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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Under-20 Men 3, Paraguay 1


U.S. vs. Paraguay
2003 FIFA World Youth Championship
Post-Match Quotes

Head Coach Thomas Rongen

On the match…
“I felt really after the first half it was a pretty even game. They had a great free kick to take the lead, but I felt we would become a better team in the second half. In the chances we did create we were very lethal and finished well. Hats off to Eddie Johnson, Mike Magee and Bobby Convey, whose third goal really broke the camel’s back. The win allowed us to get three points, which is so crucial in the first game.”

On the second half midfield change…
“We made one significant tactical change to start the second half by playing Santino Quaranta on the left side and Justin Mapp on the right side. The reason for the change was because Santino was really struggling and it worked as he got the assist on our first goal. It wasn’t anything of tactical genius, but rather just trying to do something different.”

On his feeling after being down 1-0 at halftime…
“I really felt that if we could get back in the game, which is always difficult against Paraguay because they play defense so well, that we had a fairly chance to at least get a goal and get one point. After that first goal, we became a better team, a more dominant team and really seeked out the other two goals.”

On Bobby Convey and Ricardo Clark…
“These guys have actually played a significant minutes together which is a plus. Those two guys have had very good chemistry from day one.”

On what gave Paraguay problems…
“I believe our athleticism and speed up front caused Paraguay some problems. If you look at where the goals came from, especially the second and the third, they came from the change of speed and the ability to run at them and get behind them.”

On if he was confident during the whole match…
“I believe in this team. This is great experience for this team. We’ve played some great matches and we’ve played some so-so matches. In no way is this tournament over. We’ve still got Germany and South Korea in a very tough group. The belief they players had in themselves was key to getting us back in this game.”

On the next match against Germany…
“When you talk about World Cups, you talk about Germany. Whenever you play Germany it is a big game. The match will excite us as a team and we are looking forward to the contest.”

Forward Eddie Johnson
On the team’s play…
“We have some unbelievable talent, it is just a matter of showing it on the field. Mike (Magee) is real clinical in the box. With our experience with playing professionally in the MLS, it has helped a lot. It’s just a
matter of finishing.”

Midfielder and Captain Bobby Convey
On if Paraguay was surprised by the team’s speed…
“We worked hard on fitness before this and I think they were surprised. We came out and took it to them in the second half and got a few quick goals.”

On the team’s defense…
“As soon as the ball came into our half we jumped on them and then started a counter. I think that worked better for us. Our back four played really well against their two forwards and got more confident as the game went on. Hopefully those guys can sustain that for the rest of the tournament.”

Forward Mike Magee
On scoring three goals…
“We definitely weren’t expecting that, especially after the first half. We talked at halftime that we had to come out stronger and we knew that the more we played the better we would get because we haven’t been together awhile.”

Defender Zak Whitbread
On the match…
“Paraguay was a tough team, but I think we came out in the second half and we should the spirit this team has."
 
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