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Quote Sheet: U.S. Women Preview New Zealand Match

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage
On the closeness of all the matches in the women’s competition at the Olympics:
“All the teams, you look at the scores, none have scored a lot of goals, and that says something about women’s soccer overall at the international level. It is getting tougher. We are creating scoring chances, which is good, because you create confidence getting into the box. As long as we create chances, the goals will come sooner or later, but if we have to win just 1-0, I am happy.”

On the improvement of the women’s game:
“There are many teams that can compete for the gold medal as everyone is improving. You can even compare Argentina today to last year and what a big difference it is. The defending is definitely getting better and teams are organized, but the women’s game overall has to improve going into the attacking third. In order to create chances, you need to be more sophisticated in the attacking third and the next five years, many coaches will talk about that and try to improve that in their teams.”

On her team overcoming adversity in this tournament:
“We have a couple injuries and of course Abby Wambach broke her leg just before the tournament. That is a challenge. But there are things you can’t do anything about, so you have to find a way to win, and that’s exactly what we are trying to do right now. We are happy with the team we have and the more minutes we will get together, the better soccer we will play.”

On the New Zealand match:
“There are no easy games when you go into the Olympics. If you look at the way New Zealand has been playing, it is a good team. We always respect every single opponent and every single game. However, we are very confident with the way we are playing so we are looking forward to the game.”

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo
On what she would like to see from the New Zealand match:
“I would like to see us coming out of this game with a ton of confidence. I think we’ve obviously we’ve gotten better from game one to game two and I’m hoping we get that much better from game two to game three.”

On the rain that has hit Shenyang today and how it might affect the game:
“It definitely will impact it. The ball was skipping a lot in the first game and it was hard to connect passes. If we play simple, I think we’ll be fine as long as we dictate the tempo in the midfield. Our backs love to slide tackle and this will be one of those games where they can get dirty and get into hard tackles.”

U.S. midfield Shannon Boxx
On the New Zealand match:
“Right now, we are focusing on this next game. We want to win and then we’ll think about where we go from there. We’ve seen how New Zealand has performed and that is what’s great about the women’s side, every team is getting better. We know that nothing has been decided as far as where teams will finish in the group so we will definitely be ready to battle for a win.”

U.S. defender Rachel Buehler
On making her Olympic debut against Japan:
“It was definitely an intense moment to go into the game with eight minutes left and we were up 1-0 and Japan was pressing hard. I felt a lot of responsibility as they had a few throw-ins on my side and I wanted to keep the team in a winning position. It was a high-pressure situation, but I wasn’t overly nervous. It was great experience. I was just exited to play in an Olympic match.”

On New Zealand:
“I’ve never played New Zealand before, but they seem like a good side with some athletic players. They have great team spirit and that kind of chemistry leads to good things. I watched them against Japan and they played a really good match, so we are expecting a really competitive game.”