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Post-Match Quote Sheet: WNT 3, AUS 2


Post-Match Quote Sheet

U.S. head coach PIA SUNDHAGE

On the game:
"I have to say it's a good start (to the run of three domestic games). This game had so many things. Some parts were very good in the first half and the people coming off the bench did very well. I said talking to the players, the way we won the game, it's a winning feeling and that is so important to have when we go into the Olympics. This is perfect training for us."

On why the win is so important:
"You are 2-0 up, and then 2-1 and 2-2 and you can see in the body language that we still wanted to win," said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. "When we got the free kick, you could feel it. That feeling is contagious. The goal is just huge, even though it's just a friendly game, but still that goal is huge. Not only for Carli, but for the whole team including myself, because it gives you the feeling you can win not matter what."

On the play of Boxx and Lloyd in the midfield:
“The way Boxx and Carli played together was excellent. More and more they get connected and that will be important so they dictate the tempo. I am impressed with the whole team, the way they deal with these kind of conditions. If they can do it in these conditions - when it’s raining cats and dog - they can do it on a nice day.”

On who were the top performers for the U.S.:
“I have to mention two players. Hope (Solo) did well in goal, and Carli Lloyd. (Lloyd) gained confidence, of course, but also the whole team. The way she is playing and getting minutes playing with certain players and I think she improved her game tremendously.”

On what the team is doing well, and where they need to improve:
“The way we played from our back four to the midfielders, I think that is good. Now it is the next step from the midfield going into attacking forward. We can do a little better on that.”

On the return of Heather Mitts from ACL surgery:
“I think she is happy. I am happy with the way she has been playing. It’s tough. She’s been away from the game for so long. Her positioning and her decision making, I thought it was pretty good today. She doesn’t last for 90 minutes, you can see that, but I am happy with the minutes she had. That’s a good start for her.”

U.S. midfielder CARLI LLOYD

On the game-winning goal:
As I recall, Cat served a great ball in and I’m not sure how someone headed it up and I just made sure that I got in the box and followed through and headed it straight into the goal. I timed it well and just happened to be there at the right time.”

On what happened with the U.S. gave up the last two goals:
“Since we started in December we’ve had a hard five months. We’ve been training really hard so we’ve been going into games not that fresh. Hopefully, when we get to Beijing we’ll peak at the right moment. Fatigue might have been setting in, but this team is about winning and we find away to get it done.”

On this game:
“Every game is different. We can always learn from this. It was a crunch game at the end and we needed to get away with the win. We’ll watch some film and see what we can do better and learn from it.”

On the rainy, soaked conditions:
“Luckily it wasn’t that cold. I actually like playing in this weather. You can’t replicate it and your touch has to be on and you really have to focus to keep the ball at your feet. It was great. The drainage system on the field was pretty decent considering the amount of rain we got. It was fun: a different atmosphere and a different game to play in.”

U.S. forward NATASHA KAI

On the strong performance of the forwards, including herself:
“We practice like it’s a game situation, so I know how we are going to play when we get into the game. Our job as scorers is to score, and I think the forwards are getting a lot of opportunities. We’re in the perfect spot to get a goal or two. As a whole, we’re connecting together and we are getting better as the games go by.”

On the crazy end of the match:
“This is the game of soccer: anything can happen. It can take two or three minutes to score two goals. You know, that’s what you are going to get with a good team and Australia is a good team. That’s what can happen in the Olympics with good teams. At any given time, we’re going to have to prepare and fight until the end and that’s what we did. Carli Lloyd game up big for us at the last minute and she did that in the (Olympic) qualifiers too. We just need to fight to the end and when that final whistle blows we need to know that we gave 110 percent.”

On the confidence the team takes away:
“It gives us a lot of confidence. We have another game with them. We know how they play. We are going to take this game and look at film and see what we can do better. We know that there is always room for improvement.”

U.S. defender HEATHER MITTS

On her return from ACL surgery:
“It was great. I really didn’t know what to expect, and obviously a lot of things changed since last time I played with the team. I knew that there were a lot question marks going into the game, and I went out there to try to play the best that I can and we’ll see what happens next game.”

On how her knee feels:
“The knee feels really good, believe it or not. It’s been a process and I’ve had a lot of setbacks, so hopefully I can take it one day at a time. The Olympics are a long way away, and this is my first game in a long time, so I’m just trying to enjoy it, and hopefully I get to play next week.”
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