US SoccerUS Soccer

Post Game Quote Sheet: USA 1 Mexico 0

U.S. U-20 WNT vs. Mexico
CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Jan. 30, 2010

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Head Coach JILL ELLIS
On winning the CONCACAF championship:
“I tip my hat to Mexico, they are a terrific team, but I’m very excited for our players. They have worked very hard. It was a tough tournament as far as playing five matches in a short number of days, but it’s a great end to an awesome week. I’m proud of all of them. Every single player on this team helped us win this tonight. It’s a nice way to begin preparing for Germany.”

On the team’s leadership:
“Throughout the tournament I’ve seen players emerge as leaders. On the field, everybody stepped up, including Toni Pressley and Crystal Dunn, and Christine (Nairn) and Sydney (Leroux), who have been there before. They have been instrumental in helping us keep focused.”

On winning the championship as the head coach after watching from afar during the last U-20 Women’s World Cup cycle:
“I still feel we’re at the beginning of the cycle and this is a nice start. It’s about the players having this experience. I’m just excited to lead this team towards Germany and towards trying to win a world championship. They’re a fantastic group of young women and it’s a privilege to work with them. I’m very happy they’re going home with gold medals.”

On what she thought when she realized her shot was in the net:
“I was in absolute shock. I was so excited I put my hands in the air and screamed. The whole team came over. I guess they didn’t know in the bench and in the stands that it had gone in because it looked like it hit the top of the net, so they didn’t know until I ran around. It was so exciting. I feel same way I felt at the World Cup when I scored in the final. It’s the same type of excitement.”

On finishing as the tournament’s leading scorer:
“I wouldn’t have six goals if it wasn’t for the rest of the team. It’s awesome but at the same time, if anyone else had scored six goals I would have felt just as happy for her as I do now.”

On looking forward to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup:
“The World Cup is a great experience. I know our team is ready for it, but I know we still have a long way to go. I have so much belief in my team and I’m so excited to go the distance with them.”

On winning the championship:
“It’s definitely great to come home with a win. It was pretty exciting, especially the way (Sydney Leroux) scored in the last three minutes. To come away with that and go out as the best in our region is pretty unbelievable. It’s the right step forward toward the World Cup.”

On whether the victory feels sweeter after coming in second place at the 2008 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship:
“Yes, I would say so. The first thing I said to Sydney when I ran over to her was, ‘We did it. The curse is broken.’ I got a ton of e-mails and messages from the girls that were on the team last time and they all said that we had to break the streak. Not only did we make ourselves proud, we made last tournament’s team proud by winning this cup.”

On what the team told each other to stay motivated after going in scoreless at halftime:
“We said that there are going to be bad times and there are going to be good times, but we have to stay together as a team. Mexico is a great team and they played their best game of the tournament against us. For us to come away with a win like that gives us a lot of confidence going into the World Cup stage.”

U.S. U-20 WNT Midfielder TERESA NOYOLA
On how it feels to win the CONCACAF championship after the team’s hard work:
“It feels very good because when we first started training this is what we wanted to do. We wanted to prepare ourselves in order to win this tournament and qualify for Germany and we did it. It’s great.”

On her thoughts on the game:
“It was a good game. I have a lot of respect for Mexico because they played very well. But a good team knows how to win in the end, even if it’s the 90th or 91st minute, they know how to win in the end and that’s what we did.”

On what it means for the team to qualify for the U-20 Women’s World Cup and win the CONCACAF championship:
“It’s a very special feeling and a great honor. Not every team can qualify and to play in a World Cup is something very few people get to do. It’s really an honor.”