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Post-Match Quotes: USA vs. Ecuador

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and select players discuss the team’s 1-0 loss against Ecuador at Red Bull Arena.

© Howard C. Smith/isiphotos.com

Clint Dempsey

IN THE IMAGE: U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey earned his 80th cap for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN

On the game against Ecuador:

“The team tried really hard to do what we asked them to do. We asked them to step it up another notch after the Honduras game and I think they did that. I think we played a brilliant first half and created a lot of chances. We didn’t score but we didn’t allow anything for Ecuador at all. We had to make some changes and we also wanted to give players the possibilities to express themselves and show themselves. Ecuador in the second half got more into the game. They created some chances but never really threatened Tim Howard besides the one beautiful goal they scored.”

On dominating the game but still coming away with a loss:
“It kind of makes you feel that you put in all that effort and work and you feel like you should be rewarded. But it went the other way and this is very good experience for us. It’s important for these players to understand that one little thing can change a game.”

On some of the positives he takes from the match against Ecuador:
“I think we saw many many good things in the game, starting maybe with Gooch being back. That’s awesome to see he’s getting his rhythym. His presence is amazing and it was really good to watch. You see [Timmy] Chandler at left back not allowing Valencia one thing. He (Valencia) is a very very good player but Timmy Chandler closed him down completely.”

On Ecuador’s goal:
“They’re very good at crossing balls in and they’re very determined to go into those crosses. That’s how they scored their goals against Venezuela. We have to get through those moments and that’s difficult. It’s a learning moment for Tim Ream, that he has to be in front of that guy and unbalance him. Tim needs these moments and he needs these minutes on this level in order to learn. There’s nothing bad about it. I think even after the goal happened he stayed focused and shook it off. He went forward and had a solid 15 minutes then. Those are the experiences he need, and I think he’s on a very good path.”

On the team’s progress leading into next year:
“It’s a growing process we are going through that will take time. If you look at the overall roster, we have a good team together that is highly competitive going into World Cup qualifiers.”

On the team’s formation in the last 30 minutes:
“We purposely tried in the last half hour to work with two forwards and Dempsey in the diamond shape in midfield. Clint has experience and can play as a floater behind the number nine or in the left in a flat midfield like he does at Fulham.”

On Juan Agudelo:
“We see in Juan a very special talent coming through the ranks. He’s 18 years old and has a long way to go, but he’s a tremendous talent. We have two plans for him. One is for him to be here and learn from the other players in this squad and get used to a higher intensity training. Number two is he will be part of an Olympic team that tries to get to London next summer, and that could be his first big international tournament. Going forward he can only learn and only improve.”

On the competition for places in midfield:
“The decision to not start Michael right away is simply that Maurice Edu is doing really well in that position. If you follow these last couple of games we played, we’ve discovered a player like Kyle Beckerman who is just doing a fantastic job for this team. He’s somebody who cleans up, he’s everywhere, he’s aggressive and he wins so many balls back. We don’t want to have him out of the team and I know it’s kind of frustrating for Michael to not start the game. The fight in midfield will really heat up with Landon coming back, Jose Torres coming back, we want to see Fabian Johnson too…We’ve got interesting situations and for me as a coach these are very good options to have.”

U.S. MNT goalkeeper TIM HOWARD
On Tim Ream:
“I think Tim is a fantastic player. He’s earned his keep, earned his position and he’s trying to crack back in to get a shot and he did. It was a difficult night for all of us in regards to the fact that we didn’t really want to give up a goal so late. We knew it was going be tough to get it back, but again we need to be tighter and not give up the throw-in. Be tighter when the ball comes in from a throw in because it’s a bit too easy. We need to stop the cross and again the guy gets across the front and bad things happen.”

On Oguchi Onyewu:
“I was just impressed. Even in the game I was thinking: he’s strong and he wins his headers and his timing is fantastic for a big guy. His timing is really good. He got himself in good positions and you know I was happy with the way he pushed up, and then dropped his line. He really dictated the line, both he and Carlos [Bocanegra], but again also getting in passing lanes and making the right tackles. His anticipation tonight was fantastic. The amount of times that he dropped and the ball got played into the forward and he intercepted, it was really good. So his anticipation was really on the ball.”

“It’s crazy to see, and you may disagree, but since the Mexico game we haven’t given up a ton of chances. It’s hard because one goal kills the game so it looks terrible, but we’ve given up four goals in five games and that’s not the end of the world. We’re not giving teams chances, and that’s a positive thing for me as a goalkeeper. We’re creating chances too; they’re just not falling.”

U.S. Men’s National Team captain CARLOS BOCANEGRA
On how the team has progressed after five games with Klinsmann:
“We’re buying into his philosophies. We’re trying to play, tactically, how he wants. We have some new guys being introduced in the new cycle, and you’re always going to have little parts where you’re not just flying. It’s just frustrating not getting wins, but we’re on the right path.”

U.S. Men’s National Team defender TIM REAM

Describing the goal:
“I was watching the man, and as I looked back I saw the ball coming. He was past me as soon as I took a step.”

On what he takes away from this experience:

“You always have things to work on. It’s not just being more physical but winning balls in the air and being able to see more one than one thing at one time.”

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder CLINT DEMPSEY:

On earning his 80th cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team:

“I always put pressure on myself to perform. Whether I am a veteran or not, and I have always been that type of person. I go out and every game I try to make an impact and try to win it. So it doesn’t matter if it is my first cap or my 80th cap, I have the same mentality.”

U.S. Men’s National Team defender OGUCHI ONYEWU
On the loss to Ecuador:
“Lapses of concentration or little opportunities here and there and you can get punished… Congratulations to them for the win but I think we have a lot of things we can build off from these games to move on for the future.”

On his experience with new coach Jurgen Klinsmann:

“This was my first camp with Jurgen. My initial impression is he’s a great guy. Obviously his accolades and achievements in soccer show he knows what he’s doing. You can see that when he talks to us.”

On how people have viewed his recovery from injury:

“I don’t really pay attention to people’s comments. A lot of peoples opinions vary and throughout my career I haven’t focused too much on the positive or negatives. I focus more so how I feel and more importantly how my coaches feel.”

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder MICHAEL BRADLEY:

On the progress of the team:

“We’re playing friendly games and trying to build things and lay the groundwork for how we’re going to play and what we’re going to be about moving forward. There are no guarantees that every night, every time we step on the field, it’s going to be perfect. There’s still enough there that we feel like we’re moving ourselves along and as we get into the middle part of next year, into qualifying, that we’ll be ready to go.” 


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