#USAvPAN Post Game Quote Sheet

#USAvPAN Post Game Quote Sheet

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Gold Cup – Third Place Game
July 25, 2015


His thoughts on the match:
“Overall, obviously it was a game that was pretty much overshadowed with what happened a couple days ago. A game that basically Panama and us didn’t really want to play in terms of how do you pump the players up after what happened on Wednesday night. Both teams deserve a huge compliment. They went all the way through, they went 120 minutes and into the penalty shootout. They were both extremely tired and gave what was left in them. I give credit to Panama for how they went through that tournament and stayed on course. For us it’s clear that we look towards September – two friendly games to build things in order to be prepared for the playoff in October.”

On the differences for the team between the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups:
“I think all the teams were really competitive. All the teams were into the competition and wanted to win it. There was just a lot of stuff going on outside the field. There was always a sense of being uncertain of what happens next. When I talk to the players this morning, I told them we didn’t know what would happen because every time you go on the field you don’t know what happens with the refs with either way they go. You feel really sorry for the refs, because if they make a mistake one side or another goes at them. This feeling was there from the beginning of the tournament where you always wonder what will happen. It kind of overshadowed everything that went on really. Going through it from our end, we started fine. We got two wins and qualified for the quarterfinals. We took care of the quarters and then Wednesday night happened. It took the wind out – that’s just normal, that’s fine. It shows you also how competitive this region is. Nations that maybe weren’t regarded as high before the tournament earned a lot of respect, earned a lot of compliments, like Haiti for example, or especially Jamaica being in the final. You have to give them credit as well.”

On improvements since he took over the team in 2011:
“This is year one after we went to Brazil. The goal is always to go further in the next World Cup than we did in Brazil. This is a working process right now that here and there will give us some setbacks, some situations where you make a step back maybe and hopefully make two forward. That process is ongoing. We had the discussion on Wednesday night after Jamaica. This team will grow, this team will get better. The youngsters will learn out of mistakes that they make on the field. They will become more responsible, more accountable, gain more personality. I can’t blame anybody for the last four weeks, because they really showed great character. The spirit was good throughout the entire tournament, they kept going and going. Our goal is to move things forward, to become a little more proactive and not too reactive – that discussion we had over the last couple of years. That process will keep on going.”

On balancing the growth for the future with the need to win:
“You always have an eye on the growth of the team and the program, and at the same time you also zoom in and when a tournament is happening, you want to win the tournament. The goal was to win this Gold Cup with the best team available. That’s what we had – we had the best team in the tournament. The only bummer was that DaMarcus Beasley got injured on his first day of training, otherwise he probably would have been on the field the other two games. We keep building in the background. We build an Olympic team that goes into the qualifiers in October. We build the next cycle of the U-20s that did extremely well in New Zealand, just losing against the World Champions in the quarterfinals, so that goes parallel. When it’s tournament time, it’s tournament time and you want to win it, and we didn’t win it.”

On the status of DaMarcus Beasley’s international career:
“Beas is a guy that whenever he’s needed, he just wants to help. As I said the other day, he’s a giver and I said right after the game in the locker room, ‘Beas I don’t know if you can walk out like that. We might have to get you back in.’ The guys were clapping because they love him. The locker room loves Beas. We’ll see – it depends on him. He made that decision a year ago. He came back for the team – the plan was for the knockout stage. It didn’t work out that way because of this little strain, but from my end I’m always open and maybe that’s a question for him when he walks out of the locker room.”

On handling the goalkeeper situation with Brad Guzan and Tim Howard:
“I will have a phone call with Tim probably next week and also with Brad and see how we want to move forward. Brad kept us in the game with some tremendous saves. Defensively we allowed too many chances, there’s no doubt about it. Again, this game today was under a very weird feeling for both sides. We wanted to make sure nothing bad happened, let’s just get it done. I’m not blaming any of the players if there were a couple too many mistakes.”

On the pressure of going into October’s Confederations Cup playoff:
“There’s constant expectations, constant pressure for everybody. That’s just normal – it’s part of our job. We didn’t use that opportunity to finish things off in this tournament so we have to finish it off in October. If there’s a rise in expectations, that’s totally cool.”

On what he learned about the group and what he might have done differently:
“We’ll watch the games again and see more detailed stuff.  There’s always something you find that you think afterwards you could have done things differently. I think overall when you look through it, we started well in the tournament and in a three-day rhythm in that group, which was the most difficult group, we got out right away with two wins, already qualified for the quarterfinals and then Wednesday night happened. Overall I think we could have won this tournament, but at the end of the day we didn’t. We’ll take our lessons from there, analyze it and then talk to the players.”


On what it was like to be back:
“It was great to be back after the injury to my calf. It’s tough to lose like that, and I’m not just saying that because it could be my last game. We didn’t get the result that we wanted. It wasn’t anything about me playing in what could be my last game, it was about getting the result and getting the win. We wanted to end on a good note. It didn’t happen, but we have to pick ourselves up and move forward and obviously take the criticism after losing two games to our neighbors, Jamaica and Panama, but this is just going to make us a stronger team. It’s only a year after the World Cup. There’s a lot of young guys that will grow in this team and we look forward to seeing how to develop them.”

On the positives of this trip:
“Playing. You can’t get away from experience. This is what qualifying is going to be about - playing at home with these teams. Some guys have never been through a qualifying cycle. This is what it’s going to be, hard games, tough games. There won’t be any easy games whether you’re at home or on the road. This is giving them a taste of what it’s going to be like come qualifying time. I’m 100 percent sure we’ll be ready for it.”

U.S. MNT goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN

On tonight’s game:
“It wasn’t the result we wanted. We’ll be able to look at these games and analyze them and know where we need to improve and where we need to get better in terms of going forward to the friendlies in September and the [Confederations Cup] playoff in October.”

On the how the September friendlies will help the team:
“They’re huge. They’re against Brazil and Peru. They’ll be two difficult games that will definitely get us ready. Every time we come together as a country we want to use that time wisely.”