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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Falls To Argentina 4-1 In Copa America

Post-Game Quote Sheet
USA 2, Mexico 1
2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship Game

U.S. Head Coach
On game:
"We put a lot of effort into the first 60 minutes, and I think when Argentina raised the level over the last 30 minutes we were unable to match that. When you play in tournaments like this, you have to understand the level of competition. We certainly started this tournament playing against one of the favorites. This is the first game. We understand that the first round is three games, so it is critical that we pull ourselves together for the match against Paraguay. Argentina is a good team. We all know they have great players."

U.S. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller:
On the match:
“We knew we were big underdogs coming into this game. They’ve got a world all-star team and we have a group of kids getting their first caps.  It was a little difficult, but I was very happy with the way we played for the first 60-65 minutes.   Unfortunately it’s been a bit of theme of the team lately that we just haven’t been able to see games out the way we need to when you are playing against players of the qualities they have.  We just couldn’t see the game out, and that’s frustrating.  But part of the reason why we are here with the team that we are with is to get some kids experience playing in big games like this so they are able to learn from it.  Hopefully that’s what happened today.”

On how this group of young players gets prepared to play against Paraguay:
“They have to be extremely motivated.  It’s tough because they don’t have to play teams with the caliber of players like Argentina week in and week out. If you haven’t had that experience on several occasions, then you have to learn it at some stage.  When you go to Manchester United, Real Madrid, and those types of teams, you know that if play them straight up you are going to lose. So you have to do something a little bit different.  You have to be extremely tenacious, be very aggressive, and work harder than they do the whole game.  You can’t give them those chances.  If you haven’t been in those circumstances, then that is the learning curve.  Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending how you look at it – we’re here with a team that is learning as it goes.”

On what the loss means:
“If we came here with our first team, than you could truly look at results. Of course we are trying to get results, but knowing that we are coming with an under strength and inexperienced team.  Ultimately what we are trying to do is to increase our playing pool, so when World Cup qualifying comes around we can compete against and dominate teams lesser than us.”

On whether the group still has an opportunity to advance:
No question.  The most disappointing thing that I have is that we conceded those last two goals.  Goal difference can be everything when you are trying to get that third place qualifier, and to give up that last goal was silly.  I’m sure Colombia is thinking the exact same thing.  Paraguay is going to be full of confidence.  I think we impressed a lot of people for 60-65 minutes; the question is can we do it now for 90 minutes.”

Midfielder Ben Olsen:
On the match:
“For about 60 minutes it was pretty solid.  When you defend that hard, it’s tough sometimes to deal with the offensive stuff.  It seemed like we hit a bit of a wall, and they have got the players to take advantage of it.”

On how the team turns around to get ready for Paraguay:
“You learn a little bit from it and put it behind us. You know there are still two games out there.  At this point the goal is to get enough points to move to the next round.”

Forward Taylor Twellman
On the match:
“It’s disappointing as we were up 1-0 and gave up a goal right after that, which kind of took the wind out of our sails. The cardinal rule is that the first five or 10 minutes after a goal are important, but it was almost like we scored too early. Argentina is a pretty good team and in the end they were able to pull away.”

On what they need to do now:
“We just have to get a win. We need to do whatever it takes to get a win and then put all our marbles into the last game against Columbia.”

Midfielder Benny Feilhaber
On the first goal:
“They had more possession at the beginning of the game, which we kind of expected. We knew we’d probably play the counter and that’s exactly what happened. We stole the ball and it popped out to me, and the first thing I did was to look up for Eddie and see where he was running. He signaled like he was going to make the run behind the players and I just tried to chip it over them and he did the rest.”

On Argentina tying it up quickly:
“It’s disappointing because if we had gone 1-0 into the half, it could have been a different game. That’s the way it goes sometimes, but taking that lead also gives us some confidence heading into the next game.”

On trying to stay in the game:
“I think once Argentina has the lead, they’re a real tough team to come back from. We had used so much of our energy to keep it 1-1, so when they got it to 2-1 that made it even tougher for us. We wanted to try and attack, but we also don’t want to leave it wide open for them because they are so good on the ball and pushing forward.”

On the next two games:
“We know there are still two games left and if we can get at least four points we know that would be good enough to advance most likely. We’ll shoot for six and that starts against Paraguay. If we can get a good result, then we can concentrate solely on Columbia.”

Defender Marvell Wynne
On his first cap:
“In my first cap we were actually on top of Argentina 1-0 for a little bit. It was pretty uplifting when we got the penalty kick, but then they pulled off a pretty ridiculous free kick with that chip. It’s good playing against a team like that, and it was a pretty interesting jump into reality (at this level).”

On Argentina scoring three goals in the second half:
“I can’t say we completely broke down and they came at us. They played the same way, still made the same runs, but just did it at the right times and made some smart plays. In all they might have had six or seven good chances, but they put away four. We didn’t break down as much as they just capitalized on their chances.”

On thoughts after the loss:
“This is not over yet. We would have loved a result against Argentina, especially since it was the first game, but we just need to put it behind us and learn from it. We’ve got to move on."