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U.S. U-20 vs. Italy Post-Game Quote Sheet

USA 1, Italy 3
Enschede, Netherlands
June 21, 2005

U.S. Head Coach Sigi Schmid
On the match:
“Obviously, we are disappointed. You’ve got to finish opportunities when you get them and we just weren’t able to do that today, much to the efforts of Italy’s goalkeeper who came up with a number of good saves. We had a chance to go up 2-0 right before halftime and if we score that goal, it makes a huge difference in the game. We just didn’t handle the second half very well and they used the chances they had.”

On why the team struggled in the second half:
“We had some mental errors that really hurt us in this game. Plus we had some important players that didn’t play as well as they could of today. That combination didn’t bode well for us against a good team like Italy.”

On Hunter Freeman taking the penalty kick:
“That was my decision. When Freddy had the first one saved and the goalkeeper was called for moving we decided (to go with Freeman). I had confidence in Freddy after he had missed one in the other game. That wasn’t a problem for me. After he missed that one, Hunter Freeman had indicated to me from the field that he wanted to hit it. He was our second guy anyway, so I said go ahead and take it.”

On the defense allowing three goals:
“Deflected goals are sometimes hard to take. There’s not much you can do there. It was a hopeful shot and Quentin (Westberg) has it all the way if it doesn’t deflect and it doesn’t go in. From that standpoint, I think we made some errors defensively. More mental errors than anything else.”

On Freddy Adu’s play:
“I didn’t think he showed up today. I thought he wasn’t an impact on the game. I think he still needs to step up to the physical nature of the game. Italy is a physical team and I think that took him out of his game.”

U.S. Midfielder Freddy Adu
On how the team played:
“Some guys didn’t play well, while others did. Benny Feilhaber probably was the best player during the whole tournament. It’s a shame that guys like myself and Eddie Gaven couldn’t help out.”

On how the team reacted after Italy’s goal:
“We were fine in the first half to get a 1-0 lead, but right when they got that we kind of folded after that. I think we lost a lot of concentration after that and some of us didn’t come to play, including myself. We made a lot of mental errors and it’s just one of those things where as much as you try to get over that in middle of a game and pick it up, you just can’t no matter what you do.”

On being prepared for Italy:
“I think since Italy lost their first two games and only won one against Canada and we’ve beaten Canada, I think maybe we figured Italy wasn’t as good as they were. But they were much, much better than that and they took it to us.”

On his play:
“I’ll be the first one to stand here and tell you that I didn’t play my best and I was terrible this tournament. I’m going to just go back, work harder and get to where I know I can get to. Hopefully, next time I can help the team out a lot more.”

U.S. Defender Jonathan Spector
On the match:
“Obviously, we didn’t want to go out this way. Everyone had high hopes that we could have advanced. We could have made things go a little bit more our way as we had some shots on goal, but the ‘keeper made some great saves.”

On the first own goal:
“The deflection off my back was unfortunate for the own goal. You don’t like to see goals like that, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

U.S. Midfielder Benny Feilhaber
On how the team is feeling after the loss:
“Everyone is obviously a little upset and disappointed because we thought we were the better team. While we’re disappointed we are also proud of what we accomplished. We just have to look forward to what is next for each of us.”

On what their goals were at the tournament:
“To win the tournament. We knew we had a tough group, but we wanted to take first and we accomplished that. We wanted to move on, but I think we just didn’t come out as focused as we needed to be.”

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