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U.S. WNT vs. Norway - Post-Match Quotes

U.S. head coach Greg Ryan
On the result:
“First of all I want to say how proud I am of my players and how impressed I am with them for dealing with the difficulties that they have had this week, for uniting together, for supporting each other and pulling together. Kristine Lilly, our great captain, has been so important to bring everyone together over the last two years and I just don’t know how we would have done this without her.”

On the 2007 Women’s World Cup:
“I feel like in this tournament, from the time I came for the draw, the U.S. was behind the eight ball because we had a very difficult group. And then in the first game with Abby getting stitches and having to pull a draw out against North Korea. Each game was so under the gun. It was hard for the players to just completely relax and play the kind of soccer that they love because each match became an elimination game for us. Tonight I was just so happy that the players just completely relaxed, played some great soccer and entertaining football with confidence in themselves and in their teammates.”

On Kristine Lilly:
“Kristine’s function in this team encompasses everything we do. Her character, leading by example, by how she comes to training, by how she treats the other players, with how she carriers herself as a professional, has taught our young players what it means to be a Women’s National Team member. On the field she is very, very important for us in creating chances and goals, but also working. You could see her working tonight, not only in the attack, but working back and again leading our team.”

On his future goals with the team:
“I want to continue on as the head coach. I don’t feel like my job is yet done with this team. We have some veteran players but we have a lot of youngsters as you saw tonight. I think we were tight through this World Cup, which only makes sense, because it was the first one for so many of these players. I think, moving on to the Olympics, now you have players who have got a world championship under their belt. That completely changes you. For many, many, years we had the same great team year after year, championship after championship. I played in the pros, I know the only way to get experience is to get experience. You can’t watch it on TV and get this, so I am very, very glad that these players have this experience under their belt.”

U.S. forward Kristine Lilly
On being subbed out late in the game:
“It’s always nice when you get recognized like that by the fans, and then when I got off the field all my teammates on the bench gave me a huge hug. I am proud of the team. We played better today. We played better soccer for our fans at home, for you guys, and that is a good way to end a tournament for us.”

On playing the game and winning:
“It was nice to play. It was nice to play good soccer. We had all these young players scoring goals today, and I know the future of this team looks so good with these guys.”

On her future with the Women’s National Team:
“I’m going to take this time and figure it out in the next couple of months and figure out how I feel and everything. It’s a lot of work, but I love this group and I think we still have something to accomplish, and the Olympics are so close, so we’ll see.”

On how winning this game felt:
“We remembered that it’s just about us and how we play and I think, to really play the game for our fans and show what we’re about. We’re not about anything else but the game of soccer, to represent ourselves well on the field, and come together and play well so that we know in our hearts that we put on a good show.”

U.S. midfielder Lori Chalupny
On the performance in the tournament:
“For this tournament, we had a lot of younger players in the team and this was the first big championship at this level for many of us. We kept trying to get better each game and I think this was a big stepping stone for us to see hey, let’s just have confidence and know that we belong here and I think that will carry us through the next big championship.”

On Kristine Lilly:
“You’ve probably seen her play on the field a whole lot and everybody can see what a fantastic player she is, but even what’s more important is what an amazing teammate she is. Every single day at practice she is someone that you look up to and someone that’s the hardest working player on the field. She’s just a selfless player, a selfless teammate, always there to help out.”

U.S. forward Heather O’Reilly
On the win and the future:
“This game was huge for us. There were a lot of emotions the last couple of days, and I just think this game meant a lot of things for a lot of people. Honor is one thing I think that comes to mind. Team unity. Somebody like Kristine Lilly, I wanted her to go out in style. She deserves nothing else. It took a lot of strength from everybody and I am just so proud of this group. I love these girls. This is my second family. I think that we can all go home to the States with a smile on our face and our heads held high. This team will be back. We’ll be back next year and we’ll be back in four years, so we’re not going anywhere.”

U.S. defender Cat Whitehill
On how the weeks events changed the team:
“We grew stronger. We took the tradition that we had on this team and I think we made it stronger today. It means a lot for me to send a Bri Scurry, a Kristine Lilly and a Christie Rampone and a Kate Markgraf out if it’s their last World Cup, to send them out on this kind of note. As a team and as a young team we learned that tradition does matter and we need to carry it as much as we can.”

On Hope Solo:
“We know how great a goalkeeper Hope is. She proved it during this World Cup. She’s a good friend of mine and I hope that she will be able to do it. It takes time. It takes a lot of time for a lot of us, and we’re working it out. She apologized to us and I’ve forgiven her and I think all of us have forgiven her and we’re going to let her give it a try. We want her to come back and we want her to play because she loves the game.”

U.S. forward Abby Wambach
On getting the win vs. Norway:
“Granted we are not in the final, but the best way for me to get any frustration, sadness or anything out is to run around inside the lines. It’s where we all feel most comfortable. It’s a great feeling to come out on top today. Norway is a great team, but today we weren’t going to let anything slip by us.”

On what they have learned this Women’s World Cup:
“That’s the great thing about the U.S. I would be able to pick out every single loss and tell you, verbatim, how much we learned from it. We haven’t ever lost that bad. I have never lost in my life that bad. I guarantee you that the lessons that have been learned from the Brazil game will show for years to come. We’ve got to start over. We’ve got to start from the drawing board again because we have to prepare for the Olympics and qualify for the Olympics and give whoever wins here (in the final) a run for their money.”

On her goals:
“The first one, it’s a deflection goal. It hits the inside of my calf. Chalupny, she is the one who basically produced that goal. Even the second one, Cat hits off the post on the corner kick, so I got pretty lucky to get the goals that I did today. More importantly, what I tried to do was leave every bit of energy and emotion that I had on that field. It’s not easy playing in the third place game but I was very proud of everyone.”

On her celebration of the second goal:
“Marci Jobson, she told me (at halftime) that my first celebration wasn’t very exciting, and so I ran right to her after the second goal just to prove a point, just to her, that I could celebrate a little better. I just said that was for her.”

U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry
On if she plans to continue playing next year:
“Oh, absolutely. That has always been my goal since the last couple of years is to play a World Cup, play the Olympic Games because I feel like I can still contribute to this team and help this team win, and I have every intention of remaining on this team.”

On coming through the win after the week’s events:
“That performance for me personally was one of the biggest games of my life. My team came through in flying colors. I couldn’t be more proud of them in the way they have handled everything. It’s a great testament to the integrity of the national team.”