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Abby Wambach

U.S. Women's National Team vs. Germany: Quote Sheet

Quote Sheet
U.S. WNT vs. Germany
Fan Tribute Tour, presented by Panasonic
Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.
Oct. 20, 2012

U.S. Women’s National Team interim head coach JILL ELLIS
On the match against FIFA No. 2-ranked Germany:
“I think the players are pleased. That’s a quality team and they’re on a different cycle than we are right now. I thought we battled hard and both teams had chances. I was very pleased with the effort tonight and some of the quality chances that we had.”

On the U.S. fitness levels during the match:
“I thought it was fantastic. You could tell we lost our legs a little bit towards the end and that was to be expected. I thought at several points throughout the game that we played very well, so that bodes well [for the future]. These players are so professional that they never really get out of shape. They’re always training and always prepared.”

On coaching her first match following the departure of Pia Sundhage:
“It was fun because it was entertaining. I really don’t feel pressured. It’s really about the players getting out there and having fun with it. I enjoyed it very much. I thought they played very hard.”

On her comfort level leading the team:
“I’ve been around them so there’s a lot of familiarity and some of them I’ve known for a long, long time. I don’t think it was awkward at all. I think it was fun. I enjoyed it very much.”

U.S. goalkeeper HOPE SOLO
On the match:
“It was the No. 1 team in the world versus the No. 2-ranked team in the world, kind of what we expected – a good, hard-fought game with lots of attacking. Germany came at us in the second half with attack after attack after attack. They’re in the middle of (train for the) Euros and they’re training non-stop, so it was pretty typical [of the expected level of play].”

On the USA’s performance as a team:
“We’re still the best team in the world, deservedly so. We’ve been on a little bit of a break. We’re still tactically smart and we still try to create and move the ball around and unfortunately our fitness level isn’t where it should be.”

On the next stage of the U.S. WNT and changes in the program:
“Everybody is afraid of change, but this program has been getting better and better. From the 1999 team to the way we played in the 2011 World Cup – it keeps growing. That’s what any sport should do. Of course change is difficult, but I think we’re going to continue to do good things.”

On the first match without Pia Sundhage:
“Jill stepped in and she knows her role, she’s been around the team a long time. The lineup was similar and the way we played was great. Pia is always going to be missed, but Germany is a great team and that’s all there is to it. It’s the toughest opponent that we’ve played in this celebration tour.”

On the crowd at Toyota Park in Bridgeview:
“Fantastic crowd and an educated crowd. They never stopped throughout the entire game. This is what it’s about. Since the Olympics we’ve come home to mostly sold-out stadiums. To me, this is what it’s about. We want to come and win and show the crowd what we can do, but more importantly it’s about the experience and the environment that the crowd creates. It proves to me what we’ve accomplished.”

On playing the first game without Pia Sundhage:
“It didn’t feel funny at all in terms of Pia not being here. What does feel funny is the fact that we haven’t been playing much together. The fact that we could get this performance on the field against a very good German team, a very organized German team, is a credit to us and the way that we want to show our fans that whether we play together or not, we can get results.”

On having two days to prepare for the match:
“That’s a challenge, but I’m not in the business of making excuses. I think that we still expect to come here and win games. We expected to come here tonight and win this game. I think that we’re going to go away from this tie and look at the tape and see what we can do for the next game.”

U.S. forward ALEX MORGAN
On the crowd at Toyota Park:
“I thought the crowd was awesome. They were pretty loud the whole time. You can’t beat a sold-out crowd. Chicago came out huge tonight, so we’ll see how Hartford does.

On the fans:
“We want to play for our fans. That’s what this Fan Tribute Tour is for. We want to grow the sport and keep that love for the game that these little girls have – you see all the signs and the jerseys and face paint. We want them to keep coming to these games and have that dream of playing professional soccer. Winning always helps, but I think we have a responsibility with social media and reaching out to the fans to make ourselves a positive influence for these girls.”

On the match:
“Today wasn’t really a friendly. You saw that they were tackling us every moment they got. I’m a little frustrated with the end result and the chances that I had, but we have another chance at them in a couple of days.”

On her plans for the next year:
“After this (tour), we’re not sure. I’m hoping there is a league, and I’m hoping that it is quality. If not, then some of us are looking abroad if there are other options because Germany, France and Sweden have pretty good leagues.”

On the missed chances in the second half:
“I’m pretty frustrated with my play in the second half and with the opportunities that we had. There were chances on both sides and we didn’t put them away, especially knowing that it was No. 1 vs. No. 2. We haven’t played them for so long. The good thing is that we play them again in a couple days, so I’ll let my frustrations out in that game.”

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On the field and atmosphere at Toyota Park:
“It’s a little bit big for my fitness at the moment, but it’s such a nice surface, a perfect playing field. It was a sold-out crowd and you can’t ask for more.”

On the German defense:
“They’re always so organized, it’s a little bit frustrating. I feel like we had a few good chances, but we struggled a little bit in the buildup. Typical Germans, to be honest, they were very organized. They’re all mid-season right now in Bundesliga and getting ready for the Euros, so it’s kind of what we expected.”

On if she was surprised with how well the U.S. played:
“Actually, a little bit. I was a little nervous. Like I said, they are mid-Bundesliga and training for the Euros. I was really impressed with how we played, especially our fitness to be able to go 90 minutes.”