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A Few Minutes With Francisco Maturana

The Trinidad and Tobago players weren't available for interviews after their one-hour training session here at LP Field in Music City, but Coach Francisco "Pacho" Maturana agreed to chat for a few moments (with help from an interpreter):

What are your feelings on the eve of this important match?

"It is one of those games you always like to play. You are playing against the number one contender in the group. So anything successful tomorrow will have very significant value for us."

Why is the United States so difficult to beat in America?

"They are a great team. History has already said that. They have a great mental capacity, not only at home but away too."

After two ties, what is your team lacking?

"That is a question every team has to answer. The United States tied the last game by a miracle. Mexico lost the first game. Honduras too. Costa Rica has lost. We haven't lost yet, but for sure we have to get things in order. What we missed in the last game was a little bit more heart."

How is it different coaching Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador compared to T&T?

"Big difference - the culture. The pressure is much greater in Latin America. The quality of players is different. We in Latin America like to work around the ball a little more. We don't have the power that the Caribbean players have, but they are all valid styles."

Is there a unique joy or happiness to football in the Caribbean?

"Not just the players, the people too. Football is an extension of the people. When you go to a stadium in Trinidad, the game is a party. Honduras scores a goal and the Trinidadians hug them. [laughing] In Latin America, that is im-poss-ib-le."

By Steve Goff  |  March 31, 2009; 5:42 PM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF  
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Next: United Stadium Update


Nice work, Steven.
Could you imagine a Barra member hugging a LaLa Gal........

Posted by: sobugged1 | March 31, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Interesting stuff. It sounds like he probably likes this job more than some of the posts he's held.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 31, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Always quality on the road for the US, thanks Steve.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 31, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Hugging opponenets fans after they socre a goal? I guess there is no Ardido in T&T?

Sad :(

Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | March 31, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

What an amazing attitude. It's cool that people can keep the perspective that it's just a game.

I'm not sure I could give somebody a hug after their team just scored on my team. But I'd like to think I could be man enough to congratulate someone on a win if my team got outplayed on the day.

Posted by: Matte | April 1, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I've often shaken the hand or patted the back of opposing fans when their team scores a goal against mine, especially if it was a beautiful goal in its own right.

This is actually one of the things I love most about being a soccer fan. You've got lots in common with people from all over - including an appreciation of the beautiful game.

Posted by: WorldCup | April 1, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

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