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U.S. WNT vs. Japan: Post-Match Quotes - March 5, 2014


U.S. WNT vs. Japan
Post-Match Quotes – March 5, 2014
Algarve Cup – Group B

U.S. WNT head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the match:
“I thought we did more than enough to win the game, and we had enough chances to probably win two or three games. But, it’s the classic tale that if you don’t take your chances when the game is at one-nil. It’s always very dangerous, particularly when you are playing quality opposition. One free kick, which was a bit questionable, and suddenly the score is one-all.”

On the team’s overall performance:
“Other than the result, which is disappointing, the actual performance, the chances we created, the way we pressured Japan, the amount of balls we won in the Japanese half, and the way we just generally, particularly in the second half, dominated the game, I thought was fanatic. If we had ended up winning the game I’d have been elated, rather than feeling a little bit deflated, simply because of the result.”

On the team defense creating offensive chances:
“I thought we did exceptionally well by winning the ball and really counter attacking and even in the first half we could have scored four goals in the counter-attack. In the level of the performance, and in a lot of things we talked about and worked on at training, they did come out in the game. But funny old thing about soccer, it’s just a tight game and often the result masks the performance.”

U.S. WNT forward CHRISTEN PRESS
On the match:

“I think overall it was a good match for both sides. There was a lot of good possession out there, but it was the first game of the tournament so we had to shake our legs out a bit. I think we are a little disappointed not to come away with the win after having the lead, but I think we are moving in the right direction as a team.”

On creating quite a bit of danger down the wings:
“We were trying to swing the point out attack more than we usually do. I think that opened up some spaces and we created a good amount of chances in front of the goal so that was really good for us.”

On creating so many chances against the world’s third-ranked Japan:
“Going out there and being able to play a game like this against one of the world’s best team means a lot of our team. It’s good for our confidence. Sweden will be a totally different opponent, but if we can come and impose our style every game against every opponent, that will help us a lot going into the World Cup qualifiers (at the end of this year).”

U.S. WNT forward SYDNEY LEROUX
On her goal, which came when she blocked a clearance from the Japanese goalkeeper:
“I think the center-back played to the goalie and the goalie kind of just took a touch and looked to play someone, and I pressured her and slid and hit it. It kind of ricocheted perfectly off my foot into the net. I thought I had could get it. She was very lackadaisical, so I said, ‘ok, I’ll pounce,’ and I got her.”

On the USA creating chances:
“We had a lot of chances that we should have finished, but that’s the game of soccer so hopefully we’ll come out next game and finish those chances.”

U.S. WNT midfielder HEATHER O’REILLY

On dealing with the windy conditions:

“It was pretty windy out there, but we’re used to this when we come to the Algarve. It’s always going to be a battle of the elements, sometimes with the field and wind and stuff like that, but we got the ball down and knocked it around and did some good stuff today. We’re disappointed that we didn’t come away with the win, but we are happy how we dominated the game in certain points.”

On pressuring Japan to spur the U.S. attack:
“Our offense a lot of times starts with our defense and in the first half we were maybe a little bit conservative and sort of over-respected the Japanese possession. In the second half, we won the ball higher up the field and that allowed us to create chances offensively on the attack so it really just stemmed from good defense I think.”

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