Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. MNT vs. Slovakia
USA 0, SVK 1
Post-Match Quote Sheet
Nov. 14, 2009
On his evaluation of the game:
“I thought we had a good start to the match in the first 25 minutes. The penalty and going down 1-0 changed the game. Slovakia is very well organized and has a lot of people behind the ball. We were not sharp enough with our ability in the attacking third to make a play and get through the defense.”
On how the back line performed:
“Jonathan Spector and Carlos Bocanegra played well together and both showed good understanding. It’s the first time we’ve used Spector as a center back. We were able to use Clarence Goodson as a reserve and we were able to see him. I think both in Jonathan’s case and Clarence’s case, it was good tonight.”
On having players out due to injury and club commitments:
“This match was on opportunity to see some different players. I think the area tonight that let us down was the sharpness and execution in the attacking part of the field.”
On the importance of the friendlies in preparation for the World Cup:
“They are very important. There are only a few fixture dates from the end of qualifying to the start of the World Cup and these are important periods to train a little bit and test some players. We appreciate these opportunities.”
On the match tonight:
“I thought we played well in long stretches of the game and we deserved more.”
On looking forward to Denmark:
“We look forward to it. It’s another good chance against another good opponent so we’ll keep going.”
On the performance of both teams:
“I knew they were going to be a tough – I knew it was going to be a tough game. But, I was kind of surprised, after they got the goal, at how much they did sit back. I thought they would go forward a little bit more but I guess they were playing for the win so they stayed back and kept it compact and tried to catch us on the counter. I thought we did well with keeping most of the possession and creating chances. We just weren’t able to get that goal to open the game up more.”
On the pitch conditions after the rain:
“Both teams have to deal with that so I don’t think it’s a factor. It was a good game and we had a good time here.”
On the loss against Slovakia:
"Tonight's a frustrating loss for us. We feel we at least deserved a draw tonight. Who knows if it was really a foul or not [on the USA's disallowed goal] but that happens. We created some good combinations in the first half, created some good opportunities, but they didn't go in tonight. I don't know how many chances they created in the first half but sometimes that's just how it goes. It's a little bit of a frustrating night for us."
On moving forward to the next game against Denmark:
"We just continue with what we've been doing. I thought we played alright tonight. They gave us a lot of the ball and they sat back and played defense, got a lot of people behind and looked to counter attack. That's their game and that's what they've been doing throughout qualifying. We knew that and saying that I thought we created some good chances even with all their numbers behind the ball. Denmark will be a little different. They like to be on the ball and they're not as much of a counter attacking team as Slovakia. We continue and look at this game, take some points out of it and keep moving forward to our next challenge."
On tonight's game against Slovakia:
"We gave up a goal fairly early in the game unfortunately and I thought we were playing well up to that point, connecting passes and getting in behind their defense to create chance. They went ahead and their game plan was pretty clear. They sat back and countered from there and made it difficult for us to break them down. Taking away from it we played some good soccer at times and passed the ball really well. They're a good team in Europe and I thought we had the better of the game, to be honest."
On playing center back:
"I'm used to back there. I played in that position throughout my career with youth national teams and club teams. I was comfortable back there and playing next to Carlos [Bocanegra] and Steve [Cherundolo] made it easy. They're two experienced players and we had a lot of communication so that made it easier for me."
On earning his first cap:
"It was incredible. Obviously it wasn't the result myself or the team was looking for. Slovakia is a good team. They're tough to play against and they keep it pretty compact defensively. For a midfielder like myself, it was a good game to go into because they were dropping back and giving us space to play. Unfortunately, when we got to the final third today, we had trouble creating good quality chances. At the end of the day, it was a really good experience and I'm glad to get it out of the way."