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Quotes: 11 Questions with Shannon Boxx


Shannon Boxx is among the world’s elite holding midfielders, and this year has played an ever-increasing role in setting the rhythm for the USA’s attack. Boxx has been one of the USA’s best and most consistent players in 2008, and as the Americans head into the Olympics, her play in the center of the midfield with Carli Lloyd will be a key to the team’s success. We sat down with Shannon on a quiet evening in Qinhuangdao to get her thoughts on China so far, what she has in common with Natasha Kai and how she wants to watch Alyson Felix, Michael Phelps and Nastia Liukin once the Olympics start, as she answers 11 questions for ussoccer.com.

ussoccer.com: Can you talk about the way your relationship with Carli Lloyd has evolved in the center of the midfield?
Shannon Boxx:
“We’ve grown a really close bond on the field. I think the biggest thing for us is that we have really started to feel what the other one is doing on the field and we know where the other one is at all times. We are reading each other a lot better without even having to talk. I think that’s where we’ve made the biggest strides this year. The thing that we are continuing to get better at is to use each other more to keep possession. We know that we can dictate the rhythm and tempo of this team.”

ussoccer.com: Your sister won a gold medal in softball in 1996. You won a gold medal in 2004. This time around, will she be here watching in China?
Boxx:
“She’s always been there for me and supporting me through this whole process of making the Olympic Team again. She’ll be in the stands in China rooting me on.”

ussoccer.com: What has been your favorite part of this trip so far?
Boxx:
“The Great Wall of China. It’s one of the greatest wonders of the world and it’s amazing that we got to go. We had some funny moments on the wall and it was a lot of fun. Pictures just don’t do it justice. You really have to go to fully experience it.”

ussoccer.com: Does the way the World Cup ended for you in 2007 (Boxx was unjustly sent off in the semifinal and had to sit out the third-place match) give you extra motivation this year, or is just playing in the Olympics motivation enough?
Boxx:
“At the beginning of the year, it was motivation for me to get fit and get back to playing at a level that I am happy with. But as the year went on, I’ve put the past behind me, and I’ve been looking forward to the Olympics, what this team can do here, and how I can help this team accomplish our goal of winning the gold medal.”

ussoccer.com: It’s been a long year featuring 22 matches. What you have enjoyed most about the team’s play so far?
Boxx: “I’m a defensive player at heart, so I love that this team has dominated on the defensive side. I also love that we’ve just become a creative, possession-oriented team, but still have the U.S. mentality of being aggressive and athletic.”

ussoccer.com: How do you feel about being second on the team in tattoos (2) behind Natasha Kai (19)?
Boxx:
“No one can come close to Tash’s tattoos, and trust me when I say I’m not planning to. I enjoy the ones I have, and Tash’s tattoo’s person did my second one, so we have that bond.”

ussoccer.com: What Olympic sport do you want to try to catch on TV?
Boxx:
“Track and field is always fun. And Gymnastics and swimming.”

ussoccer.com: Which team that you’ve played against has the hardest tacklers?
Boxx:
“Brazil and Sweden. Brazil is a bit reckless, but they come in hard and fast and the Swedes are great at using their bodies to get into good positions to knock you off the ball.”

ussoccer.com: You rose to the National Team through your play in the WUSA. What are you most looking forward to about playing in the WPS?
Boxx:
“I’m looking forward to having a hometown to play for and playing in front of a home crowd. I’m also looking forward to seeing the next National Team players come out of the WPS. It will be exciting to see the pool grow and the young players develop in a professional atmosphere.”

ussoccer.com: Can you put into words how hot and sweaty it has been in China so far?
Boxx:
“Let’s just say I’ve never sweated this much in my entire life. Yesterday, I lost three pounds in practice. We know how important it is to drink a lot of water and the team has been drinking gallons and gallons every day.”

ussoccer.com: Do you know any words in Chinese besides hello and thank you?
Boxx:
“Yes, I actually do! We learned bu yao Xie Xie, which means ‘no thank you.’ So please stop trying to sell me things!”

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