USA MNT – Eliminated [Updated]

13 08 2008

Well, the US men’s squad was eliminated from group play at 2008 Summer Olympics today. It was a well-played game that ended in a tough 2-1 defeat by Nigeria. If any one thing had gone differently, if a header hadn’t bounced off the cross-bar, if the Netherlands hadn’t gotten a PK against Japan…we would still be in the Olympics. But, in searching for a silver lining, we can look forward to our Olympians returning to MLS a week or so earlier.

Click here to listen to the post-game press conference.

Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Men’s Olympic Team 1, Nigeria 2: “U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Peter Nowak and select players discuss the team’s 2-1 loss to Nigeria in the final Group B match, which eliminated the team from the quarterfinals of the 2008 Olympic Games.” (excerpt below):

U.S. Midfielder Stuart Holden

On the team’s adjustment:
“We didn’t have very many defenders on the field tonight, so we had to adjust and make due. We switched Robbie Rogers back and the rest of us were just trying to find space.”

On what the experience of playing in the Olympics meant to him:
“It’s an unbelievable honor to represent your country in the Olympics so I just tried to enjoy every second of it. I’m pretty upset that it’s over because I felt like we have a team here that could have done bigger and better things. It just comes down to little things that hurt us. It’s going to be a little disappointing to look back and think that we could have done better, but I enjoyed every second of this experience.”

On looking back and knowing that the team played well:
“Playing the way did does help, but in the end is it the results that matter in these tournaments, and there are times I think I wouldn’t have minded if we played terrible and got three wins. That’s the way it goes sometimes. We would have liked to advance obviously but we played some good teams and we’ll take pride in what we did.”

U.S. Head Coach Peter Nowak
On whether the early ejection affected his game plan:
“It’s extremely difficult in the third game of your group to get a red card four minutes in. It makes it hard to play your game and the whole lineup had to be reshaped. The whole mentality just went in the trash. I think he maybe rushed his decision a little bit in showing the red card, but then it’s behind us. Of course it changed the game completely but we have to look at the bigger picture.”

U.S. Midfielder Freddy Adu
On not being able to play in the match:
“This is the worst feeling I’ve had as a professional athlete after a loss in a tournament because I couldn’t be out there with the guys. I couldn’t be out there to help the team out. Watching from the stands, it wasn’t a great feeling.”

(Via U.S. Soccer News.)




2 responses

13 08 2008

Will they return a week early?

13 08 2008

Sure. Their clubs will expect them back at practice (time is money). I think there’s a good chance they’ll be playing in this weekend’s games (if they normally would have, of course). And regardless, they’ll definitely be back on normal practice schedule by the first of next week.

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