US SoccerUS Soccer

U-17 MNT vs. Jamaica Post-Match Quote Sheet

U.S. Head Coach John Hackworth
On if he ever expected Jamaica to come back:
“No, you don’t think that is going to happen, but I have to give full credit to the Jamaican team. They hung in there, never let down once and it was a tremendous comeback by them.”

On what he think happened in the second half:
“I thought we stopped playing football and stopped passing the ball. We had really good rhythm, but we stopped it and started playing more direct. We basically looked like we were playing for a 2-0 result. You can’t do that. We didn’t handle it right.”

On Jamaica:
“I’ve said in the build-up to this qualifying that Jamaica was a fantastic team and I knew we were going to have our hands full tonight. They’re a great team and have some unbelievable players. That being said, I thought my team played well and did what it needed to do, but it just didn’t finish it. We literally stopped doing the things we were being successful in.”

On Costa Rica:
“We have one more game against Costa Rica. We’ll look at the game film, try to prepare to the best of our abilities for Costa Rica and see if we can get a result in that match. I think it will be an extremely tough game. We have to put together a 90-minute match.”

U.S. Captain Mykell Bates
On what their feeling was up 2-0 at halftime:
“The feeling is we have a cushion, but we were getting ahead of ourselves. We were already looking at qualifying with nine points and that was our biggest mistake – knowing that we should have realized the game is not over and we still had another 45 minutes.”

On what happened in the second half:
“We lost our game plan. We did not do what we were told to do, what we were supposed to do or what we needed to do. We got away from playing soccer and try to hold onto a 2-0 lead. What we needed to do was play soccer and knock it around like we did in the first half, and execute and put one in the back of the net to finish it off, 3-0.”

On knowing they qualified despite the loss:
“To be honest, our goal isn’t just to qualify; it’s to be number one in this CONCACAF Group B. That’s why it’s such a hard loss at the moment because we were up 2-0 and could have had the victory if we would have finished off the game, putting us number one in the group. But, we didn’t do it.”

On the team’s mentality going into their final match against Costa Rica:
“Our mentality has to be that we forget this game and get ready for Sunday night. We’ll have to recuperate and come out sharp, play sharp and finish sharp for the whole 90 minutes.”

U.S. Defender Sheanon Williams
On qualifying despite the loss:
“We’re happy to qualify, but we’re here to win. It’s all good to be in the World Cup, but we want to win.”

On his goal:
“The ball came in nicely and I took a touch and decided I was going to shoot it because why not take a chance. Luckily, it went in.”

U.S. Defender Daniel Wenzel
On dealing with the range of emotions of qualifying but also losing to Jamaica:
“It’s disappointing. It’s not what I wanted to qualify on. It’s a bad loss. Our goal was to win every game, get 12 points and leave here. We still have one more game, but it’s a bittersweet feeling.”

On the letdown in the second half:
“We set ourselves up perfectly to win the first half by playing the soccer we did, getting the two goals and defending well. But in the second half, we didn’t do any of that. We gave the ball away easily, we didn’t defend together and once they got their first goal we just came apart.”

On facing Costa Rica:
“We’re just going to focus on resting and recovering, getting our legs back and just going out and getting a win. We have to put this behind us, forget about it and just go get a win.”