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U.S. WNT vs. Sweden: Post-Match Quotes - March 7, 2014

U.S. WNT vs. Sweden
Post-Match Quotes – March 7, 2014
Algarve Cup – Group B

U.S. WNT head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the match:
“I was pleased with how we played in the second half and how we upped the tempo and how many chances we created, but in this game, you have to score goals.”

On his first loss as head coach of the U.S. WNT:
“You’re always going to lose games in football. That’s how it works. Sometimes you win games that perhaps you should have lost, sometimes you lose games that perhaps you should have one. But as I said, today we missed a penalty at nil-nil and in the last fifteen minutes we had four very good goal scoring opportunities and if you don’t take those, that makes a difference.”

On the big picture:
“It’s not just about winning or losing at the moment, but also really analyzing the performance. I think in the second half, and particularly in the second part of the second half, I was really pleased with the performance.”

On scoring just one goal in two games so far at the Algarve Cup:
“Normally, we’re a team that scores goals. Last year, we averaged between three and four goals a game, and in these last two games against really quality opposition, we created more chances than I thought we probably would have created. But at the moment, we’re just not scoring. So the only thing you can do is keep trying to create them, keep trying to make sure players’ stay positive, keep getting into goal scoring positions and hopefully turn it around.”

On Lotta Schelin’s goal:
"Schelin is an outstanding, world-class player. If you put balls in that area, she’s likely to score. But outside of that, I think it was really the only (significant) shot on goal that Sweden had.”

On Sweden’s defensive organization:
“We knew that was one of the strengths of Sweden. They are very well organized, very disciplined, particularly defensively, like most of the Scandinavian teams. They have a strong structure in that regard and they frustrated us for most of the first half. Obviously, if we had scored the penalty, that would have opened the game up a little bit, but we really managed to test that organization and discipline and tenacity, particularly for the last 30 minutes of the game, and certainly at that time we created enough chances to win the game.”

U.S. WNT midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On the match:

“In the first half, we pressured them really well, creative opportunities and got the PK. It’s just one of those things going on in this tournament, we’re creating chances, we’ve got the work ethic, the desire, the will and for some reason, they are not going into the back of the net. It’s alright, though, we still can work on some things, we still can learn and now is the time to get the kinks out and move forward and prepare for our next game.”

On creating enough chances to tie or win in the second half:
“We had a lot of chances and I think every single sub that came on; the Mewis sisters, Press and Apple, did a fantastic job. We couldn’t’ have asked for anything more from them. We created chances, there some suspects calls, a few could have gone our way, but overall I thought one was going to get in the back of the net. We’re all disappointed, but at the same time, we have to break it down, move on from it, learn from it and get ready for the next game.”

U.S. WNT defender CHRISTIE RAMPONE
On the match:

“This was a tough one. We definitely had more of the ball, not necessarily the best possession we could have played with, but we definitely made Sweden defend a lot and credit to them, they kept fighting and battling and cutting off the passing channels and blocking shots. We definitely had the run of play, we just didn’t finish, so now it’s back to practice to get ready for the next game.”

On the young players coming off the bench in the second half and making an impact:
“The young players came on and did really well. They brought a lot of energy, were very positive and were making good runs. They gave that effort we needed at the end of the game. It was a good taste for them, we got two first-cappers and hopefully they can get more.

On looking forward to the final group game vs. Denmark:
“We haven’t played our best soccer in the last two games. We need to get back on the field and do what we do best. We need to stay composed, knock the ball around, play with our mentality and have a good game against Denmark.”

U.S. WNT midfielder SAMANTHA MEWIS
On earning her first cap:

“I was excited to get my first cap and it was a lot of fun to get out on the field. I went on at the same time as my sister, which was really cool, and the girls were all really helpful in instructing me and helping me out, but I am really disappointed that we lost.”

On the match:
“It was a game of ups and downs and back and forth. The ball seemed to be in the air a lot, especially when I was on the field. Bit we did some good creating, especially on the flanks, so it was really disappointing to not get a goal or two.”

U.S. WNT forward SARAH HAGEN
On earning her first cap:

“It felt great to get in. I had a few opportunities that I wish I would have been able to finish. To be able to get some playing time was great and coming in in a game like this where it meant a lot for our team to win, it felt good to play a role.”

On having several chances to score in her brief time on the field:
“I felt like when I came in I was able to make somewhat of a difference, getting on a few balls in the air and we had a few dangerous crosses. I wish I could have gotten on the end of one of Carli’s crosses, but we definitely started to create more opportunities, unfortunately toddy we couldn’t finish them.”

Sermanni Names U.S. WNT Roster for 2014 Algarve Cup

CHICAGO (Feb. 24, 2014) – Following three victories in the team’s first three matches of the year, U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a 24-player roster that will travel to the 2014 Algarve Cup in Portugal.

This year’s tournament will run from March 5-12, and the U.S. team will depart for Europe on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The majority of the games will be played at small venues across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country, with several matches (including the championship game) at the 30,000-seat Algarve Stadium. The placement matches will take place on March 12.

Fans will be able to follow the U.S. matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and highlights will be available on ussoccer.com. For the entire tournament schedule, please go to the Algarve Cup tournament page on ussoccer.com.

The world’s top-ranked U.S. team, which has been placed in Group B for the annual tournament, will open play on March 5 against third-ranked Japan (7:45 a.m. ET) in Parchal. The USA will face sixth-ranked Sweden on March 7 in Albufeira (8:30 a.m. ET), and will finish group play on March 10 against 13th-ranked Denmark in Albufeira (10:40 a.m. ET). Before the competition starts, Sermanni will name 23 players to the tournament roster.

“The group we’re in at the Algarve Cup will probably be the most significant test since I’ve come aboard and a different kind of challenge as we will be playing teams that have the belief and aim to come out to attack us and beat us,” said Sermanni. “The dynamics of these games will be different than some of the more recent matches, and that’s something that we want, that we need and that the players are looking forward to.”

Group A features Germany, Norway, China PR and Iceland. Group C features host Portugal, Austria and first-time participants Russia and Korea DPR.

Since the expansion to 12 teams 13 years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The winners of Groups A and B will compete for the Algarve Cup championship on Wednesday, March 12. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place while the third-place finishers in each group will play for fifth. The Group C teams will compete for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth-place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second-place team in Group C will play the worst fourth-place team from Groups A or B for ninth place, and the third- and fourth-place finishers in Group C will play each other for 11th place.

This year will mark the 19th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women, who have won the tournament a record nine times, including an unprecedented three straight championships from 2003-05. Last year, the USA defeated Germany 2-0 in the championship game as forward Alex Morgan scored twice. The USA’s most recent loss took place at the Algarve Cup in 2012, a 1-0 setback to Japan in group play (which turned out to be the team’s only loss of the year) and the U.S. missed the championship game for the first time in 10 years.

Fifteen players from last year’s Algarve Cup roster return, including the core of the U.S. team, many of whom have played in numerous Algarve Cup tournaments. Morgan will not be one of them, however, as she is in the final stages of her return from an ankle injury.

Midfielder Tobin Heath does return to the U.S. roster and could see action in a U.S. jersey for the first time in almost eight months. Heath, who is currently playing in France with Paris Saint-Germain, is one of five players who will have shorter trips to the tournament. Heath and forward Sarah Hagen, who is playing in Germany with Bayern Munich, will arrive into camp on March 2 while Christen Press, Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg will enjoy the trip south from chilly Sweden where they are playing with Tyresö for the remainder of its UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign, after which they will join their NWSL clubs.

Sermanni has once again called up several young players as midfielder Morgan Brian, who turns 21 the day the USA arrives in Portugal, gets another call-up after scoring her second career goal in the USA’s 8-0 victory against Russia on Feb. 13. In addition, Sermanni gave Samantha Mewis, younger sister of U.S. defender Kristie Mewis, another call-up, as well as naming Mewis’s midfield partner at UCLA, Sarah Killion, to her first senior team roster. Like Mewis, Killion is a rising UCLA senior and was a part of the USA’s 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup championship team.

“Again, we’re going into a competition phase with a number of players unavailable and that’s something that we’ve had to adjust to over this past year,” said Sermanni. “But players have come in and performed extremely well and that’s continued to increase the already intense competition in the squad.”

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3):
Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9):
Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7):
Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Sarah Killion (UCLA), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5):
Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

Additional Notes:

  • The USA has a 52-10-9 record all-time at the Algarve Cup and has scored 158 goals while allowing 54.
  • U.S. forward Abby Wambach comes into the tournament with 165 career goals, 19 of which have been scored at the Algarve Cup in nine tournaments. Wambach is the top Algarve Cup scorer in U.S. history, having found the net six more times than Kristine Lilly’s 13 scores.
  • Christen Press is the USA’s leading scorer this year with three goals and has scored 11 times in her first 14 games for the National Team.
  • Hope Solo leads a group of three goalkeepers that features Jill Loyden and Alyssa Naeher. Solo is two shutouts away from tying Briana Scurry for the most in U.S. history at 71.
  • U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly heads into the tournament with 196 career caps and could earn her historic 200th in the USA’s placement match if she features in all three group games. O’Reilly will be playing in her 12th Algarve Cup and made her U.S. debut at the Algarve Cup in 2002 at the age of 17.
  • Last year, Rachel Van Hollebeke earned her 100th-career cap at the Algarve Cup.
  • U.S. captain Christie Rampone, who currently is the second most-capped player in U.S. history with 289, will lead the U.S. team that features nine defenders. Rampone will be playing in her 13th Algarve Cup.
  • Midfielder Carli Lloyd was the MVP of the 2007 Algarve Cup after scoring in all four games that year. She also scored three goals in the 2010 tournament and has 10 goals in total at the Algarve Cup. That ranks third among active players behind only Wambach (19) and Alex Morgan (11).
  • Defender Whitney Engen made her U.S. debut at the 2012 Algarve Cup. Van Hollebeke made her debut at the 2008 Algarve Cup. Amy Rodriguez made her U.S. debut at the 2005 Algarve Cup.
  • Sarah Killion, Samantha Mewis, Sarah Hagen and Naeher are all looking for their first cap at the senior level.
  • U.S. midfielder Lauren Holiday will not be with the U.S. team for this tournament due to a family commitment.
  • Defender Crystal Dunn is not ready for game action as she recovers from an ankle injury.
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