Saturday, December 3, 2016

USMNT falls in semifinals – reactions after Jamaica makes history

July 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Gold Cup, US National Teams

Gold Cup 2015 – USA 1-2 Jamaica

U.S. MNT Head Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN

On his thoughts on the match:
“Obviously the team is disappointed, the fans are disappointed because you wanted to play the big final on Sunday in Philadelphia. It was a very, very good performance. I really told them at halftime as well, ‘Just keep playing like that, you’re going to get opportunities and sooner or later you’re going to put them in the net and we’re going to turn this game around.’ We lost this game with two set pieces that we conceded. It’s as simple as that. We had enough chances to put three, four, five in there. We didn’t do that, and that’s why at the end of the day we lost it. That’s unfortunate, but it’s reality. Congratulations to Jamaica being in the final, and we have to swallow that pill.”

On similarities with the team’s previous loss to Jamaica in 2012:
“I’m not comparing the games in the past. It’s similar to a couple years ago with two set pieces when they scored two goals in Kingston. They won that game with two free kicks. Today was a throw-in and a free kick and they come away as the winning team. Compliment to them and they come away as the winning side, but I cannot complain about the performance of the team. They gave everything. They kept pushing, pushing, pushing and we had enough chances at the end of the day to score the goals we needed in order to get to the final and we didn’t do that. That’s maybe the only point where you can see we were missing today.”

On a change in the pace of the match after the first 15 minutes:
“You cannot go that tempo for all 90 minutes that the guys went. They kept really pushing. They kept going until the very end. Defensively Jamaica did a very good job. It’s a very physical team, they know how to interrupt the game and slow the game down.”

On whether he regrets sticking with young center backs John Brooks and Ventura Alvarado:
“I don’t regret it, not at all. On that header there, John came up a little too late, but he played an excellent game, and Ventura too. Now we have a couple of very, very good center backs that we keep building. They keep progressing and they will have a very intense competition between each other and going into the future. There’s no reason to criticize them for the game, actually the opposite. They were all over the place, they did their job and we came up short at the end of the day.”

On the play of his young center backs Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks:
“Planning ahead towards 2018 wasn’t the factor. Right now, the fact is they deserve to play these games. They deserve to play the Gold Cup. We’ve had to raise the competition with some center backs and some outside backs. We want to see that competition going on and it’ll just get better over the next couple of years. That’s not a problem at all.

“We had enough chances to put this game away. The luck was not with us maybe, but also we were not clinical enough. Effort-wise, rhythm-wise, passing combinations – everything was there. There was a lot of good stuff that we saw. At the end of the day, it’s the goals that matter.”

On Olympic qualifying in the fall and preparations for the Confederations Cup playoff:
“As far as I know, it goes parallel with that time in October the Olympic qualifiers and our playoff then for the Confederations Cup. We’ll figure that out, but if you look at the youngsters like DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks, there are some other kids in there that I would love to have for the senior level. We’ll figure that one out.”

On what comes next:
“Finishing off in style Saturday in front of our fans, being third then and doing that with the right attitude and right approach. You owe that to fans and the tournament. Swallowing that pill, it’s not nice to swallow, but it is what it is, you can’t change that anymore. Then we keep building, we keep progressing, we keep working hard in order to go towards World Cup qualifying by the end of the year and it starts all over again.”

On the play of Aron Johannsson in the Gold Cup:
“We need to see the strikers. We need to have them play those games and we need them to kind of prove a point every time they come into camp. They’re trying to do that in training and they’re trying to do that in the games as well. I think Aron made another step forward in this tournament, with the group and also within ranking of the team. He was a bit unlucky today with the rebound on the free kick from Fabian Johnson. If that one goes in, it might become the game-winner. This is part of our job as coaches, to bring them along, to help them in that process, to also help them in their club environment whenever we can in order to get them ready for the next level.”

U.S. MNT captain MICHAEL BRADLEY

On tonight’s game:
“Coming in we knew it was going to be a difficult game. Going down 2-0 in the first half makes it even more difficult. The response after halftime was good to try and get back into it, but unfortunately we couldn’t find an equalizer.”

On what Jamaica did to cause problems for the U.S. tonight:
“These games are never easy, like I said. Teams are committed to defending and closing down space, and obviously when you give away two goals off set pieces the task becomes even harder.”

On the team and the chances it had to win:
“The response was good. Again, it’s a difficult game at the start and then going down makes it very, very difficult.”

On turning the page and moving on from the loss:
“That’s life. There’s no choice but to move ourselves forward. Obviously it’s a disappointment right now, that’s normal, but we’ll be back at it. There’s no other way to go.”

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