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U.S. WNT Quotes - Sept. 19, 2003


 U.S. Head Coach April Heinrichs

Asked if there is anything about Sweden that concerns you…
“There’s nothing we’re concerned about that we haven’t addressed, we haven’t reviewed or we haven’t been through before. The last two weeks we’ve done a lot of reviewing for the tournament.”

On if the starting lineup is set…
“No, not necessarily. I think we’re in a position where we feel very confident. We will approach every game as a situation where we will try to figure out what our team needs, and which players might add to our team and how they can contribute. We feel we have players that can play at various positions and can give us totally different looks.”

On how the emergence of Shannon Boxx changes the dynamic of the midfield…
“Like any good player that comes into the team, the better they play, the more competitive it is for playing time. You also get versatility because Shannon gives us one look in the midfield, and then we might be able to be more flexible on how we use Aly (Wagner) or Kristine Lilly. She gives us more looks and more advantages as a team.”

Forward Abby Wambach

On whether playing in WUSA gave her confidence going into the Women’s World Cup…
“I think whenever you go into a world championship event you need to have the most confidence you can. It couldn’t have gone any better for me this year by getting to the final game. I’m really excited and happy about getting having that opportunity because it really boosted my confidence. When you feel your confidence is at its peak going into the World Cup it really helps.”

Defender and co-captain Joy Fawcett

On the younger players on the team…
“I think they are going to be very nervous. The first ten minutes are always very hectic because everyone's very excited and you have all this energy. Even the veterans here will go out a little nervous, but how quickly we can get over that and settle down into our game is key.”

On forward Hanna Ljungburg of Sweden…
“She’s just a very fast and feisty forward. She knows the runs to get in behind the defense. We all have to make sure we are playing on the same page and make sure she isn’t able to slip behind us.”

Midfielder and co-captain Julie Foudy

On being nervous during the game…
“You take that nervousness and it’s a great thing. It means you’re ready and that’s a good sign. When your younger it takes you a little longer to get used to it, but the more you play in that environment you learn to use it as a rallying tool almost.”

On the mix of youth and experience on the team…
“Over the history of this team we’ve always had a good mix of younger and older players. That has always been a conscious decision because you try to strike a balance between the two. I think it’s a great mix. You’ve got young kids who are coming in for their first World Cup and the veteran group, like myself, who are coming in for their fourth and we both give something. We give the experience and they give a freshness to the team.”

On if she needs to motivate the team as captain…
“We are very fortunate because this group has a great sense of what role they have on this team. Whether it’s a starting role or a reserve role they know they are an important part of the team. I don’t have to get on any of the players because this is a special group. When you have people on the bench that know at any time they could be on the field at any time, they do everything than can to be prepared for that. When you have people on the bench like that, it takes away any need for me to have to push them. We know this isn’t about just 11 players, but about the entire team.”


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