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Quote Sheet: U.S. U-20 WNT Defeats Canada, 3-2, To Win CONCACAF Qualifying Title

On the match:
“I think Canada played a great game today. They stuck to their game plan and they confused us a little bit at times. It was difficult for us break to Canada down. They had four in the back and played three in the center midfield and their two wide midfielders dropped back so it was very difficult. I wanted us to be patient, keep the ball and probe and look for spaces and eventually it paid off.”

On things he’s looking to improve with the team:
“I think in our attacking third, we are going to work on different ways of breaking people down. We need to play faster and I’d like to get more versatile in our formations. There are also still more players I need to look at who are back home. We have the American spirit and fight. That is our fundamental and basic component that our athletes are built off of. We still need more savvy and more cleverness. The rest of the world still has that on us, watching their pro players and their professional leagues.”

On the comeback:
“I was so impressed with the patience, the smarts, and the wisdom of the players to keep probing and prodding for an opening. Even though we gave up two goals, ball possession had to be 75-25 [percent], so I am very proud of that. And the girls just kept working and working and sure enough, found a couple of holes. Cheney had a great ball to Rostedt, who come off the bench fresh and like a pro, put her chance in the corner. And then Cheney gets a goal 10 minutes later. She played like a player who has been with the full national team.”

On the two other teams that qualified from CONCACAF:
“I have a lot of respect for Canada and Mexico and I hope they have the same for us. To the South and North, we have very good competition.”

On the game:
“When we went down a player, I was thinking we were still okay, it just meant that we would have to work harder to pull out a win. Then when we went down a goal, I was thinking that we didn’t just come here to qualify, we came here to win this tournament, so we had to find a way.”

On her play at holding midfield:
“We knew (Canada) would play flat across the midfield, so we tried something new, playing a diamond in midfield. It was my job to sit on top of our back line and play-make as much as I could, trying to find the other midfielder or even the forwards. I had to be more defensive when we went down to 10, dropping back into the back line more, but give Canada credit, they came at us and got two goals. They definitely played a good game, but they kind of sat back and when we went ahead and I knew we had the game won.”

On the comeback (embellishing a little):
“That was a better comeback than the Boston Red Sox.”

On the game:
“They were looking to beat us over the top [with long balls] and our defenders did a good job of winning the air balls. When we went down to 10 players, we kind of panicked a little and didn’t know what to do, but through our communication and organization, we figured it out. After they scored their goals, and we went to four in the back, we were a little calmer and able to attack a bit better. We just kept pushing and pushing and found a way through to get two goals.”

On the U.S. forwards:
“The work Cheney and Rostedt put in up top at the end of the game really helped us. They were holding the ball, working really hard and putting a lot of pressure on them. I was really proud of Jess’ work today.” is the official site of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.