US SoccerUS Soccer

Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT 1, Brazil 0

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage
On the match:
“What an amazing match. I am so proud and I am enjoying the moment.”

On what she told the team at halftime:
“Keep the ball in the midfield. Carli Lloyd and Shannon Boxx are so good and trust you ability to keep it and trust your teammates. Keep the ball in the middle, find the rhythm.”

On the belief in the squad:
“The more minutes together, the better we played. The way we’ve been working for nine months with this team it’s about finding the rhythm in the attack, believe in the way we attack, and sharpen up the defending a little bit. I would say that the turning point was actually Norway. I don’t know how many team would come out of that kind of game, 2-0, after four minutes…but again, we’re not looking at the result, we’re looking at how we played. I think that is why we are standing here with the gold medal.”

U.S. defender Kate Markgraf
On whether she ever doubted the team would win the gold medal in light of all the adversity:
“I don’t think we ever doubted but we just didn’t think about it. Also, after the first game we had our backs against the wall and we had no choice but to fight. All 18 of us. There isn’t a star on this team, there are 18 great team players. That’s how we won tonight.”

On whether this was a defining game for the U.S. team:
“I think so many of us for so long looked up to players who are no longer here. Hopefully now America will start to look up to the players around me, there are 18 of us now, even though the previous generations set the standard.”

On handling Brazil’s attack:
“Brazil is so talented, but every time you shut them down or every time they don’t score they get a little more frustrated, then a little more frustrated, and a little more frustrated. You see Marta stop running for the ball, and that’s when you know it can happen.”

U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd
On the overtime period:
“It was hard. It was definitely a battle. Now we’re all going to be on vacation for a little bit. But, I couldn’t have done it without any single one of these players on the team. It’s not about my goal, it’s about every single person and the coaching staff.”

On her game-winning goal:
“It happened so fast. I remember getting the ball, playing it into A-Rod (Amy Rodriguez), she laid it back, and I knew I just needed to keep it low, strike it hard and it went in. It was an unbelievable feeling.”

On wining the gold medal after losing their first game to Norway:
“I have to say that after the first game, I didn’t know the gold medal would be possible. But, we took it one game at a time and kept believing in ourselves. My focus this whole tournament was just to work hard and things will come.”

On winning the gold medal:
“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would score the goal to get us the Olympic gold.”

On head coach Pia Sundhage:
“Pia has taken this team so far and only in eight months. I think people have to look at that and look at how much she changed how we play, our personality on the field and just believing in all the players. We’re playing a different kind of soccer now; we’re trying to possess more and I’m just excited because think about how we’ll be in a few years.”

U.S. forward Angela Hucles
On what was said going into overtime:
“I can’t remember right now. We just had to go after them. We believed in our fitness. We knew we were fitter. We just felt the unity, the strength, that’s what held us together.”

U.S. captain Christie Rampone
On her response to those who said they couldn’t do it without Abby Wambach and certain other players:
“We believed. I believed in these girls. We got stronger each game and I love these girls.”

On what winning the gold medal means to the team:
“The team is definitely on a high right now, and believing was our main statement throughout this whole tournament. It didn’t start off the way we wanted it to, but we kept digging and getting better each game. It was a full team effort and it’s just so exciting, and it means something more special when everyone can do it together. We were a full 18 out there today.”

On handling Brazil’s pressure:
“We just felt like we were getting better each minute. We just looked into each other’s eyes and everybody had everybody’s back. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Just go out there with confidence and be brave. You can feel it every minute in that second half we were getting strong, especially going into overtime we felt strong, we felt fit, we felt we could continue going after them.”

On how it feels win the Olympics again:
“Awesome. The way we did it, and the adversity we’ve gone through, it’s been absolutely an amazing journey for this group for the past eight months.”

U.S. defender Lori Chalupny
On the team’s chemistry on the field:
"We just look in each others’ eyes and we believe and we know that we can do it. It’s just a feeling that we have and nobody can break that bond. It’s awesome.”

On the team’s defensive effort:
“We talked about how skillful they’re forwards are going into the match. We knew we couldn’t get isolated one-v-one with those types of players. It was a total team defensive effort from the forwards, to the midfielders to the defenders. Just a complete team effort.”

On how she handled playing 120 minutes:
“I think the adrenaline of playing in a final overcomes all of that. I even at the end of the
game still had legs. The possibility of getting a gold medal, you don’t even feel it.”

On shutting down Marta:
“We were trying to double-team her, triple-team her whenever we could. We didn’t want to get isolated one-v-one because she’s such a great player. She still had some great plays.”

On Hope Solo:
“Hope came up big a couple times in this game. She did a great job.”

U.S. forward Heather O’Reilly
On facing a good Brazilian side
“We weren’t going to break. They were going to get their chances because they have such individual talent and players with amazing personalities, but this team was not breaking.”

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo
On how much the team thought about the 2007 World Cup loss to Brazil:
“We thought about that game all the time, I’m not going to lie. We’ve seen Brazil three times since that last match, but it wasn’t the same. On the world stage is when teams really come to play so it sat with us a little bit but we were confident in our team defending, so I knew it going to be a different game altogether.”

On the team’s defense:
“Defense won today’s game, from the forwards all the back to the goalkeeper. We were a team on defense and that really won today’s game.”

On her 72nd minute save against Marta:
“I can’t even recall the saves or how it happened, but all I know is that I was playing with a different energy tonight and it just felt so good. There were several different defining moments in this game I think.”

On the team’s energy:
“I think we got better with each game. The confidence that Pia brought to this team and team essence was a different energy and it felt so good tonight.”

On whether the Gold Medal will help jump start Women's Professional Soccer in 2009:
“In 1999 that team jump started the first league and we’re hoping to be able to do the same. There are a lot of girls who have that dream to play and I hope that we can help fulfill them.”

On winning the gold medal:
“It feels amazing. I’m on cloud nine. I was floating out there. I didn’t seem real. I don’t think it’s really hit me.”

On saving Marta’s shot in the second half:
“I think I was leaning to my left, ready to dive to my left because the whole goal was open pretty much, and she ended up going near post so I luckily kept some of my weight to the right.”

On how it feels to be on top:
“I think we strive when there’s so much doubt. We were the underdogs. We like being the underdogs, but we also like being on top. I think we showed enormous character as a team.”

U.S. Defender Heather Mitts
On the win:
“We had to deal with a lot of adversity all year long, a lot of ups and downs. We also had a lot of injuries. For us to be able to walk away with the gold medal is a pretty amazing story.”

On Brazil:
“They are an amazing team and we knew we were going to have our work cut out for us. When we went into extra time, we looked over and saw their body language and could tell they were tired. We knew that our fitness was going to pay off.”

U.S. Forward Amy Rodriguez
On going into overtime:
“Pia told us to stay strong. Brazil was sitting on the ground before the overtime. We knew they were tired tat that moment, and that this was our chance to shine. Americans are always known for having great fitness and great endurance.”

On what was the key to winning the game:
“I think just being patient. Patient in offense and defense. We knew Brazil was very creative and very attacking-minded, so we needed to be patient in our defending.”