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U.S. Women's World Cup Team Quotes - Sept. 30, 2003


U.S. Head Coach April Heinrichs

On the rivalry with Norway…
“Rivalries in general bring out the best in the teams. It helps the coaches and players prepare mentally. You gear up for that game. It is like a Monday Night Football game. When we play Norway it is a battle. You rarely see anything other than a one-goal difference.”

On Norway…
“They are very strong. They believe in themselves and believe in each other. I have seen from up close and personal that Norway will never give up. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Norway.”

On if the fact that Norway has a winning record against the U.S. gives them added motivation…
“I don’t think we need another ounce of motivation. I think our players are well aware of the record between the two teams. Our players have a tremendous respect for them and it’s a World Cup game. Our players are also highly motivated to perform well."

On whether the team has talked about losing to Norway in the 2000 Olympics…
“We haven’t talked about it at all. I think there is always a balance with going into the past and the aspirations of the future. I know our players are well aware of it. You have to remember we’ve played Norway at least six times since then.”

On how Norway is playing…
“I think they are playing great soccer. What you have to remember is in 1991 they started the World Cup off with a loss to China and found their way into the finals. In 1995, they had a similar start to the tournament and they won it. And in 2000, they lost to the U.S. in the opening game of the Olympics, got out of the group, advanced to the final and won the gold medal. What you have to assess when you look at them is their ability to get better over the course of the tournament.”  

Midfielder Kristine Lilly

On the game vs. Norway…
“We know we are going up against a great team, but we know if we play good soccer good things will happen. We’ve had some players step up and make some great things happen, so we just need to do that tomorrow.”

On playing Norway…
“When both teams step out onto the field, they are going to put their best out there.  We are going to go after them and they are going to go after us and that’s what is going to be great about the game.”

Forward Cindy Parlow

On what has been successful against Norway…
“I feel that we’ve been fortunate to finish our chances. Unfortunately for them, they would create chances but wouldn’t finish them. I think that has definitely been the difference. I think both teams will create chances tomorrow, it’s just who’s going to put them away.”

On Norway losing a game in the first round…
“The key to the first round is advancing to the second round. No matter how you do, whether it’s pretty, ugly or you depend on another team to score, you just have to get through. We both did that, so now we are both looking to advance."

On Norway…
“They are a great team. They have all the pieces to be a championship team this year. We know that and we know to beat them we will have to play to the best of our ability.”

Mia Hamm

On getting Norway in the quarterfinals…
“It was Norway or Brazil, but for us we wanted to win our group. We don’t look at one team and think we match up better with them, so let’s finish second in our group. Every team is difficult. That’s the great thing about the World Cup. Every team poses a different challenge to you and you have to solve them with two days preparation.”

On the rivalry with Norway…
“It’s intense. As a competitor it brings out the best in all of us. It is a healthy rivalry first and foremost. It’s not one that is marred in controversy. It is two teams that when they play each other, want to play their best.”

On if there is added pressure to win the game because the tournament is in the U.S…
“If we were playing in Antarctica, our approach and our focus would be the exact same. It’s wonderful to play in the U.S., in front of what we consider are the best women’s soccer fans in the world. It is wonderful motivation when they are cheering for you, but for us as players this is the quarterfinal of the World Cup and that doesn’t change if you change continents. It would be the same pressures and the same goal.”

On Norway…
“I think you see Norway consistently where they are (on top) because they are always finding ways to make adjustments and prove themselves. I think we are the same way and that is why there is such a respect between the two teams.”
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