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Tab Ramos

FIFA U-20 World Cup Quote Sheet : U.S. vs. Ghana Preview

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team faces Ghana in its final Group A match on Thursday, June 27, at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Kayseri, Turkey, looking to advance to the Round of 16. Head coach Tab Ramos, midfielder Luis Gil and forward Mario Rodriguez and Jose Villarreal preview the important match, which kicks off at 8 p.m. local (1 p.m. ET) and will be broadcast live on ESPNU, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes.

U.S. U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On the Ghana matchup:
“We knew coming into this World Cup that we were in a very difficult group. We wanted to make sure that we went into the third game with an opportunity to advance and I think we’ve put ourselves in position to do that. We’re very happy where we are and now it comes down to one game.”

On Benji Joya and Danny Garcia:
“At this point everyone is available except for Benji (who is out because of yellow card accumulation). Danny is recovered and available to play.”

On the defensive shuffling against France and whether Caleb Stanko returns for Ghana:
“I think we all struggled at times. For tomorrow, the game’s a little bit different than the France game. France is a team that’s a lot more physical, so we’ll have to prepare the game a little bit differently. So sure, there’s a chance that Caleb could play tomorrow.”

On right backs DeAndre Yedlin and Oscar Sorto playing together in the late stages of the France draw:
“We feel that we have two very good right backs, and because of the No. 12 of France being able to get forward a lot, we at the same time wanted to be able to get forward on that side. By having two right backs that can go forward, we felt like we could also have one good defender back. It was the right time to do it. We had not done that before, but because of the circumstances of the game it was the right time to put those two players together. At the end of the day, they’re both good players, so we felt there would be no issues for them to handle that situation.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder LUIS GIL
On the Ghana game:
“I feel like we’ve put ourselves in a good position. We’ve had two good games – not the best results – but we’ve just got to take care of business against Ghana.”

On improving the offensive attack, especially early in games:
“I feel like we need to start shooting more and being aggressive when we’re taking guys 1-on-1. We need to get them on their heels early, so that way it will make space for us. But I think the big thing is just shooting.”

On gearing up for Ghana:
“After the France game we’ve been preparing ourselves mentally and physically for our next game against Ghana, which is not going to be an easy game and we’ve just been focusing on that. Hopefully we’ll get the three points. It’ll be a good competition and a very good game.”

On the preparation having played Spain and France in a difficult group:
“It’s been great. Our first game we had our ups and downs, in the second game we picked it up and now hopefully in this third game we can have a good rhythm.”

On the focus for the Ghana match:
“I think the most important thing for this game is just to get the three points and get out. It’s as easy as that. It sounds easy but it’s a lot harder. Ghana is going to be a tough matchup and they’re a team that we don’t really have a game plan for them – they just come out and play and they react. They’re a good team and they have a lot of heart. It’s going to be a good matchup for us and we just have to come out focused and sharp.”

On the keys to a quick start against Ghana:
“In the past game we had a couple chances early on and we weren’t able to put them away. I think our mentality has to be a little more aggressive and lethal in front of the goal.”

On the mixed feelings following the France draw:
“To me I think that was one of our poorest games. We didn’t play that well. We just got the result, and that was good that we got the tie, but we obviously wanted the win. We didn’t play the way we wanted to play, but we fought through it and sometimes that’s what it takes at the end of games. We just want to focus on Ghana and playing well there.”