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Pia Sundhage

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


U.S. WNT vs. Colombia
2012 Olympics Games – Group G
Hampden Park; Glasgow, Scotland
July 28, 2012


U.S. National Team head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On the match:
“The things that went well were the three goals Again, Abby (Wambach) and (Megan) Rapinoe showed the way. That’s one thing I’m really happy about, the three goals and we didn’t concede any…I’ll give Colombia credit for the way they played, they made it hard for us and we couldn’t find the rhythm in the first half. At the same time, we still have the ability to score goals and that’s huge. You gain confidence by knowing that. At the end of the day, whoever is playing against us, we are prepared and fit and we will play on and on, so that’s a message to the team even though the first half was a little bit off. We picked up the rhythm in the second half and they (Colombia) got a little tired and meanwhile we gained confidence by scoring goals.”

On Carli Lloyd scoring again:
Carli Lloyd again stepped up and scored a goal. That goal was a combination with the center midfielder and it was a beautiful goal.”

On Megan Rapinoe’s impact on the flank:
“If we had been finding her a little more often on the left side, we would’ve had a better game in the first half, at least. She makes good decisions and the way she is playing, she had a huge impact on the game. She’s had two good games and hopefully it stays like that.”

On clinching a spot in the quarterfinals and the effects it has on the game against Korea DPR:
“We have to talk through both games. You need confident players and fresh legs going into the next game. I hesitate to look too much into the quarterfinals and would rather have a good game against North Korea. If we do score goals and find combinations that would take us to the quarterfinals and that would be more fun to play that quarterfinal. First, we will sit down and look at both games and see if there is any player that we need to rest or if there is anybody who needs to play a little bit more.”

On Shannon Boxx’s condition and the situation at center midfield:
“Shannon Boxx is a day-to-day decision. She gets a lot of treatment throughout the day and she’s getting better and better. Right now, I think she’ll come back and we’ll have options.”

On Abby Wambach becoming the U.S. WNT’s all-time leading scorer in the Olympics, passing Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett:
“Abby is a team player and she’s a game winner and that’s unique. I think she really recognizes how important the team is to her performance and vice-a-versa. I think she’s a role model. If you look at her goals, and she scored a lot of goals with her head, she’s special in the air and I’m very happy she plays for us.”

On what to work on for next game:
“I haven’t yet decided how to analyze this game. We have a choice of what the message is. At the end of the day, I want to have a positive look at this game. I think the speed of play could’ve been better and that was pretty much the thing we talked about before the game. Sometimes it doesn’t work and you can turn that into something positive. As you know, my glass is half full. We scored three goals and that’s huge. We score three goals and don’t concede any goals and we got three points.”

On Alex Morgan’s work off the ball and how she impacts the game:
“She got another big game under her belt which is huge for a young player. You can just feel that she is dangerous especially when she has an attacking touch. What’s important for her is to recognize the difference between a negative touch and to lay it back compared to her attacking touch and trying to beat a player and get behind. Every game she plays, she’ll find a better way of movement off the ball. So many young players need to play a lot of games to get that movement off the ball. She has a lot of years in front of her doing that.”

U.S. forward ABBY WAMBACH
On her thoughts on surpassing Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett as the leading Olympic goal scorer in WNT history:
“First of all, it got us three points, but Mia is obviously a fantastic player. She has played in a bunch of Olympics and World Cups for this team. She’s probably the most famous female soccer player that has ever played the game. Anytime you can bypass her on any level, it’s really an honor.”

On getting punched in the eye during the run of play:
“It is what it is. That was a tactic of theirs, to slow the game down, do whatever they can to try to get us off our game. FIFA and the Olympic Committee should look at the film and see what really happened. I’m glad that a black eye is the only thing that came out of that game in terms of an injury.”

On how to react to a situation like that:
“You think about yourself and what you would do on the street if someone were to sucker punch you and you have all of the lists of things you would probably do to retaliate. But this is the Olympics and I can’t risk getting a red card or yellow card. We like to call it ice. Stay ice cold. They’re trying to get me to retaliate and I’m proud of myself for not doing that.”

U.S. goalkeeper HOPE SOLO
On the match against Colombia:
“We needed that second goal. You never want to be up 1-0 going into the locker room against a team that’s feisty and is getting physical. The speed of play was a little slow and it wasn’t the prettiest game.”

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On the game overall:
“It was pretty choppy to be honest. I don’t think we had that good of a rhythm. They took every chance they could to have a little lie down and waste time, which was probably their game plan. I think it was better in the second half, we had more on the ball and were able to get a few more goals.”

On holding a 1-0 lead late in the game:
“It’s a little bit worrying. We always want to put a couple away. We had some good chances, one saved off the line and a couple other ones called back. We definitely don’t feel completely comfortable at 1-0, so it was nice to get the second and third put away.”

On Abby Wambach dealing with physicality:
“I don’t really get knocked around like she does, but if you have that one defender that’s always on you it’s annoying. Obviously, getting punched in the eye isn’t something that’s pleasant. She’s gotten better at dealing with it. Sometimes she can see red and it’ll take her out of a game a little bit, but in the last couple years she’s done well dealing with that and still being able to score almost every game.”

On her play so far in the tournament and if she’s in “the zone”:
“I don’t know if I’m in the zone. I’m feeling good though and obviously playing with a lot of confidence. I felt like I had a lot of space today and at time when I get the ball I just want to be aggressive.”

U.S. midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On the match:
“It was a little bit of a choppy game. There were a lot of whistles being blown, but we remained calm and stuck to our game plan and had three quality finishes. Overall, I thought it was a decent game.”

On Colombia’s style of play:
“They have an edge to them. They’re really technical and good on the ball. We had to make sure we kept our feet moving. South American teams, that’s how they roll, I guess. We didn’t let it affect us and that was key for us today.”

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