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Post Match Quote Sheet: WNT vs. Australia

WNT vs. Australia: Post-Match Quote Sheet
International Friendly
Oct. 20, 2013

U.S. WNT head coach TOM SERMANNI
On coaching the U.S. team against the Australians, a team he coach for 11 years during two stints:

“Sometimes knowledge is good and sometimes it’s a bit scary. When I look at the Australian players I probably have an advantage here because I was with the team for so long, so you kind of know their strengths. I think Australia was a typical Australian team tonight; they were tough, they were rugged, they played some good soccer and they never gave up. We knew it was going to be difficult game and I’m just pleased to come out of it unscathed.”

U.S. WNT midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On her goal:
“With the role that I’m playing, holding midfield, I usually have a lot opportunities to be in or around the box. I like to shoot from distance and there’s always players the other team is worrying about and there’s always players inside of the box and sometimes you get lucky when the ball’s bouncing out. I just made sure that I was ready. It was one of the things I was working on over break, just a lot of striking balls, half-volleys, crossing  and just working on my timing. Sometimes the less you swing, the better it is. But overall it was a great performance by the team.”

On U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni facing his former team:
“Obviously we knew that there was a lot riding on the game. Tom wasn’t going to come out and say it, but we knew that we had his back and we knew that they were going to come out and be a quality side. They posed some threat to us up top with their speed, especially Lisa De Vanna. They did well, but we were able to score early, which helped us out a lot and we put some nice strings of passes together. Obviously there are still things we can continue to improve on and this is what it’s all about, finding what works on the field and moving forward.”

On how the game would have been different if Australia had scored early:
“I’ve got full confidence in Hope Solo and I know that she’ll get her tiny fingertips on the ball and save it. She had some great saves and did well in the back for us. People don’t understand, she’s a cheerleader back there, she is not only stopping shots, but she’s organizing the back line up unto the midfield. She’s constantly communicating with us, she’s organizing. She’s just a great leader to have back there.”

On how hard it is to play on an artificial surface:
“We’re not going to get away from turf, unfortunately, I think we’ve all kind of adapted to the turf and we know how to play on here, so I don’t think it’ll be too much of a problem. I think we’ve adjusted properly.”

On how she would defend Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux:
“Well, we do it every day in training. It is a formidable offense, they are all dangerous and they all have their own skill set. You really have to be smart and on your game when you play against them. Abby’s got strength and Alex and Syd have speed. Beyond that they are dynamic footballers who can actually dribble and cut you and meg you and you really have to be on you’re a game at all times. I think that helps us as a back line prepare for a game like this because when you play against the world’s best day in and day out, you have confidence in the fact that you are prepared.”

On having the opportunity to face quality opponents such as Australia:
“Every single chance we get to play a top quality team is another chance to build and perform and put together a solid performance and I think that this team this year has shown there are twenty-five American players, probably more, that can step onto this field and wear this jersey. It’s all about making sure that when you get that opportunity you put your mark on the game and you work as hard as you can with every opportunity you get.”

On coming back into camp after playing overseas:
“Yes, it’s tough being in Europe knowing that a bunch of the girls are playing every weekend in front of Tom, but at the same time I’m confident in my decision to be there [in Europe].  I’m playing with some really great players, and now that I’ve moved to Sweden, training everyday with Marta,  Christen Press, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, Megan Klingenberg as well as Caroline Hanson from Norway, who is an up and coming star. The list just goes on. For me to be there and train while yes, I’m sacrificing not being in the U.S. and not being seen every weekend, the training is so phenomenal that it is just so hard for me to not explore the opportunity.”

On the best part of coming home from Europe to play in the United States:
“We haven’t made it to my hometown yet. Home is L.A., but California is good enough. My parents will get to come to that so that’s exciting. It’s nice to be home in the States, but at the end of the day for me, it’s another day another city. This is my job and like most people that travel for work, I’m just here to put a performance out on the field and while it’s nice to have my cell phone working while I’m here, it’s just an added benefit for me.”

On the USA’s college players, Morgan Brian and Crystal Dunn adapting to the U.S. Women’s National Team:
“[Morgan] Brian is a great little player and so is [Crystal] Dunn. It’s interesting watching them play, they have the added benefit of being a little played in. A lot of these girls have had to have time off and I think that with them having been with the team, they are in and out of camps the whole year and are putting their mark on the college game. They’ve really evolved and they’re doing great. I’m really proud of them and for both of them to get minutes in a game like this, is absolutely incredible.”

U.S. WNT goalkeeper HOPE SOLO
On playing in front of a great crowd at the Alamodome:
“You know I went into this game not wanting to play in a dome. I like playing outdoors. I like night games. But this was an incredible environment and I would play a one o’ clock game at the Alamodome again and again.”

On the new players coming into the team with the veterans:
“We have different players who are so comfortable on the ball and I think with the evolution of the game you can’t have just defenders who go in for tackles you can’t have defenders who don’t want the ball you need to be able to play out of the box. You have players like Crystal Dunn, like Meghan Klingenberg; not very much experience but they want the ball at their feet and they will connect passes, five yard passes they don’t just get the ball and bang it. It shows what kind of style of defense he wants by bringing in the particular players.”

On playing in San Antonio:
“Like I said earlier, it’s been an honor and privilege to play here. It’s one of my favorite towns.  We tend to see this from coast to coast. But this is a special town. They were loud. It wasn’t just young kids, you saw the adults, you saw the men and the women. And that was what I like to see, I like to see it encompassing all ages and genders.