Czech Republic 0-1 USA
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
“It was a tremendous experience for a young group of players. I think they did very well. They experienced that a game goes 90 minutes or a few minutes more. Overall it looked very good until the last 20 minutes where you could tell their legs were getting heavy. This is just an experience they have to learn to continue to play the same rhythm and flow until the last minute.”
On the manner of the win:
“It was not a simple win. The Czech team had a lot of chances in the last 20 minutes. If one of these chances go in then we can’t complain. For us it was important to see what is coming through in our talent pool. It was wonderful to see we have young players coming through that have come a long way now. Having the opportunity to play a game here in Prague is big. When you have a young player who faces Tomáš Rosický or Petr Cech that’s huge and therefore they’re going away with a lot of good stuff.”
On the performance of the team’s midfield players:
“They did really well. They are technically very gifted, they are one-, two-touch players and they always have eyes for the wingers or the forwards to play balls into their spaces – to find Jozy that was our goal. Still they have to learn and that’s what they’re doing. That’s why we play them in this way to go into those one-vs.-one challenges, to be more aggressive, to learn how to fight those fights in midfield because eventually you will get into those fights. I think that they raised the bar for themselves. Mix and Joe [Corona] you’re wonderful players but you have to go and raise the bar now in terms of aggressiveness. If here and there a foul [because of] going into a challenge being aggressive that’s their learning curve and that’s what they did today they stepped it up.
“Obviously, once they are in possession of the ball they can play. They can keep the ball, they can play it around quickly and they can create things going forward. It’s the same when you see Alfredo Morales and the process he went through the last two years. It’s wonderful to see, he’s breaking through. He’s showing that now in the [German] second division and trying to guide his team up to the first division. There was definitely a huge step for him the last one-and-a-half years.
“Then you give an opportunity for 25 minutes to Emerson Hyndman. He comes in and plays his game, is calm, does a mistake and corrects it right away. This is how we want them to grow in those games. We want them to leave from here with a lot in their back pack, saying, ‘O.K. I learned this, this, and this.’”
On the positives from the team:
“ For 65-70 minutes it went really well. The transition that we talked about with the players to move the whole thing forward, to keep the ball, to play out of the back, to find ways through midfield and not bang long balls to Jozy and hope for the best. No, it’s getting there and it took a huge step with the younger generation of players on the field. They didn’t get nervous. They got high-pressured by the check team, but they moved the ball around and found solutions when it got critical. Here and there, they stepped up the aggressiveness too and won those battles. Those games are huge from a learning curve perspective. So we will remind them all of this when we get together and you will see a lot of these kids again in October.”
On the young generation of players coming through:
“They can only win, they can only gain in these games. I told all of them that whatever mistakes you make, it’s no problem, we’ll fix it. Gyau is coming to the Dortmund second team, the edge of the first team and now wants to break into the first team roster. Jurgen Klopp is looking at him and you can see what Joe has in his pocket; he has speed, he has technique, he has improvising. He’s taking people on and if he loses the ball, he chases it back. All these things that we want to see, he’s trying to prove them. He was with us two years ago, so I’ve watched him since then and it’s nice to see that coming along.”
On Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando:
“Perfect from a goalkeeper point of view. They kept it clean, they lead the defense, they were loud, they played out of the back, the kept things calm. And when you get more shots on goal, like what happened to Nick, you can shine a bit more. Both go into the future fighting for the number one spot. It’s a bit easier with friendly games. We can rotate them no big deal. Both have a tremendous amount of respect for one another and Tim Howard and whoever comes through the ranks as well. It just nice to have this group even if it’s only four days here in Prague, it’s wonderful chemistry. There’s so much positive energy in these players, as a coach you want them to get the next step and the next step and I think they’re doing pretty well.”