U.S. U-20 MNT head coach THOMAS RONGEN
On the game:
“Going into this tournament obviously our most important goal was to get to the third game. That was accomplished pretty much after Panama beat Suriname. We still wanted to use this game to play well and get a result, which we did. We accomplished a lot today as far as finding out a lot about some of our players, some chemistry. I liked some of it and I didn’t like some of it. Going forward I think we have a pretty good idea of what our best 11 is and what our substitution pattern needs to be, which guys are sharp. We are where we wanted to be. We have two wins and we’re playing our third game against Guatemala.
“No excuses, but the climate in the first half especially was a little tough on our players. It looked like some of them hit a little bit of a wall. The temperature today was significantly higher than it was the other day, so it was good to get a feel for that and to get our ‘rough game’ out of the way. I’d rather have this one out of the way now and we can look forward to our quarterfinal opponent.”
On the two group matches:
“At the end of the day, two great moments allowed us to score two goals. Statistically we have six goals for and two against. Anywhere in the world in qualifying, it’s a pretty good record. We’re drawing a lot of positives out of this one and not harping too much on the negatives. In tournament play these things take place. The team knows that, individually and collectively we have to play better in that third game and we will. I’m very confident of that. We feel good where we are, great about what we’ve accomplished and I feel good that we haven’t given up any goals. We weren’t great on the day, but saying that, in two games Zac MacMath hasn’t made too many saves. It’s not like he’s had to make three or four outstanding saves to keep us in a game.”
On the versatility of Conor Doyle:
“Conor was unbelievable. We needed him today in a lot of positions due to the fact that we rested some guys. He played as a nine, as a seven and I believe at the end he even played as a 10 in the last few minutes as well. Good players, which he is, can play almost anywhere. Eventually at the highest level he’s going to find his niche, but he’s so technically and tactically sound, we can play him on the left or the right and he still finds solutions. He’s most effective for us as a striker and you won’t see him on the flank unless it’s needed. In this game, where we were, we needed him there.”