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U.S. WNT vs. China Post-Game Quotes

U.S. WNT vs. China
Municipal Stadium; Albufeira, Portugal
March 8, 2013

U.S. head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the match:
“I am particularly happy with today’s game. We did all the stuff we looked at on video in how we wanted to play and how we want to get in and pressure China. Today’s 90 minutes was a very, very good 90 minutes of football.”

On playing a bunch of younger players and the team’s depth:
“It’s fantastic to get young Lindsey (Horan) on the field and to get Syd Leroux 90 minutes. It’s great to be on a team where you have multiple goal scorers. We’ve scored eight goals and had eight goal scorers. That’s a tremendous asset.”

On changing 10 starters from the opening game win against Iceland:
“Just shows the depth we’ve got in the team and the cohesion and the quality of football we’ve got on the team. The team didn’t miss a beat today and went out there and played really, really well from the word go.”

On facing Sweden next for a place in the Algarve Cup title game:
“I’m going to ask Pia [Sundhage] to coach both teams. No, it’s a big game, but there are no easy games anymore. This game obviously has some extra spice with Pia coming back to coach against the U.S. for the first time, but also with Sweden preparing for the European championships later this year. It will be a very competitive match.”

On captaining the WNT for the first time:
“Whenever you can captain a team, especially a national team, it’s an honor. A lot of people have worn this armband and I’ve respected every single one of them. So to now be someone who has worn the armband as well, it’s a great honor. I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen again, but I had it one time, and the team played well so I am really fortunate and I’ll always remember this day.”

On the match:
“The first half was a little tough because of the rain. The balls were sliding and there were standing puddles so the ball was sitting up, as well. It was a little dangerous so we kind of had to adapt to the weather conditions and play a few more balls in the air so it didn’t get stuck. We had to be careful to not keep the ball at our feet for too long because they were sliding in and their slides where like 10 yards instead of two.”

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On her goal:
“I just put the ole’ rocket foot on it (laughing). (The ball) was in kind of a weird place where the wall kind of opened up some space. I wasn’t really going to float it in from 18 yards out so I just tried to put some pace on it and try to get someone to hit it in the goal for me, which is pretty much what happened.”

On the team’s performance against China:
“Really good. Even when the weather was a bit bad, we still battled through that and still had the mentality to put it on the floor and play. Everyone was on the same page out there today. We mixed it up and got some great goals and we have some first-time goal scorers so that was nice.”

U.S. defender ALI KRIEGER
On her first career goal for the WNT:
“I’m so pumped. Defenders are kicking some butt this trip. I just saw that Alex was wide and was serving it in and there was no one back post. The player in front of me had gone into the middle, so I thought I could get there. She just served a great ball across and I thought, ‘it’s a bit wet, maybe it’ll bounce and come through’ so I just wanted to be prepared and I side-volleyed it in.”

On what the 5-0 win does for the USA going forward to the final group match against Sweden:
“It builds our confidence and gives us motivation to go to the next game and keep winning. We want to keep performing well and we want to play good football. We take our next step to Sweden and focus on that game, but we’re all feeling pretty good so it will be a great match.”

On getting her first career cap for the full National Team at the age of 18:
“I didn’t expect to get into a game right now. For my first game and first cap, it was unreal. My heart is still throbbing right now. I was so excited to get into the game and there are just too many feelings right now.

On her first career goal for the WNT:
“It feels unbelievable. I’m a center back so I don’t score that often. I think that the look on my face was probably disbelief. I was fortunate to be where I was. The ball came in, HAO shot it, it kind of deflected off somebody and it came right to me and I just put it in the back of the net. Right place, right time.”

On team defense against China:
“I think that everybody did a great job on defense today from front line to goalkeeper. Barnie made some unbelievable saves in the first half. Our midfield worked so hard for us and same with the front line. Defense is a team effort and everyone that came on and played did a great job today.”

U.S. midfielder/forward CHRISTEN PRESS
On playing attacking midfielder:
“That was my first game as a central midfielder for the U.S. team. I think that playing attacking center mid is the most fun position on the field because you get involved so much. It’s new for me, but I had a lot of fun and I had Alex sitting up top which gives the defense a lot to handle and I can try to sneak in behind them.”

On her goal:
“I think Alex had the ball and it was crowded in the box. She just laid it off to me. The defender came in hard thinking I was going to shoot, so I just touched it by her and fired it.”

On scoring four goals in her first four games for the USA:
“It’s just such an honor every time I put on this jersey. I feel blessed to be here at this tournament and I’m having a lot of fun.”