Williams: 'Obviously we're extremely disappointed'

[USA-HONDURAS: Reaction] Despite their elimination from the Concacaf Under-17 Championship that will deprive them of participation at the 2013 Under-17 World Cup -- the first time the USA will not take part in 15 tournaments -- U.S. under-17 national team coach Richie Williams said he was proud of his players.

“Obviously we’re extremely disappointed," he said in remarks after Sunday's 3-1 loss to Honduras in Panama City. "The players have put so much into this preparation over the last 16 months with us and our goal was to get to the World Cup, and that’s not going to happen now. The game itself, I thought we came out and did a pretty good job in the first half. We had some opportunities that we did not take. Honduras was playing very direct, which gave us a little bit of problems here and there with their strength. For the most part, I thought we did OK. They had the goal and then we came back with another goal to go even at halftime. We made a couple mistakes in the second half, and at the end of the day we couldn’t take our chances. That’s soccer at times.”

Williams added that his players have great futures ahead of them.

"One game is not going to define their career," he added. "You could see over the last 16 months working with them how they’ve developed, how they’ve become better soccer players and better people. They have great futures ahead of them. It’s unfortunate sometimes when it comes down to one game. People want to be critical. They’ve won a lot of games over the last 16 months against a lot of good teams. Coming down to one game, we can’t sit there and say that’s affected their development. We’re very disappointed. We tried our hardest. They tried their hardest to try to qualify for the World Cup. For whatever reason tonight it just didn’t work out. Honduras was the better team on the night and got the result they needed, and we didn’t, and that’s just the way it is sometimes.”

He said Honduras did what it needed to do to win.

"At the end of the day," he said, "it’s winning or losing. I thought their approach to play the game was very direct, which is fine. That’s the way they want to play. At times it was a handful for us during the game. It was effective for them. They had a couple chances from it and scored. They took their free kick well. I give them all the credit in the world for doing what they needed to do for qualifying for the World Cup, so good luck to them.”

16 comments about "Williams: 'Obviously we're extremely disappointed'".
  1. BJ Genovese, April 15, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.

    Bummer, I hope US soccer goes back to the drawing board again. We must include more players into the ID element of US soccer. They must include more camps with different players instead of the same ones year after year. We have hundereds of kids that could be groomed to play in a game like Sundays.

  2. BJ Genovese, April 15, 2013 at 7:05 p.m.

    We need to have resident camps for each time Zone or region from u15 and up. And they need to mix the camps up with different kids. Not just the ones that have been involved year after year since u14. Kids develop at different times. Give them all confidence.

  3. feliks fuksman, April 15, 2013 at 9:35 p.m.


  4. Luis Arreola, April 15, 2013 at 10:26 p.m.

    Here is a crazy idea. Lets take what we like from the way Brazil, Argentina and Mexico do it and see what happens. As long as we are experimenting, lets actually experiment with the better player producing country's ideas and methods.

  5. James Madison, April 15, 2013 at 11:02 p.m.

    "Obviously" we have not progressed as much as others, e.g., Mexico and Honduras have. "Obviously" something is wrong. When I first got into this business in the 1970s, the excuse was that we did not have good enough athletes. The good athletes played baseball and American football, etc. Now that soccer has been around long enough to presumably have good enough athletes, what is the excuse of Mr. Klinsmann, et al?

  6. Bruce Gowan, April 15, 2013 at 11:12 p.m.

    Please do not excuse failure. The US was not prepared to play the game and did not react to the tactics of Honduras. Williams failed as a coach. Residence camps are not the answer. Youth teams as a part of professional teams is how it is done all around the world. Don't select a team from 30 players. Select a team from hundreds of players who are playing not training.

  7. R ROD, April 16, 2013 at 12:38 a.m.

    Or we can do what the best soccer countries in the world do with their young players, futsal and small side ONLY until U13 and up.

  8. Allan Lindh, April 16, 2013 at 2:32 a.m.

    Too much over reaction. It was a tough field, tough conditions, and as usual a set of officials who called fouls against the US for touches, and ignored much heavier tackles the other way. But we are a large rich nation with a horrific history of abusing the peoples of Central America, and I can only imagine how they view us. I was very impressed with the US team, several excellent players on the ball, and one soccer match proves nothing -- shucks, sometimes Wigan beat Man U. Overall the mix of Hispanic kids on both the U17 and U20 teams, kids with exceptional ball skills in some cases, bodes well for the future of US national teams.

  9. lorenzo murillo, April 16, 2013 at 9:03 a.m.

    @Bruce, right answer, we need pro youth teams at the MLS teams, that's how its done elsewhere and the coaching education needs to be revamped, do away with the week long courses and create a 2 or 3 year long coaching course...

  10. Luis Arreola, April 16, 2013 at 9:21 a.m.

    Rod, there you go. That's a start. e could actually also pick the truly best players regardless of their affiliations.

  11. Luis Arreola, April 16, 2013 at 9:23 a.m.

    Allan, you may be right. One game might not prove anything. But how about the last U17, U20 world cups and the Olympics?? Wouldnt these 4 results within 2-3 years prove something?? And dont we have more of those kids in USA ?? It seemed that we certainly had many more on the U20's.

  12. Robert Williams, April 16, 2013 at 9:50 a.m.

    Total failure!!! Do you guys realize that the best player against Honduras is the only kid that is not part of the residency program???
    Is not a coincidence that Sonora was head and shoulders better than any other player there because he plays his soccer for Boca Juniors in Argentina.
    Can somebody have an explanation why Junior Flores did not played a minute???? He is good enough to sign a 2 year contract with Stuttgart but not good enough to start in this team were midfielders spent most of their time playing negative soccer??? really???
    We were beat and outplayed by a country that have a 10% of US pool of players and much less resources... Residency program in Honduras means public transportation or walk to practices, 1 or 2 meals a day if lucky and bad facilities to train... Not sunny Florida and million dollar IMG facilities...
    Can somebody tell me that Richie Williams could not find 10 better U 17 players in the whole US? better than those that embarrassed the US 2 nights ago. really????

  13. Ronnie j Salvador, April 16, 2013 at 1:43 p.m.

    @Gonzalo: your numbers are a bit off. Honduras has less than 1% of the USA's pool of players, not 10%.

  14. BJ Genovese, April 16, 2013 at 2:57 p.m.

    Bruce.... I agree with you. "Youth teams as a part of professional teams is how it is done all around the world. Don't select a team from 30 players. Select a team from hundreds of players who are playing not training."
    Allen, I respectfully disagree. The boys were great. Coaching bad and desire was bad. We have to raise our expectations.

  15. Robert Williams, April 17, 2013 at 1:33 p.m.

    Thank you Ronnie, I was trying to be generous!

  16. Nate Nelson, April 17, 2013 at 2:37 p.m.

    Bruce, I affirm! Lorenzo I hope you not mixing US professional soccer with MLS, because MLS wants America to see them as the only game around. MLS is a model doesn't development players, their reserve teams are PDL or NPSL team which is a joke. Why are more American's playing abroad even in lower leagues? MLS's policy of holding players isn't correct. The USSF needs to take a leadership role like other countries, and they haven't done a good job. The politics of the sport at the youth level are the worst of any sport. For all the "brain-trust" at USSF and your very well paid and complex remuneration packages. Get to work or resign! Your spent years patting yourselves on the back and trying to bring the World Cup to America. Not happening. USSF needs someone to clean things up like they did with the USOC.

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