US SoccerUS Soccer
Pia Sundhage

U.S. Women Speak Before Group C Finale Against Sweden

U.S. Women’s National Team defender RACHEL BUEHLER
On the team moving to Wolfsburg:
“It's definitely been a good feeling to have a good start to the tournament for us. We're excited to be here in Wolfsburg and ready for the game against Sweden.”

On the short turnaround between games:
“We need to focus on regenerating, recuperating from each game and letting our bodies recover as well as preparing for each game and focusing on the opponent at hand. We'll watch some film on Sweden and get ready to play them.”

On facing Sweden:
“We have faced Sweden a lot and they're a great team. They're going to be a great opponent and we know they will come out hard. They're really good in the air, as are we, and they're an athletic, strong team. It will be an exciting game. We definitely know more about them but it will be just as challenging to prepare [for the game].”

U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder TOBIN HEATH
On playing in the game against Colombia in her first Women’s World Cup match:
“It was a pretty special feeling. There was a lot of excitement and it all happened pretty quickly. It was a cool feeling being able to help out the team on the field.”

On the support for the USA in Germany:
“The support here in Germany has been unreal, with the fans, the troops and everyone. It seems like we're almost playing in front of a home crowd every time. We can feel the energy every time we step on the field and throughout the game they continue to support us. It has been great.”

On the whole squad contributing to the team’s progress at the World Cup:
"We are certainly honing in on that 21 player theme. These practices between games have been great. We're coming out there with a lot of energy and it's great to see. It's fantastic to see everyone contributing even if they're not playing 90 minutes. They're keeping the level high and they're being there mentally to support the team."

On the match against Sweden:
“I think it’s cool because it’s a huge game. Sweden is a team you could normally face in the knockout stage, so this is a really good test for us. We’re through to the next round but this is good preparation for those next stages. I think it’s a great test for us and they’re a great team.”

On Sweden being a familiar opponent:
“Once you get into a tournament like this all that disappears. You know a lot about them but every team brings a whole different level in the World Cup. We have to do the same. Even though we’ve played Sweden a bunch, this game will look totally different than a game we’ve played in a different tournament.”

U.S. Women’s National Team defender STEPHANIE COX
On the fan support for the tournament and for the Women’s National Team:
“It's awesome to see all the support and attention women's soccer is getting. There are so many American fans that come out to the games, it's unbelievable. After the wins, going around the stadium feels like you’re in your hometown with all the fans. I’m excited for women's soccer and what this tournament means.”

On the match against Sweden:
“Our big focus is maintaining or confidence as we head into the next rounds. We know Sweden and they have put up a lot of good games against us lately. I think we're really going to go out hard and I feel good about the game.”

U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On the transition between games at the World Cup:
“We have a couple days in between and we’ll now watch some film on our last game. We’ll go over some positive things that we’ve done in the defensive area and the following day we’ll touch on Sweden. We’ve faced Sweden numerous times and we know what to expect. At the end of the day we are still focusing on ourselves and what we can do, how we can keep going and improving.”

On the USA’s next opponent:
“Sweden’s a great team and we have to give them a lot of respect. They have a good midfield. They’re good in the air and have two great forwards up top. We’re not worried and we’ve been through this before. We’ll continue to focus on what we have to do attacking them and defending as well.”

On the familiarity between the USA and Sweden, compared to the first two games in group play:
“Coming out and facing North Korea in the first game we didn’t know what to expect. Same thing with Colombia and they did a great job of hanging with us the full game. It brings more confidence to people knowing we have faced Sweden. We know what to expect but at the end of the day being at a World Cup is a different animal.”

On Sweden:
“They are one of the strongest teams in the tournament and it’s unfortunate that we both get paired in the same group. We know this game is not going to be easy. We believe it is going to be a hard-fought game and the best team will be left standing.”

On if she gets frustrated with not scoring:
“No, I don’t. Four years ago, it might have been a different answer. I might have been frustrated if I was scoreless at this point. But four years ago I was also on my way to scoring six goals and getting embarrassed in the semifinal so I’d rather win and score zero than score more and end up getting knocked out a little bit earlier.”

On if Sweden has a lot of similarities to the U.S.:
“I think that as a team we match up well with them. It’s going to be not just an individual battle, but it will be a tactical battle and a coaching battle. I do think that there are going to be changes from us or them to try to capitalize where the spacing is and where the weaknesses are from the opponent.”

On which country the U.S. team wants to face in the quarterfinal:
“It doesn’t matter. We’ll be prepared for whatever team we face. We can’t control any of that. Right now, we are focused on Sweden. We want to get a good result against Sweden. We want to play well and performing to our potential because we are going to get better as the tournament goes on.”

On respecting every opponent:
“We have to respect every opponent. I think that’s going to go a long way in this tournament. There are so many good teams that can and will beat another team, even if they are better than you, even if they are worse than you, it doesn’t matter. Whoever is playing the best soccer that day is going to win that game. I think that is something this team has really understood, really learned.”

On the team’s struggles before the tournament:
“World championships are not the time you want to be learning lessons. You really want to learn before the tournament starts so you’re solid and you’re set. This kind of confidence can take you to the championship game and at the end of the day the championship game is our goal. Winning that game is going to be the team that wants it the most because both teams will have deserved to be there.”