Saturday, December 3, 2016

USA comes together in a must-win situation

March 30, 2016 by  
Filed under US National Teams, US Soccer

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: USA 4-0 Guatemala

Following the loss 2-0 in Guatemala, USA had to respond with a win and they did in a big way. 

Here are some reactions after the game:

U.S. MNT captain MICHAEL BRADLEY
“It didn’t take much explaining to realize what was at stake. I talked yesterday about the need for every guy to understand that at different times throughout these cycles you’re going to play a game where everything’s on the line—where if you lose you’re done. And that can’t scare you. You’ve got to have guys who embrace that challenge, who know when those moments come that’s what it’s all about. For tonight we dealt with it well. We had guys respond in a big way.”

U.S. MNT forward CLINT DEMPSEY
“I thought we showed a lot of heart. We showed a lot of character by dealing with a pressure situation. We showed our pride. You’ve got to do that if want to make it to the World Cup. You’ve got to show that you want it, and we showed that we wanted it.”

“If you’re not qualifying for the World Cup, that’s a major step backwards. You’ve got to look within yourself, man—how bad you want it? How bad do you want to go to the World Cup? How bad do you want to continue progressing the game in the States? You’ve got to put that on your shoulders. You’ve got to represent your country with pride and I thought the boys did that tonight.”

U.S. MNT midfielder KYLE BECKERMAN

On the response of the team after a loss in Guatemala City:
“It was a huge response from us. We knew we had to do better from last game and it demanded a response that we had to put on today and we had to go get that win. As for the effort and all the intensity and the aggression that we put in today was something we talked about the past couple of days. We talked about it and then we went out and did it.”

On the pressure faced by the team:
“I think there was pressure, but it’s nothing that we haven’t been in before. We talked about past qualifying rounds where we’d been in similar situations. It was just about going out and executing and showing aggression and intensity and finishing our chances. That’s what we did tonight.”

On the atmosphere in Columbus:
“The support was huge tonight. The grounds crew had the field looking perfect. The fans had the energy, and we wanted to really try to keep them involved as much as we could in the game, especially early on. We wanted to have the aggression, the intensity, get chances and make sure we were in Guatemala’s end. We knew they had our back and they would keep pushing us on, and that’s what they did all game. I was glad we could give them four goals.”

On how experience factored into the team’s performance:
“A lot of us felt we’ve been here before. We just have to stand up and go get it. Last game we didn’t like, so we wanted to make it better and get back on track for World Cup Qualifying. It felt good. We were all there and had each other’s back and were all ready to step up and get the job done tonight.”

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