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Post-Match Quotes: U.S. WNT 4, Norway 0

U.S. Women’s National Team Quote Sheet

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage

On the match:
“I said after the game that I was very grateful because this game taught me a lot. The fact that you played 45 difficult minutes, and if you can remember how that felt, and if you believe what you are doing, and continue what you do, then you can go out there in the second half and do well. Look at Carli (Lloyd), for instance. She struggled a little bit in the first half, but she and her teammates made it look good in the second half. That’s something we are looking for to gain confidence by playing our game.”

On what she told the team at halftime:
“Believe what we are doing. Believe in our roles going into (Olympic) qualification, and that means keep possession and relax a little bit. Even though Norway put on pressure in the midfield, I wanted (the U.S.) to continue to play through midfield. When you believe in something, you are also winning something.”

On the factor the wind played in the game:
“It was important. It was easier for them to get behind our back line in the first half compared to the second, but at the end of the day, the way we played in the second half, no matter the wind, we would have won the game.”

On starting Rachel Buehler (three caps), Angie Woznuk (five caps) and Nicole Barnhart (six caps) in a critical game:
“We need to get some answers. Look at Angie Woznuk, she hadn’t played that much, and I’m happy with her first half, the same with Buehler over 90 minutes. This is a tournament and there will be more games, but we need answers as to what kind of international level they have. The players coming off the bench, they did a great job, and that’s a strength. We will play the bench, and that’s a message I want to send.”

On the play of Barnhart in the U.S. goal:
“Coming off her line and the balls served in the box, she was good in the air, so I am very happy about her game today.”

On Abby Wambach’s goal:
“That goal she scored made me so happy, and gave me confidence.”

On facing Denmark in the championship game:
“It will be different from this (game). I’ve heard that they’ve changed a little bit and knock it around and want to keep possession, and play one-two touch. So it will be interesting to see if they come out in 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 and it’s perfect for us to deal with different cultures and different systems.”

U.S. forward Heather O’Reilly

On the match:
“In the first half, they had a lot of chances and probably more of the run of play, but we went into halftime confident. Pia talked about how we have to have confidence in our abilities and be willing to take risks and that’s what I think we did in the second half.”

On Natasha Kai’s goal:
“I think the big lift of the game was Tasha Kai’s goal to start us off...Her energy and read on that play was just phenomenal and I think that’s what got us inspired to score a couple more.”

On her rare header goal:
“It was a great corner kick played in by Carli Lloyd. Leslie (Osborne) got a head on it at the back post and I got up for it to slip it by the goalkeeper. Kind of an unlikely way for me to score, but hey, I’ll take it.”

U.S. forward Natasha Kai

On her unusual goal:
“(The Norway goalkeeper) had the ball. She threw it out (in front of her), took a few steps back, and I was like ‘she looks kinda far (from the ball).’ so I was kind of creeping. She turned her head (away from Kai) and I took off like my mother was chasing me to give me spankings. I think that’s when she realized that I was right in front of her, but I had a touch, she hit it, it hit my thighs and I had a wide open goal.”

U.S. defender Kate Markgraf

On playing 90 minutes for the first time since the Women’s World Cup, and the match:
“I feel a little old, but 90 minutes felt great, especially since Norway is such a wonderful opponent. Norway challenged us and made us really try to find a way to win. So, we are really excited with the outcome. We fought through it. They had the momentum in the first half, they had the wind, and we are happy that we were able to solve the pressure, finally, in the second half.”

On staying calm and continuing to play despite the tightness of the game:
“I really think it’s a sign of our maturity and how we are slowly adapting to the changes Pia wants us to make. In the first half, we were pressured the hardest we’ve been pressured so far this year, and we were having a hard time solving it, yet I am really proud we stayed with the game plan and we didn’t resort to long ball. We didn’t resort to just trying to solve the pressure by kicking, we actually tried to find the feet and I think that’s evident by how many goals we scored.”