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Pre-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT vs. Costa Rica


Pre-Match Quote Sheet
U.S. WNT vs. Costa Rica
CONCACAF Olympic Women's Qualifying
Jan. 26, 2012

U.S. captain CHRISTIE RAMPONE
On the U.S. team’s training over the end of 2011 and start of 2012…
“These last couple of camps we’ve really seen the team rise to a different level. Our training environment has been better, our confidence has been better, and we have a lot of great personalities out there. The impact of the World Cup woke us up a little bit; the way were playing before we got to the World Cup, the way we played at the World Cup, and being so close and coming in second. It’s the same team besides Sydney Leroux so everyone knows where we are and is ready. We want to make sure we qualify for the Olympics and get this team better.”

On the team’s mood heading into the Olympic Qualifying semifinal…
“We’re carrying that emotion from the World Cup, but we are careful to not get too emotional. We can’t let that get the best of us. We still have to fine tune some things and work on a new system, which always brings the team closer together because we are working and communicating more.”

On if the USA could gauge its level of play during the first round…

“Even though the opponents weren’t too taxing, I still felt the speed of play and the one-and-two-touch we were doing as well as the goal scoring built confidence in this team.”

On the U.S. team having defeated Costa Rica in all seven meetings…
“We always throw those statistics out...We need to bring it. It’s the semifinal, it’s a major match and it’s the game to determine whether we are in the Olympics or not.”

On playing on turf with one less rest day than Costa Rica heading into the semifinal…
“We have been doing a good job of re-energizing and had a day off yesterday. Everyone has to play on it, but the turf does impact the body so it’s nice to have an extra day.

U.S. goalkeeper HOPE SOLO
On if she will play tomorrow after suffering a minor injury vs. Mexico…
“I have a bit of time to figure that out. I have rehab scheduled (twice more) today so we’re just going to have to wait and see how it goes. We have to do what is best for the team. This isn’t a friendly, this isn’t the Algarve Cup where you get more subs. You have three subs and you don’t want to waste a sub on a goalkeeper when you need to get players minutes.”

On facing Costa Rica for a berth to the Olympics…
“You can’t overlook any team. That fact of the matter is that their one goal against Canada was world class. It was a world class finish, a world class touch and a great service in against a great goalkeeper and a great back line. So, if they can score one goal I’m sure they have more in them and we have to be aware of that.”

U.S. forward ABBY WAMBACH
On her mindset heading into the semifinal…
“I feel great. We had a day off yesterday and the coaching staff has been really smart on how much playing time I’ve gotten, but I am ready to play 90 minutes.”

On Costa Rica…
“The biggest challenge is that they are for the most part unknown. Like we say against Canada, they have the ability to pull out big plays, elite plays. That goal was one of the best plays you’ll see in a while. Because they have that ability, you can’t ever fall asleep. The defense has to be aware of what is going around them at all times and their number ten, Cruz, is a special player. Players like that make things happen so we just have to be switched on at all times for defense and finish our chance on offense.”

On the threats posed by Costa Rica's attacking players…
“Costa Rica has some personality players that have the ability to score goals against great teams. They have the ability to make the one-on-one competitions a challenge for teams so we want to limit those opportunities for Costa Rica and put ourselves in the best positions to score goals and win this game.”

On if the USA could gauge its level of play during the first round…
“If you looked at the box scores you’d be like, ‘wow, the U.S. is playing at the top of their game,’ but I think we definitely have better soccer to play. It’s hard to gauge yourself against some of these teams in CONCACAF. They don’t have the kind of experience that we do and they don’t have the resources that our full women’s national team has and you can tell. But it’s getting better.”

On what the U.S. team needs to do to defeat Costa Rica…
“The challenge against Costa Rica is going to be ourselves. If we play well, we feel we should be able to get around Costa Rica and go through the middle because we believe we have some of the best players in the world. If we are playing at the top of our game, we should be able to beat teams in many different ways.”

U.S. Women’s National Team forward SYDNEY LEROUX
On being a part of a U.S. team that may qualify for the Olympics…
“It’s pretty special. I knew that it was possible, but I didn’t think I would be in the position I’m in right now so I’m happy.”

On returning to her hometown, albeit playing with a different country…
“I know that being in Canada, not a lot of people respect my decision of leaving. But at the same time, no matter what anyone says, I’ve given up so much to be here, and I’ve done so much, and I’ve accomplished so much, and I think I deserve this experience. The girls have made it so amazing for me.”

On how the team has been preparing to face Costa Rica…
“We’re just going to put our best foot forward. Keep going, keep doing what we’ve been doing the past three games, and hopefully we’ll come out with what we need.”

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