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Quote Sheet: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Suriname


U.S. head coach THOMAS RONGEN
On the match:
“The first game of a tournament where there is a lot at stake is never an easy one,” said Rongen. “I think we applied ourselves quite well under the circumstances and there are still areas of improvement. Three points was important so that was our aim and within that we tried to accomplish a few other things. We wanted to keep the shutout, which we did obviously. We tried to find the rhythm and I was very pleased with the way we started. We’re not necessarily pleased in some areas of the game where we took the foot off the pedal a little bit and relaxed a little bit too much and didn’t play to the level that I think we’re capable of playing.

"The first game of a tournament where there is a lot at stake is never an easy one. I think we applied ourselves quite well under the circumstances and there are still areas of improvement. When you’re here, it is one game at a time. Three points was important so that was our aim and within that we tried to accomplish a few other things. We wanted to keep the zero, which we did obviously. We tried to find the rhythm and I was very pleased with the way we started. We’re not necessarily pleased in some areas of the game where we took the foot off the pedal a little bit and relaxed a little bit too much and didn’t play to the level that I think we’re capable of."

On progressing through the tournament:
"I think we will get better as the tournament goes on, because our starting 11 had really never played a minute together with the exception of 45 minutes against FC Dallas. I think we’re only going to get better. It’s always good to start a tournament off with a win but we also still know that we need to be somewhat critical of your team. It’s a little easier to reach them after a result like this to make sure that we are better in the game against Panama. That will be a tougher game."

On what the team needs to improve moving forward:
"The first game is always a tough one to balance and the players were trying into an individual and a group rhythm. We had two 10-15 good spells, but we also had about 20 minutes in each half where we weren’t sharp. That means that our technical execution wasn’t sharp, our runs weren’t hard enough. We talked about it at halftime, that we needed to pick that up and it didn’t really happen. You seek perfection as a coach, so you always find ways to make sure that our next three days we can focus on areas that we’ll need to get better."

On whether there will be lineup changes for the match against Panama:
"I don’t think it’s a secret that we feel that the 11 today we felt was our best 11. It was the same as the scrimmage we played in Dallas and it was the team that we felt we needed to start in this game. We have options. Within our starting 11 we can make some manipulations, and we’ve got some people off the bench that are hungry and who would do a great job. Our next game is about playing Panama and trying to get a result."

U.S. forward JOE GYAU
On the movement of the forwards, and the team overall:
“I’ve known a lot of these guys for a long time so it’s easy to play together. Up top, we have a really good understanding of each other, so if Bobby is caught out on the left side then I can switch over. If I’m in the middle, Conor can cover me. It’s just kind of natural that if something happens we just sort it out.”

U.S. defender GREG GARZA
On the team’s chemistry:
“It’s wonderful to see the chemistry we had today and we hope to build on that for the rest of the tournament. We have a great relationship with each other and with the coaches and that really shows on the field.”

On what the team could improve on before the match against Panama:
“We might need to improve a few things tactically and work on keeping our shape a bit more. It’s a good win today but we can’t get our heads too high. We have to concentrate on the next game and hopefully everything will work out in our favor. “
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