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Abby Wambach

U.S. Women's National Team vs. Canada Quote Sheet

Quotes from the U.S. Women's National Team semifinal win against Canada at Old Trafford

U.S. WNT vs. Canada
2012 Olympic Games – Semifinal
Old Trafford; Manchester, England
Aug. 6, 2012

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On what scoring late goals says about the U.S. team:
“I think it says everything about this team. The team refuses to lose and always finds a way to win. If you look in their eyes, if you listen to Abby (Wambach), there is something special about this team. I would say it reminds me so much about last year against Brazil. They have an extra gear. I’ve been lucky to coach them for five years and it is unique. It’s wonderful.”

On Canadian forward Christine Sinclair’s hat trick against the U.S.:
“What a wonderful player. Scoring goals in a semifinal and the way she scored the goals, she’s a very good player and she was a handful for our defenders. We’ve been talking about our defending and still our defending is pretty good. But she scored three goals and it tells you a little bit about how good she is.”

On where the game ranks in her coaching career:
“I put this game right up with the Brazil game last year. Last year was a quarterfinal, extra time and we went to penalty kicks. This time we scored a goal and we didn’t have to go to penalty kicks, so it’s right up there.”

On whether the thoughts of last year’s World Cup final still bother her:
“I don’t know. Right now, I just need to sleep and I need to enjoy the moment. That will be an interesting question tomorrow.”

On a change in the way Alex Morgan has approached the game after a scoreless streak:
“She continues to bring her game in every single game. I think she’s been great. She creates a lot of interesting situations for us and she brings players into the game. You can tell that whoever she plays against they have so much respect for her speed and strength, but also that she keeps the ball. I’m very happy for her that she scored, that’s good for her confidence.”

On the productivity of the players off the bench:
“I think as a team we’ve done a good job of reinforcing that everyone plays the game no matter if you start or if you’re coming off the bench. They have embraced that. Right now it’s fairly easy because it’s a good team and we have good players. Everybody is playing the game on the bench and I give them a lot of credit for that.”


On the match:
“For some reason we like to make things dramatic. I’m really happy that Alex Morgan is on my team. This team doesn’t give up. This is what we’re about. This is what we’ve been working for since the day we lost to Japan in the World Cup final. We know that it’s not going to be easy. We didn’t anticipate a game like this, but we’re willing to deal with whatever is thrown at us. I’m so thankful that people kept believing in us, that we kept believing in ourselves. We stuck with it until the end.”

On her reaction to Alex Morgan’s goal:
“I think I told her that I was in love with her in the dog pile that we had. I’m just so proud of her. What a great goal by a young kid who has big expectations for herself. She hasn’t scored a goal in the last couple games and I told you she’d score a goal that would make everybody kind of shut up and I think she did tonight. You can’t put words into this experience. It’s epic. This game, this win, getting into the gold medal game – this is what we’re working for.”

On Christine Sinclair’s performance for Canada:
“I’m not sure she could’ve done more for her team. She literally put the Canadian team on her back and carried them through 90 minutes. Credit to Canada, they’re a great team. Their coach did a really good job with them in a short period of time with them and made them into believers. Thankfully, we didn’t give up and we didn’t believe that they were going to win that game. We fought to the end.”

On advancing to the gold medal match against Japan:
“It’s everything. It’s why we’re here. This is what we are. This is who we are. This is what we’ve been working for. I know that this team is willing and ready to show up. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”

On the team’s ability to come back in matches:
“This team has a belief in itself even when the going gets rough and everything is stacked against us. It’s inspiring and I’m really proud to be on this team.”

On looking forward to playing Japan since the World Cup:
“In order to win championships, you’ve got to play the best teams. Japan is one of the best in the world, they proved that last summer. If they have healthy players and are fit and if we have healthy players and are rested, it’s going to be a great game to watch. They’re very possession oriented; they’re dangerous when their players are on. I think that tonight we showed that we’re not willing to give up no matter what.”

U.S. forward ALEX MORGAN
On the match:
“I’m still in shock. We’re in the final. I don’t care who scores as long as we score and we win, that’s all that matters. I just got my head on it at the end. I didn’t even see it go in.”

On her thoughts when Heather O’Reilly crossed the ball into the box:
“Just get in the air and get my head on it. Heather (O’Reilly) is great with crosses. She’s so great getting down the end line and putting the cross in. I was just trying to be in the right position and it just so happened that I was. I still can’t believe it.”

On reaching the gold medal match:
“It was a crazy battle, but credit to Canada for coming back and back. I couldn’t believe after we scored, they scored. We saw right before the game that Japan had won. We wanted the rematch, but we wanted to put everything out on this field because we weren’t going to get the rematch with them if we didn’t win this game. Now we’re up against Japan and we really want that rematch. We’ve got to recover our bodies because that was 120 minutes of soccer.”

On coming back after three, one-goal deficits against Canada:
“For the team, we’ve believed from the first minute to the last minute. We’re just playing so well together. Each player individually, I think is better than Canada individually, and when you come together as a team, you can’t break us.”

On the satisfaction after scoring a goal:
“I’ve been waiting for a couple of games now to finally put the ball in the back of the net. I wanted Abby (Wambach) to get a goal. I’m really happy with (Megan) Rapinoe’s goals. She came up huge for us. I didn’t care who put the ball in the back of the net, I just wanted to beat Canada so bad. I wanted to get that rematch with Japan.”

On the celebration that ensued after the game-winning goal:
“I remember being in shock, wanting to laugh and cry at the same time, and being so proud of the team for coming back so many times and sticking in it and coming out on the top at the end.”

On scoring the game-winning goal for the U.S. with just seconds remaining on the clock:
“I can’t remember ever feeling this way after scoring a goal, it’s just so exhilarating. I’ve never wanted to cry on a field after I scored a goal. It was the best feeling ever.”

U.S. midfielder HEATHER O’REILLY
On her thoughts after the goal:
“This team is unbelievable. We make it a little dramatic sometimes, but we know how to fight for each other. I love this team and I love what we’re about. I think that is was just the undeniable will to win that we are so proud of.”

On coming off of the bench to make a difference:
“It took a couple minutes because I didn’t touch the ball for a few minutes. A lot of my early on heading into that overtime was work defensively and keeping good shape, but I needed to get some touches on the ball to feel into the game. Once that happened, I felt in the rhythm and knew I could help the team.”

On facing Japan in the gold medal match:
“I think it’ll be an exceptional final. I think to face them again in the gold medal match is going to be a lot of fun. I know that, even though we’ve seen them since last summer in a couple friendly matches and at the Algarve Cup, we remember very vividly last summer and we’re excited to see them again.”

On the importance of recovery before the gold medal match:
“It’s massive. This is the sixth game in a two-week span. That’s the thing about the Olympics is you have even less recovery time than in the World Cup. That’s why our depth is so important to this team. We’ve been covering all of our bases physically with our assistant coach Dawn Scott. She’s our fitness coach and she’s taught us all about certain recovery strategies. We’ve got ice baths, massage, protein shakes, we’re covering everything. We’re making sure to control everything we can control to get ready for this final.”

U.S. midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On the U.S. WNT’s flair for dramatic finishes:
“I think we’re trying to gain more fans, I don’t know. I think we’re trying to give people back home heart attacks and people here heart attacks. You know what’s special about this team is that we go down one-goal, two-goals and we find a way. It took all 18 players to get it done. Everybody embraced their role and did it. If we don’t walk away with a gold medal it’s going to really hurt especially after the World Cup.”

On Heather O’Reilly’s impact on the game:
“I think Heather is such a special player. She had fresh legs and gave us that little bit of juice there at the end. She was playing in some fantastic balls and with tired legs we were just trying to get the balls in the box and hope Abby (Wambach) or Alex (Morgan) would get one. I knew that one of those balls we were going to finish and it was a world-class finish by Alex.”

On the game’s physicality:
“It was really physical. It was kind of a weird game. I look back and don’t really remember too much of the ball being on the ground and playing. There were a lot of fouls and a lot of goals scored so it was a back and forth direct game. They were physical. We knew it was going to be a battle; it’s always a battle against Canada and they stepped it up an extra few notches. We were ready for it and came away with the victory.”

On looking at the final as a defense of the 2008 Olympics gold medal or redemption for the World Cup:
“I think making up for the World Cup. This is a rematch. This is redemption for us. We know how hard it was for us after that game. It hurt us for a really long time. We’re going to take every advantage to close out and get it done whether it’s one goal or two goals, we can’t let any in.”

U.S. goalkeeper HOPE SOLO
On playing Japan in the final:
“I haven’t even thought about playing Japan yet. I had heard they won prior to going out for warm ups. It’s always a great game against Japan, its sophisticated soccer which the fans like. I don’t really care who we play in the final.”

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On scoring directly off of a corner kick and striking a second remarkable goal against Canada:
“I wish I could say that I was definitely meaning to do that, it was a bit of a mistake on my part. I’ll take a goal no matter what. The second goal was probably the goal of my life. I just hit it as hard as I could. It’s pretty cool that it was at Old Trafford, too.”

On how the team was able to come back three times:
“It’s huge heart or maybe we’re just blind and never think we’re out of it. There’s huge fight in this team. We’re tough to beat.”

On the performance of Canada forward Christine Sinclair:
“She’s unbelievable. She’s definitely one of the best forwards in the world and probably one of the best players ever. She had an unbelievable game and some really great goals. She’s the heart of that team.”