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Quotes and Headlines: U.S. 2, Mexico 0 (June 17, 2002)

All this week, will look back at the USA's historic 2-0 victory against Mexico in the 2002 World Cup, reviewing the scene around one of the most important moments in U.S. Soccer history.  In this installment, we look at the post-match reactions from players and coaches on both sides of the ball, as well as the headlines around Mexico after their disappointing defeat.  A sell-out crowd will watch the U.S. rematch against Mexico which takes place this Thursday in Houston at 7:55 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and Telemundo.


“It was tough getting our guys back from the game on Friday. Obviously, losing to Poland, (and it was a) short period to recover physically. We had to go with the game plan that made sense so our guys could endure (playing) for 90-95 minutes.  Our guys left everything on the field today. They played great and I’m proud of them.”
– U.S. Head Coach Bruce Arena

“It’s a rivalry. We know each other. There’s been a lot of bad blood over the years. But when the game’s over we’re friends again. Mexico is a great team and I’m proud of my guys ... It’s a great day for U.S. Soccer”
–  Arena

"The other teams, they really want to play with Mexico in the open style. Not so with the United States. They play a way that is difficult for the way Mexico plays. And they were lucky to get that first goal.”
– Mexico Head Coach Javier Aguirre

“We beat Mexico 2-0 at the World Cup. That says a lot about us.  It’s great to be the captain of a team which has come this far.” 
– U.S. captain Claudio Reyna

“We played with a lot of heart.  We didn’t have the ball for long periods of time in the beginning, but we defended well. We didn’t give them a lot of good scoring chances.”
– U.S defender Tony Sanneh

“It’s surreal. I don’t know how to explain it. Just really weird things are happening right now. It’s like fate or something. There is a feeling that something is meant to be here.”
– U.S. forward and Chevy Man of the match Landon Donovan

“We played very good soccer, but in soccer you win by scoring goals, and we didn’t score any.” 
– Mexico forward Jared Borgetti

“I hope people at home realize how big this is. Getting to the quarterfinals of the World Cup is huge.  I think this is the biggest thing a U.S. Soccer team has ever achieved. To get to a World Cup quarterfinal is really special.”  
– U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel

“We had a good start but then we started to lose ground. Today’s game was a hard one, and we’re disappointed that we didn’t do well after doing so well in the first round. However, I still think we played the game at a standard you’d expect at a World Cup.” 
– Borgetti

“We wanted to do better than the last two World Cups. I’m not sure what happened, but there seem to be many complicated reasons why we couldn’t advance after the second phase.” 
– Aguirre

“We’ve proved that we belong with these teams. There are so many experts, and all the experts predicted [something else], and where are those experts now? We are here. There is no longer an established world in soccer. It’s truly a global game now.”
– Arena


The following headlines appeared in Spanish-language media outlets folllowing the U.S. victory:

El sueño llego a su fin! México sufre derrota 2-0 frente EE.UU.
The Dream Is Over! Mexico Loses 2-0 To U.S.A.
(La Opinion in Veracruz, Mexico)

EE.UU. termina con 'el Reinado de los Gigantes'
USA Ends 'The Giants Reign'

México sufre la derrota mas dolorosa
Mexico Suffers The Most Painful Defeat
(El Universal in Mexico City, D.F.)

EE.UU. termina con el sueño de Mexico y los eliminan del Mundial
USA Ends Mexico's Dream and Eliminates Them from the World Cup

No mas! México no pudo abrir la cerradura de EE.UU.
It's Over! Mexico Couldn't Open The USA's Lock
(La Jornada in Mexico City, D.F.)

Adios Mexico! Están eliminados del Mundial
Goodbye Mexico! You're Eliminated From The World Cup
(El Siglo de Torreon in Torreon, México)