MCINERNEY: WE HAD OUR CHANCES
Top American prospect McInerney was disappointed with dropping the opening match 2-1 to Spain at the 2009 Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria.
"We just have to put this one behind us," the Alpharetta, Georgia native told YA. "[We need to] keep looking forward to the next two games. We can still go through in our group."
McInerney, 17, played a part in the games first big play when he was taken down by Spanish defender Sergi Gomez on the edge of the penalty area in just the second minute of the game. Gomez was shown a red card and the game was changed dramatically.
Just one minute later, McInerney opened the scoring when he tapped in a ball after challenging the Spanish keeper Edgar giving the USA a quick 1-0 lead.
"The first half, once we scored, we weren't going to change the way we've played," McInerney described. "We were just going to keep going at them and keep the ball and keep possession."
McInerney's tally would not hold up long as Spain scored twice in the middle of the first half to give themselves a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish despite defending and playing with 10 men for most of the match.
"We were a man up and they got two chances and finished them. We can't do anything about it, we had our chances."
The second half would see the USA dominate opportunities and possession but were unable to convert. Containing McInerney, who scored five goals in the USA's three game qualifying campaign for the U17 World Cup, seemed to be a priority to Spain.
"I started off strong in the second half then I didn't get the ball much," McInerney said. "I don't think I had a shot in the second half."
"I have to keep doing what I'm doing, keep moving and keep asking for the ball."
McInerney and the USA will play Malawi in their second game of group play on Thursday.
"We watched the first half on TV and once we got here [at the stadium] we found out the final score. They looked fast, they looked good. So we just have to come out strong against them."