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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT 4, China 1


Head Coach Greg Ryan
On the team’s strategy against China:
“We worked them very hard and put them under a lot of pressure. They had a hard time matching Abby’s strength, so I think the way they tried to solve that was to give her a few kicks to the back of the legs. Abby did well and held up to it, so in the end the girl ended up getting a red card (for kicking her). I was proud of Abby for keeping her head after getting kicked that many times.”

On giving up an early goal and recovering:
“We’ve been playing very well defensively, and they played right up the middle of our defense and scored an easy one. We were disappointed. I think it did fire up the players though, and they fought back well. Cat Whitehill – right now anything she shoots goes in the net. We were fortunate on that goal, but it brought us back in the game.”

On the crowd:
“They were fantastic. The field is fantastic and the crowd was fantastic.”

On the play of Amy LePeilbet:
“I thought Amy played very well. She is very solid defensively and did a great job. In the second half we put Rampone in just to match up with their speed.”

WNT forward Kristine Lilly
On the crowd and stadium:
“We always want more, but the crowd was great and this is a great stadium to play in. I think the stadium is great. I think it’s what we need in America – more soccer-specific stadiums. If we keep this up, then more and more people will come out. The grass was pretty good and, for the most part, it was faster than I thought it was going to be.”

On going down a goal:
“I think they snuck a goal in, which does happen against good teams like China, but I think what is important is what our team did to get back. I think our defense got a little tighter, our midfielders stayed together more to crowd the middle and we scored some goals.”

On scoring the free kick:
“We work on getting the ball on the face of the goal, but I think I was a bit lucky.”

On her second goal of the game:
“I saw the keeper come out a bit and I was pretty much too tired to keep going with the ball.”

WNT forward Abby Wambach
On the physical play of China today:
“I think the only other time I’ve felt this way after a game was after the finals in the Olympics. China played very physically. They’d scouted me well, and saw that the only way maybe to defend against me is to keep me on the ground and not let me make plays. I think they did a good job scouting, and my body is sore. They did a good job getting me to the ground.”

On the foul that resulted in the ejection:
“I just know what I’ve heard, and a few people thought it was an elbow, a couple thought it was a kick. It’s just one of those things that is part of the game and I don’t hold it against her. We were teammates on the Washington Freedom and, like I said, it’s just part of soccer.”

On coming back from a deficit:
“It just goes to show you that even though this team is young, we’re willing to fight and we’re willing to go to battle until the last minute, no matter who is on the field or what the score is. After a team goes down a goal you could pack it in and think you’re done but it just goes to show you the character of this team – all of the players, not just the older ones, but all the players on the field.”

On the play of Amy LePeilbet:
“Amy was great, she was one of the more solid defenders, and she’s very consistent. She does a great job keeping herself between her player and the goal, and I can tell you that the goalkeepers love having her on the back line.”

On the facility:
“I think it’s beautiful. The crowd was great, it was a good atmosphere and obviously we put on a good show today.”

On being 4-0 in the domestic games this year:
“It just says that we’ve had a good foundation for many years, so the younger players that are coming up and getting the experience now going into a World Cup. They already have a lot of experience playing in World Championships at the U-19 and U-20 levels. It shows that this team is very deep and, whether they’re still in college, or if they’re 35 years old and scoring two goals today, we’re willing to come out and fight.”

WNT midfielder Leslie Osborne
On going down a goal:
“We did a good job to keep our composure. We knew they were going to come out like that. We just kept good composure and played our game instead of resorting back to their game. They played a 4-5-1 so they were really countering with their outside midfielders. We just tried to play our game and not change the way we play because of their system. In the second half we just went out and had more fun, we were just getting forward more and keeping the ball more. In the first half it seemed like we tried to force things too much.”

On playing 90 minutes:
“It felt good, and it felt like I was ready for it. I’ve been training against the best players in the world for a couple years now so I’ve been enjoying myself and trying to make the team better. I’m finally playing the way I know how to play on this team. You can’t get the game experience any other way.”

WNT defender Amy LePeilbet
On the physical play:
“It was typical USA – China and they’re a great team, so it was a battle to the end.”

On playing in front of hometown fans:
“I saw the signs and it was exciting to see them. I had a group here and that was very energizing. I haven’t been back in a long time, so it was definitely great to be in front of my family today.”
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