WNT Nov 18, 2010
Another excellent training session for the U.S. team today, which by all accounts are going better than they did in Mexico. The U.S. team has a renewed energy and bite to its game which hopefully will pay dividends on Saturday. After training, U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage and team captain Christie Rampone spoke with some Italian media. This is what they had to say about the upcoming match:
"If you look at history and experience, the U.S. has won a lot of gold, silver and bronze medals, and been very successful. The reason for that is a fantastic attitude. We are playing against a good team in Italy and we are saying that it's a privilege to play under pressure. It's something we want to do, to play games that matter and this will be something that the players are looking forward to and will bring out the American attitude to do our very best."
"Both games will be important for us and it will take both games to make the World Cup. Playing Italy in front of their home crowd will make for an amazing game as they are a talented team. So we're hoping to play two quality games, but we want to start off well and put ourselves in good position heading back to Chicago."
The U.S. team ended training with the crossbar game (see above) with the players put in pairs and each team member getting a chance to hit the crossbar. If both team members missed, they were out. If one hit it, they moved on to the next round. At the end of four or five rounds, Ali Krieger and Megan Rapinoe were the ones left standing. Bravo to the victors (below). But there was some controversy after Heather O'Reilly had seemed to skim the underside of the crossbar to seal the game for her team, but the ball was deemed to have caught net, not bar, and the match continued.