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Global Oct 22, 2015

U.S. U-17 MNT quotes: Williams, Pulisic, McCabe, Adams talk Croatia

(Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team earned a point in their second match of the 2015 U-17 FIFA World Cup with a 2-2 draw against Croatia. The U.S. now takes on the hosts Chile in their final match of Group A play at Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2 and NBC Universo.

+Read: U.S. U-17s: Hugo Perez, the 98-99 crop and a legacy on the line at U-17 World Cup in Chile

U.S. U-17 MNT head coach RICHIE WILLIAMS

Overall thoughts on the match:
“It was a tale of two halves. I thought we played very, very well in the first half. I’m very happy we scored two goals and created more chances. We spoke about the second half not necessarily sitting back and trying to get the third goal but right from the start of the half Croatia was pressuring us and we couldn’t hold the ball, we didn’t possess the ball. We had a couple occasions to counterattack and we just weren’t sharp with our passing to counter and potentially get a third goal. Credit to Croatia, they pushed hard, they pressured us and created chances and were able to get the tie.”

On the lack of possession in the second half:
“We possessed the ball very well in the first half and did very well but in the second half, I don’t know if we lost our composure. I don’t think they felt too comfortable but again in those situations when the other team is pushing hard, you have to get a hold of the ball and make a couple passes, potentially counterattack and we weren’t able to do it. That was obviously disappointing. They battled hard defensively and we were able to still come away with the draw and a point but that was something that obviously with some of the substitutions that we made and trying to hold on to the ball and possess the ball like we did in the first half.”

On the importance now of the third game against Chile:
“It’s a very important match. We’ll watch Chile play against Nigeria and then we’ll see the first match on Friday so we’ll know exactly what we need to do. More than likely we’ll need three points. Chile is a very good team as they’ve shown so far in the tournament. We’ll be ready for the game, we’ll prepare and be ready to take the field on Friday and advance to the knockout stages.”

On boosting the morale of the team:
“I told the players to keep their heads up, at the end of the day it’s a point. It’s the World Cup and it’s not easy, all the teams are good, especially our group. We have a very competitive group. So at the end of the day we got a point. We got zero points in the first game, a point now and if we keep improving into the third game, we’ll advance out of our group. We’ve got to keep our heads up, learn from it. If we can play like we played in the first half we’ll have success. They battled through it and at the end, it’s a good Croatia team so you ended up getting a point. You can’t be too disappointed with that.”


On his goal and assist:
“I saw the ball bounce around and Luca played a great ball to me. I saw the defender fall and my eyes just lit up and I was one-on-one with the ‘keeper and I just tucked it away. For the assist, Josh played a great ball through and I knew I just had to put a good ball into the box and I got it in there and Brandon did a great job to put his head on it.”

On the importance of the point:
“We need a good result to move on and at least finish second in the group. We’ll learn from our mistakes and we’ll be ready to go in the next game against Chile.”

U.S. U-17 MNT midfielder TOMMY MCCABE

Overall thoughts on the game:
“Leading up to this game, we wanted to have a good reaction after the first game. I thought we started off well, got two goals which was important and I thought it was a good reaction from the first game.”

On the importance now of the match against Chile:
“We built off the first game by getting a point in the second game, so now we’re just trying to learn from our mistakes and keep this thing moving and get three points and move out of the group stage, because that was our ultimate goal, was to move on and go as far as possible, so we need a big game and a big response against Chile.”

U.S. U-17 MNT defender TYLER ADAMS

On the importance of gaining a point:
“It was definitely important. You can see from the other games that it’s such a tight group and to get any kind of point or any kind of result is definitely important. We were going for the three points but overall it was good to come out of the game with a point.”

On building on the positives of the draw:
“We were definitely looking for a reaction from our first game, getting a loss in the first game got us off to a bad start so we had to react to it and I think grabbing the point was important.”

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