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March 13, 2013: WNT vs. Germany - Quote Sheet

Post-Game Quote Sheet: U.S. Women's National Team vs. Germany
2013 Algarve Cup – Championship Game
Faro, Portugal
March 13, 2013

U.S. head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the match:
“The German side played very well today and gave us a lot of testing situations, and Barnie came up with couple of really big saves at crucial times. It was a difficult pitch to play on and a real battle, but the team showed a great deal of character.”

On Alex Morgan scoring early:
“That helps. That’s the great thing about this team. We have so many players that can score goals. Alex came up big in the critical game against Sweden and she came up big again today.”

On the team defense, and how to cope tactically since the team throws numbers forward into the attack:
“It’s done really well. The difficult thing for our defense is that they often have to deal with counter-attacks and breakaways and being out-numbered and having to scramble at times, and they’ve done that extremely well throughout the tournament. Its’ been a testing tournament, a difficult tournament and it’s great to have only conceded one goal.”

On winning his first tournament as head coach of the U.S. WNT:
“It always feels good to win and it’s great to continue the winning tradition that the U.S. team has. At least I haven’t been a jinx in the short term, so it’s terrific and the players deserve a great deal of credit with the way they played in this tournament, with the way that they’ve toughed out games when they had to and played some really good football when the occasion was to do that.”

On earning the shutout in the Algarve Cup Final:
“You always go out with the goal of keeping a clean sheet, definitely. That’s what we say before the game starts. The defense came out and played really hard and there were a lot of hard tackles in the 18-yard box and I had to come up with a few saves to keep the clean sheet, but anytime we can get a shutout against a team like Germany, it’s a big accomplishment.”

On dominating her penalty area in the air:
“I want to be tough and come out and control the box. On any balls I come out for I want make sure I at least get a piece of them, if not win them, because that does a lot for the confidence of the defense as they know I can make the saves if called upon.”

On the entire roster getting to play during the tournament:
“It’s fun to see different lineups getting to play throughout the tournament and even in the final today. To see everyone step up and play well and play hard was nice. It was a tough game, under tough field conditions against a tough team and we came out and did the job.”

On being able to play and win a tournament final:
“It feels awesome to start and win a final. I don’t get the chance too often to come and play in a big game or a final so to get that experience is fun. I enjoyed it.” 

U.S. forward ALEX MORGAN
“It felt really good to get a good rhythm and score a couple goals. Yesterday I was at the press conference and a reporter asked me if I hope to score, and I said as a forward, I always hope to score and maybe a couple and it actually came true. I got two in and almost a third, but most importantly we won the tournament. The team had a good run and I’m really proud of all the girls.”

On the importance of the early goal:
“To get that first goal early kind of helped us out a little bit. It helped us set the tempo and gave us a little bit of an edge because the field wasn’t helping anyone.”

On the use of different players throughout the tournament by head coach Tom Sermanni:
“It’s great to get these games in and for him to see different lineups. It’s been a different lineup every single game, so I think that it’s good for him to evaluate players and good for us to get games. Other than a World Cup or Olympics, we never really get this many games in this short a time.” 

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On winning the MVP of the 2013 Algarve Cup although she played in just two games of the tournament and missed the final after she was a scratch during warm-ups with a minor muscle strain:
“This is obviously very unexpected. I thought I was getting punked when our liaison told me.”

On the team’s performance in the tournament:
“Obviously to win three games, with one little tie -- no worries about that -- and to have a good showing in the final was a good for our team. It was a battle and a good way to end this Algarve trip.”

On the final:
“I’m really proud of the girls. It wasn’t the most beautiful game of football. Both teams were battling with the field a bit, but we put in such a tough effort with tons of heart and got two goals.”

On winning the Algarve Cup with every player on the roster getting time:
“It feels great to win it. Overall it was a great team effort the entire tournament. We saw every player get on the field and every player contributed and it feels really good to know that we’ve got such depth early on in the year.”

On the team defense allowing just one goal during the tournament:
“I’m really proud of the defense, but as I’ve said before, defense is a team effort from front to back and it starts with the forwards putting pressure on the ball and getting a good shape in the midfield. Our back line was pretty tight today and Barnie came up with some great saves. Overall, great team defense throughout the tournament.”

U.S. defender ALI KRIEGER
On playing against her former FFC Frankfurt teammates in a battle with Germany:
“It’s always a bit weird going against some of my old teammates. I think seven or eight of them play for Germany. It’s always a strong game against one of the best teams in the world. The field wasn’t that great, so I think it was difficult to get a good touch on the ball, but I think we dealt with it fairly well. We started dumping it to the front because we have such strong forwards and that helped today because Alex had two great goals. We play them again in two weeks and I know it will be a battle again.”

On how the team grew during the Algarve Cup tournament:
“It was such a good foundation for us. Now we just need to work off that. Tom (Sermanni) has done such a great job with us and he has a lot of knowledge of the game and we need to let it all soak in. We just need to do what we do in training and apply it to the games and I think we’ve done a tremendous job of proving we can score goals and win games. We’re just going to build off each game.”