Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Word from Coach DiCicco

Now that we've all gone our separate ways, it's time to wrap up the U-20 WWC Blog. We don't think we could have summed up this tournament better than coach DiCicco, so in his words...

This team won for a bunch of reasons but one key reason was how close this team became. There were 20 sisters fighting for each other and it did not matter if you played or not…you were important and supportive. The staff was also totally tied into our vision and dream. You just don’t beat the world unless you have that component!

From a technical standpoint, we won because we were the best defensive team in the tournament. We gave up three goals and two were in one game (0-2 lost to China). In that game, I started six different players because we had already qualified for the quarterfinals and unless we lost big and France won big would still win our group. By resting players who had played a lot of minutes and protecting players from getting their second yellow card and having to sit a game; we shortened the tournament from six games to five games for key players and that helped in the Final.

We also won because we had two strikers that played their best soccer at the right time. Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan scored 10 of our 12 goals and that is a very serious 1-2 punch to our opponents. In the Final against North Korea…they each scored and that was what we needed to defeat an excellent North Korea team.

I am incredibly proud of them and they did what most experts didn’t give us much chance to do and that was to win the GOLD. We beat every team in the final four because we beat France in group play and then Germany and N. Korea in the semi-final and Final respectively.

When we got back to the hotel after the final our team met up with the Germans and the two teams had great fun together. The Germans were a class act even though we ended their Gold medal dream. They created a receiving line that our players passed through on the way to receive our Gold Medals.

By the way, the USA team collected the Gold Medal, the FIFA Fair Play Award, the Best Goalkeeper Award, the top and 2nd best player award (called the Golden and Silver Ball) and the top scorer and 3rd scorer award (the Golden Boot and Bronze Boot awards). Pretty impressive.

Tonight, we will fly on a red-eye; land in LA and everyone will rush to their gates. I have done this before and all of a sudden it hits you that, as a team, we will NEVER be together again. It will be emotional…but I will remind them that we are linked FOREVER and have changed each other’s lives for the best.

We should all be proud of this team…because they represent what makes America special. In their own way (through soccer) they showed the world that Americans are good people; respective; polite; hard working; creative and not to be easily dismissed or defeated. I love America and I love this team…

The 2008 FIFA U20 World Champions.



Anonymous said...

pretty words... i had the opportunity to congratulate you for the cup in the hotel (when you arrived at the Embassy of USA in Santiago) and i imagined all the prid of your team, and the results of many months of work.

It was sad to read "we will never be together again" and i really think that you will get the chance to take the girls to any Addult World Cup... who knows?


castrito said...

You were a great Team but I hope you keep playing and you'll be here in Chile again for the 2015world cup.
I vote for alex goal, it was the best goal of the world cup not only for the play but also for what that goal represent...USA winning the world cup.

Take care
Daniela Castro

DC DC said...

Very nice. It was an exciting tournament! And thank whoever for having ESPN360 televise it all!