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WNT 1, England 2: Post-Match Quotes

U.S. Women's National Team vs. England
International Friendly
Matchroom Stadium; London, England
April 2, 2011

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage
On the match:
“We couldn’t wait until halftime to change the style a little bit. It was all about pressure on the ball. The pressure on the ball in the first half wasn’t good and we were stretched. In the second half, we changed that totally and had so much more pressure on the ball and solved the problem in the midfield with Kelly Smith sitting underneath their three forwards.”

On the big difference between the first half and the second:
“It’s a little bit tactical, a little bit attitude and a little bit players as well. We made some changes. Anyone coming off the bench with a lot of energy, that’s something that’s good to have, but right now there was too big of a difference from the first half. In the first half, we didn’t play well, not only in defending, but also the attack. It felt like we were a little lost, and that’s something to talk about, what we need to do to find that confident style in the second half.”

On the positives of the second half:
“We created a couple of chances and that’s good. We’re not [saying] ‘wow, we lost.’ There are some good things we can take out of this game. We scored a goal and had a couple of good chances in the second half and that is good to take to the next game.”

On lessons learned from the match:
“We’re going to have games where there’s going to be moments where teams are out-playing us. The lesson for us to learn tonight is to be able to manage that. We need to lessen the amount of chances we give other teams when things might not be going right for us and might be going right for them. I think England definitely had the run of the play in the first half and that we had the better chances and the run of the play in the second half and they finished more chances than we did.”

On getting outplayed in the first half and dominating the second:
“I think that’s just the game of soccer. The momentum can sway one way or the other at any moment or for any reason. I think that games like this are so fun to watch.”

On training camp and match in England:
“We don’t take losing lightly, but we also know that there’s a bigger picture involved here. We’re playing and training to prepare for the World Cup in Germany. We want to be peaking then. Right now, we’re working with different ways of playing, with different people, it’s my first game back starting in a long time, Hope gets her first minutes in a long time, so everything considered I’m pleased with the way this trip has gone. We’re not going to get too down about the result here because we showed what kind of team we are in the second half.”

On the match:
“Obviously, a disappointing match, but I think it will be a good learning experience for us. When things aren’t going our way right from the start, I think that’s the next level for us, trying to figure out how to do it as a unit, as a team. There was no pressure on the ball, we’re dropping and we had a lot of space in between our lines. It’s something that we need to be able to fix as soon as we see it. That’s something to grow on, we can look back on it, reflect on it and fix it…in the end, if you can defend, if you are in good starting position, you defend first and put pressure on and the offense will come. I think we were on our heels a little bit and not reacting.”

On the second half:
“We solved it at halftime and I think we did an excellent job coming out (of the break). We put a lot pressure on, (forced) a lot of turnovers, had a lot of transition…unfortunately we didn’t get the goal, but it’s good to know that we were able to come out and change the game in the second half.”