the tournament proud of my kids because they respect the game every time. Everywhere we went we tried to play, to put the ball on the ground. We created several opportunities and we showed the personality to play soccer. Obviously the difference in this sport is when you score the goals, and we couldn’t make the difference.”

On Italy:
“They had a very good team, and I think we had two very good teams today. With Italy’s tactical knowledge, they tried to move the ball. But we had the chances. When you have a penalty you have to finish, especially in this kind of game. They reacted better to that and they had the chance to score, while mentally it was difficult for our guys. In the second half, we came out stronger and made better decisions. We tied the game, but right away they had a chance and made the game difficult for us.”

On the way his team played:
“No matter what, we play. We took the risk to put on a lot of forwards, we finished with five forwards and we created some options, but you have to put the ball in the net in these kinds of games, especially against Italy.”

On what he is taking back home from this experience:
“For us, especially at this age, we need to play more competitive games. We have a very good program, where our guys practice every day, but when we play, we play friendly games. When you win, nothing happens. When you tie, nothing happens. If you lose, nothing happens. When you don’t know how to play competitive games, you miss a little bit of that competitiveness, the concentration that you have to have for 90 minutes. Maybe this is something that we need to add to our program, and in that case I think we’ll be more prepared to have those moments and to execute better when the opportunities approach.”

U.S. goalkeeper EARL EDWARDS
On playing against Italy:
“We knew they were going to come at us, and unfortunately we didn’t execute as well as we should have and we paid for it. They were a good team, but we didn’t come out and do what we needed to do.”

On the game:
“Today we came out and in the first half just didn’t play well. We came out strong in the second half and put one on them quickly, but we couldn’t score more than one. We just weren’t playing well and we needed to come out stronger and just play soccer.”