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Post-Match Quotes: U-20 WNT vs. Cuba


U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team head coach STEVE SWANSON
On the game against Cuba:
“It was a good result for us, I thought we started off well. We got a goal pretty quickly there that was actually a great goal by Katie Stengel that I thought set the tone. It was a tough game. Cuba was well organized and they did a good job of bottling up the middle in the first half. I thought we did much better in the second half and we were able to use some of our depth today, which was nice.”

On the substitutions made during the game:
“We wanted to get both Lindsey [Horan] and Katie 45 minutes today. That was important for us. Vanessa DiBernardo has been playing well for us and we were trying to get her a couple more minutes than she has been playing. She is a spark off a bench and I thought she did another good job today.”

On the versatility of the team’s attack:
“One of the things we tried to be is a team that’s very mobile in the attack and we feel that we could score in a number of ways. Our outside backs can get forward and give us some crosses, our midfielders can get forward. Hopefully by the style that we play, we should be getting a lot of people on the stat sheet in terms of goals and assists.”

On looking ahead to the third group game against Panama:
“I think we’re excited for that game against Panama. It will be a good test for us. Anytime you play in the home country against the home team at a stadium like this one I think is going to be a good experience for us. It will challenge us in the way we need to be right now.”

U.S. U-20 WNT forward KATIE STENGEL
On the game against Cuba:
“We came out strong and got a couple of early goals. We played well together and focused on the goals that we set before the game. Luckily we got the score we wanted and now we have to go on to the next game and play even better.”

On her goals:
“The first one was off of Chi [Ubogago] getting a good cross in and I just happened to be in the right place. The other one was, again, a good ball in from Chi and I turned on my defender and just happened to be close in the box and finished. I was thinking about getting in the space behind the defense as quickly as possible and, since I was close in, just trying to keep it on frame.”

On facing Panama in the third group game:
“It’s going to be a big game just because it’s the host nation and it’s our third group game so we’re excited to get a good result.”

U.S. U-20 WNT defender KASSEY KALLMAN
On the game against Cuba:
“In the first half we came out and we played pretty well at the beginning but we didn’t play as sharp as we wanted to. When we came in at halftime we talked about picking it up, having good movement off the ball and we came out second half and did a lot better. We put the ball in the back of the net, which is what we needed to do, so we did pretty well.

On playing host Panama in the next game:
“In the next game we play Panama. We don’t know too much about them, yet, but they are obviously the host of the qualifiers so it will be exciting to play against a team that has rowdy fans. That will be fun. We are just going to play our game and focus on what we have to do.”

On having two consecutive shutouts:
“Having two shutouts in the last two games was exciting. It was definitely a whole team effort, from our forwards back to our back line and to our goalkeeper, everyone staying connected. It’s very exciting limiting the other team and their chances.”

U.S. U-20 WNT midfielder VANESSA DiBERNARDO
On the game against Cuba:
“It was a good game. We were trying to possess the ball and work it through their back line. They were kind of sitting back a little bit so we had to deal with a tight defense.”

On what the coach told her before the beginning of the second half:
“The coaches told us to move the ball quicker and make runs off the ball so we have more options and to get the attack moving a little bit faster.”

On her goal:
“I just saw the ball; they had the ball and I pressed it and the goalkeeper was out so I just chipped it over her head. I was just trying to place it and keep it over the goalie but in the goal.”

On having two consecutive shutouts:
“It shows go well our defense is doing as a team and as a backline. We just want to keep the shutouts as the tournament goes on.”

U.S. U-20 WNT defender CRYSTAL DUNN
On the game against Cuba:
“Cuba was really physical and we had to react to that. For the most part I think the team dealt with it, and if they were pressing we were keeping our composure on the ball and not letting them scare us in any way.”

On what the defense is doing to stay composed:
“We are trying to stay focused all 90 minutes and communicating as much as we can. We’re giving each other as much information as is needed, knowing when to drop and when to cover in for each other and things last that.”

On what the team tried to do differently from last game to this game:
“We tried to incorporate speed of play. For the most part, we didn’t play that way all 90 minutes but we definitely went into this game thinking that we should speed the ball up and move it a little bit quicker than last game.”

On facing the Panama in the third group game:
“We’re super excited. We think Panama is going to come with a lot of fans and we think the atmosphere is going to be really crazy. I think that’s going to help us, get us a little amped and hopefully not put us on edge or make us nervous in any way. We’re excited.”

 

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