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Post-Match Quotes: U-23 MNT 0, Canada 2

Post-Match Quote Sheet:

Canada 2, USA 0

2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

March 24, 2012

U.S. U-23 Head Coach CALEB PORTER

Overall thoughts on the match:
“We’re obviously very disappointed. We knew going into the match that we were going to face an organized team, a team that was going to sit with numbers behind the ball and look to exploit us on the counterattack and on set pieces. We knew we were going to have to be sharp and break down the numbers. We knew we were going to have to put out the fire on the break and be organized on set pieces. We didn’t do well on any of those things. We had our looks. Their goalkeeper certainly had a great game, made some saves. Credit to Canada. They were organized and put some fresh legs in there. That helped them fight hard to the end.”

On Canada disrupting the USA’s flow:
“We never really got into a rhythm. We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be. We didn’t use the width we talked about at haltime. We put Joe Gyau on and talked about creating 2 versus 1 situations wide. We didn’t do that well enough. When we did, the final pass was off or the run was off. We continue to be vulnerable on counterattacks, and obviously we gave up two goals on set pieces. So we’re all disappointed. The reality is we need to move on. We need to get back to work tomorrow. We can’t dwell on this. No one’s going to point fingers. The guys are going to stick together. We know what we’re capable of. They know what we’re capable of. This isn’t the end of the world. This isn’t the way we wanted it to play out, but everything is still in our hands. If we beat El Salvador, then we’re though [to the semifinals].”

On Canada utilizing a different lineup than its El Salvador match on Thursday:
“We were a little surprised when we saw the start sheet and we saw seven new guys in the lineup. That didn’t change our approach. But credit to Canada. They put some fresh legs in there. They sat in and made it difficult on us, and they had some pace on the break that gave us some problems.”

On playing against Canada’s 4-3-2-1 formation:
“They set up in a Christmas tree – a 4-3-2-1. That’s not a shape they’ve used. That’s a shape you use to really stop a team, and they did that to shut us down. Essentially we were 3 versus 5 in the middle. Also, it allowed us to have a 2 versus 1 advantage on the flanks. We talked about exploiting that, and I didn’t think we exploited that well enough. We did have some looks. Brek [Shea] had a run a few times and Freddy [Adu] and Zarek [Valentin] were overlapping a few times. But mostly Brek was the guy who provided much of our penetration. They did a good job of cutting out the crosses, but I thought our runs could have been better in the box. In that type of game, if a team’s going to play that way you’ve got to play out wide.”

U.S. forward BREK SHEA

On moving past Saturday’s loss:
“Obviously, we’re not happy about today. But the only thing we can do is go win the next game and get through to the semis.”

On getting ready for Monday’s match:
“I think that if you can’t get up for that to go to the Olympics, then you shouldn’t be here.”

On set pieces:
“We stress those. We definitely shouldn’t have given those up. I think we’re one of the best teams in the air, attacking and defending. It was just a lack of concentration.”

U.S. goalkeeper BILL HAMID

On Canada’s two goals:
“I just made a mistake on the first one. You know, mistakes happen. We’ll move forward. I’m not sure if it was a slip or a push or something on the second one, but at the end of the day, we just can’t give away anything on set pieces. You live and you learn from mistakes. We’ll move forward.”

On Monday’s game against El Salvador:
“We want to win. We want to beat El Salvador. We want to show that we can play the style of soccer that we want and get results out of it. It’s unfortunate that we got this result right now to deal with, but it’s on to the next one.”

U.S. midfielder ZAREK VALENTIN

On Canada’s performance:
“We knew that they would be an organized team, and that they take set pieces very seriously. We basically lost two moments and didn’t capitalize on ours. It’s a tough pill to swallow.”

On whether the team was overconfident:
“You have to give credit where credit is due. I don’t think we were overconfident at all. They came out with a plan, and they were organized and actually went through with it very well.”

On Monday’s game against El Salvador:
“The fact that we have got to win makes it a lot easier because we know that from the first whistle that we have got to be giving 115 percent to go forward. I think that we’ll be ready. In all honesty, I know that the guys are looking forward to it, and that everything is in our hands makes it a lot better.”

U.S. captain FREDDY ADU

On moving forward from the loss:
“In all the games we’ve been in, when we have bad games, we always respond. We have pretty good character as a team, so I think we’re going to respond.”

On Juan Agudelo’s absence (out with left knee injury):
“I feel bad for the guy. You know, as a team, you need a guy like Juan. He’s a big part of our team, and it’s difficult for all of us. We still have to move on. We have guys that can step in and get the job done. Whether it be Teal [Bunbury] or Terrence [Boyd], they can get the job done for us, and they’ve done it in the past.”

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