US SoccerUS Soccer

Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT 1, Brazil 0

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage
On finding a starting lineup for the Olympics:
“If you look at the starting lineup, we had that (same one) for the third game in a row…We could still do some changes, of course, but I think it’s good to have some continuity. The way we played, the two games against Sweden and Norway, and the people coming off the bench change the game and we could see that today.”

On the USA’s performance in the second half:
“I said at halftime to take the chance and keep possession. You feel like you are under pressure, but this is such a good team that you can keep possession under pressure and let them run instead. I think we did that in the second half. The fact that we were more patient, kept possession in the midfield and in the back, and at the same time had A-Rod up top was the difference in the second half.”

On making all seven allowed substitutions:
“This is not the Olympics. That’s why we have friendly games and try certain things. We made a lot of subs at halftime and late subs. I don’t think I’d take out a defender with 10 minutes left in the Olympics, but still we try certain things and give them some minutes, and of course, it feels good when you win. It’s much easier to talk about certain things. You come away with a great energy, but it’s not the end of the day if that would be a tie especially the way we kept possession in the second half and got people involved in the attack. It’s more important today than if it’s 1-0, 2-0.”

On Abby Wambach getting extra attention from Brazil:
“Abby is important for the team, of course. If you look at Brazil when they play they stay closer all the time so she creates space for others. She will get a run to goal sooner than later, I think it will be sooner. She is effective in the air, she had a couple of shots today and the goals come.”

On the tactical game, competing with Brazil’s five across the midfield and what she might change for the match in San Diego:
“We will play a little bit different and see how that works. So, you know, the way they are playing with a technical style, one-v-one, and the fact that they have numbers up in the midfield, that’s interesting. So we will probably change the formation in the middle of the game and see how the players react. We have done that against Norway and Sweden and I think they have done a great job. We are still working more on tactical stuff than the result.”

On her insisting the team sticks to its ball-possession style:
“I think they have done great because it is such a short amount of time. I’ve been here for eight months or something like that and it usually takes two years, so I am very impressed with the way they try to play the kind of soccer, the philosophy I have. But you can see sometimes they get a little bit stressed. I think that sometimes they underestimate their quality because they really could keep the ball more often, and then play from the back. That’s my job, to make sure with my body language and tell them you are good enough to do it and you should dictate the tempo, and not the opponents.”

On things to improve for the Olympics:
“If you look at the final pass, I don’t think that is good enough yet. In the second half, I thought it was pretty good. If you could add the final pass as well I think we will win many games in the Olympics.”

U.S. forward Amy Rodriguez
On what the win does for the team’s Olympic preparation:
“It’s great for our confidence and getting us ready for the Olympics. We want to go into the Olympics feeling confident and ready and I think we proved that out there today.”

On her goal:
“I wasn’t really expecting that ball to pop through. Fortunately, the defender took a bad touch and let it sneak by to me and I was able to hit it first time and it went in, so I was excited.”

On the match:
“Every time we go out as a team, especially on the National and Olympic level, it’s important to us. Every win counts and we want to continue to get better. Not only is the win important, but so is the overall play, the chemistry of the team. We just want to be ready for the Olympics.”

On the heat:
“This is good preparation for us to train in this kind of weather. It’s hot and also the altitude here is tough on our lungs so it’s important to practice in this type of environment.”

U.S. defender Christie Rampone
On the game:
“Any time you win it gives you confidence. The way we played today in the second half keeping the ball, possessing the ball, against a great team really builds confidence going into the Olympics.”

On Brazil:
“They are great competitors. They are a great team. They bring it every game so it’s good to have competition like that. They are missing some players, but everyone is so talented on that team and they are really skillful so it does challenge us. They are missing Marta and Cristiane up top which changes their dimension a little bit, but at the same time we still have to play them straight up.”

On building the team for the Olympics:
“We’ve been changing our formations, but each game is building and we’ve been performing and doing well. We do make mistakes, but we learn from them and watching film and try to improve. We have one more game and a little fine-tuning to go, especially playing with the starting eleven and getting on the same page. We’re almost there, but we don’t want to peak until we get (to the Olympics).”