February 7, 2013
Howard: 'We got outplayed in a lot of facets of the game'
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras -- Goalkeeper Tim Howard made no excuses for the United States' disappointing performance in its 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Honduras on Wednesday.
"I thought we didn't play nearly as well as we could have," he said. "We got outplayed in a lot of facets of the game and away from home that can't happen. They were a much better team than us today.
After the game, the U.S. players reminded the media that it wasn't the end of the world or its World Cup qualifying hopes.
The defeat opened the Americans CONCACAF hexagonal run as they found themselves in last place among the six finalists. The Hondurans are atop the group with three points.
Its not the way we wanted to start but it's a long road," U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley said. "Nobody on our end expects to go 10-0-0 and that's the reality. There are six good teams, tough stadiums to play in and tough atmospheres. We have to continue to keep a strong mentality, continue to have the confidence and continue to believe that over 10 games our quality will come out and that mentality will ride us through."
The U.S., which hosts Costa Rica in Commerce City, Colo. on March 22, will play three of its four opening hexagonal matches on the road.
"When you're playing in a situation like this where points are on the line you never want to start with zero, but you can't panic," Bradley said. "There are nine more games to go, we get a home game next and we have to look at things, improve things and know that the three points in the next game are crucial.
Forward Clint Dempsey, who like several teammates came from Europe, where the weather conditions are much colder, said dealing with game-time temperatures was difficult.
It was difficult game and we knew it was always going to be tough, especially dealing with the conditions," he said. "Most of us are playing in Europe and we come here and it's over 90 degrees at a 3:00. Both teams have to deal with those conditions but it's difficult because you can't press and run and have the endurance that you would have in other games. It was frustrating trying to adapt and play but you have to keep going.
With not much to boast about from the game, looking ahead was one of the few bright spots for the American side.
It's not what we wanted," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "We wanted to start with a positive result. We have to fix that right away now against Costa Rica in March. But we knew it would be really difficult. Both teams play on the same field and there are no excuses. When you lose a game there are reasons for it and the reasons today were too many players performed under their level.