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Morgan Celebrates

Post-Game Quote Sheet: U.S. 1, Italy 0 at Padova, Italy

U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage
On the intensity of the match:
“You could see that this was a game that mattered. When we scored the goal, you could see a lot of people jumping off the bench and that tells you that this was very important. Both teams tried to score goals. It was intense and it was good.”

On young Alex Morgan coming off the bench to score the winning goal:
“She’s come off the bench a couple times and done well. That last thing I told her (before she went into the match) was ‘go to goal.’ She had just a couple of minutes, but she’s good at that. She doesn’t think too much, she just goes, which is good.”

On the USA’s penchant for late game heroics:
“I’ve been here before a couple of times. Every time we do it, I gain confidence and the whole team as well because we believe in what we are doing. It will be good for us to look back at this and see this is the attitude we need to keep and this is the confidence that will give us wins in the future.”

On how the match evolved tactically:
“We talk about the back four, and they stepped up and took care of Panico and that was LePeilbet and Christie. Buehler did very well in the attack with Megan Rapinoe as well. Carli Lloyd and Shannon Boxx are the heart of the team and if they are involved, we play well. There was a part of the game where they weren’t involved as much as I wanted them to be, but Carli stepped up and Boxxy stepped up and all of sudden you are connected. There were some big balls played behind the back line and that stretched them out, giving more room to Boxxy and Carli in the middle, even though they played 4-5-1. We took care of the space and could dictate the tempo for the most part.”

U.S. Midfielder Carli Lloyd
On going so late into the game without scoring:
“We just tried to remain calm. We had some subs come on that helped change the pace of the game and helped contribute on the field. We just had to score and scoring here away was the most important thing and we got it done.”

On Alex Morgan’s goal:
“Huge goal. As a forward, you need to score goals, and she sure is scoring goals. I’m really proud of her. She’s stepping up, and she’s bringing that difference to the field and that’s what we need.”

On the win:
“This is a huge confidence builder. We’ve had a lot of anticipation riding on this game. After we got back from Cancun, a lot of us wanted to come right away and play this game. Now we’ve played it, we got a win under our belt and it gives us great confidence going into the second match.”

On picking up a big win on a short turnaround after finishing third at CONCACAF qualifying:
“People can say whatever they want. We lose one game to Mexico and don’t qualify right away, but the history of this team is that we find a way to win. We still finding ways, and we’re still trying to find our rhythm, but I believe in this team and I believe we can do it.”

U.S. Defender Heather Mitts
On the USA’s back line:
“It felt good out there. I think we were on the same page and came over here ready to get a win on their turf, then go back to the States and wrap this thing up. We were talking, supporting one another and we played really good defense.”

On the match:
“This is huge confidence-wise more than anything. That fact that we could come over here, get some points and go back home and play in front of our fans. That’s the way to do it.”

U.S. Forward Abby Wambach
On Alex Morgan’s goal:
“One of the top-five biggest goals in this team’s history I think. Not that I’ve been a part of all of them, but I’ve been involved in a few big goals and for a 21-year-old to come on the field and make that kind of difference to give us the edge to potentially qualify for the World Cup … that’s huge. You can’t put a word or an emotion to it. It’s just the biggest goal of her career.”

On pounding away at the end of the game, but not being able to get a goal:
“There are moments where it could have felt frustrating because we were getting chances and the ball just wasn’t going into the net. Balls on the line, off the posts, headers off the line, credit to their defense and goalkeeper, they did a really good job. But this team has the kind of fight when the game goes into the waning minutes it’s almost as if something clicks.”

On the return leg at Toyota Park outside of Chicago:
“Obviously, we want to go there and perform well. It’s always going to be another opportunity to get better as a team, but to have that one-goal advantage is big. We have so much confidence in ourselves and our defense, but when we are on our home soil, we like to do our best and give our fans something to cheer about.”

On the match:
“I’m proud of us for fighting to the end tonight. It just goes to show you that it’s a 90-minute, sometimes 95-minute soccer game.”

U.S. Forward Alex Morgan
On scoring the winning goal:
“It feels amazing. We are one step closer to qualifying, and I’m just happy I can be a part of it.”

On entering the game in the 86th minute:
“We were pressuring and it was go-go-go. I think the last 10 minutes is like the funnest part of the game. I was having a lot of fun up there with Abby, and I know were trying hard for the goal. Once we got it, it was the best feeling.”

On the match:
“I think our team showed a lot of character. We stayed together, it didn’t matter what was going on, we stuck it out, were pressuring it the whole time and we wanted that goal. I think that shows how much we want this and how far we can go together.”

On her goal:
“I saw that long ball and Abby is great flicking with her head, so I just tried to get myself in a good position for her to flick it on, cut off the defender once I received the ball and drove it past the ‘keeper. Great feeling.”