Reactions to U-17 MNT Defeat Against Germany
Head coach WILMER CABRERA:
On tonight’s game:
“I think today Germany was very clinical in their finishing, always putting the ball on target. They had three or four opportunities to put the ball in the net and we were just never on target until the last 15 minutes. In these types of games against good teams, you cannot make mistakes. They were more clinical and more accurate with their finishing. In the second half I told our players to be more focused and not to make mistakes, but sadly, right away they scored the fourth goal. Then we started to play, take the ball and create options, but it was too late. When you’re down 4-0 it’s too much. They were the better team. They proved it, and for us it’s the end of the World Cup.”
On balancing youth development with success at this tournament:
“I think the team has learned a lot of lessons. These players have experiences now that are unbelievable. They’re very important lessons for them and they can take them to any other national team. We need to continue work to develop players that are more ready at this stage. At this stage, in our country the kids are still boys. In other countries, they are already fighting for a spot in a professional team. That takes time. We’re doing it, but it’s a process that takes time. Hopefully one day we can see those kids coming into this tournament a little bit more mature, with a better mentality so we don’t have to experience it during the tournament.”
On youth development in the United States:
“The Development Academy was created four years ago with kids from 16 to 18 years old. This is new. We know that. The federation, and our country, is making efforts to move along with other countries in player development. We’re going to get better. That’s for sure. We’re going to get better while all the youth programs are giving chances to the best players to develop in a professional environment.”
On continuing to work with the players now that the tournament is over:
“We have to continue working with them, and we have to show them the positive things they did. I saw Germany in the UEFA Finals losing 5-2 and now they’re playing and showing a high level. You have to keep supporting them, helping them. You can’t think that because one day we played well that we are the best team, and one day of not playing well doesn’t make them the worst team in the world. It’s a balance. It takes a lot of patience. They’re going to be more mature now throughout those experiences.”
U.S. midfielder and captain MATT DUNN
On playing in this tournament:
"It was a privilege to represent my country in this tournament. I was proud to be part of this team and proud of my teammates during these four games. It was a shame that we couldn’t go farther, but I was happy with the effort that the team put in. I think we showed a lot of heart during this tournament."
On tonight's result:
"It was disappointing. I don’t think the score line necessarily showed what the result could have been. We created opportunities and just didn’t put them away. Germany were more clinical than we were, and it was all about finishing today. As a team today was a great learning experience and hopefully we can take what we learned today and apply it to our future careers."
On wearing the captain's armband:
"It was an honor. I’m thankful for the opportunity to wear the armband today. I just wish that the game would have gone differently for us."