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Post-Game Quote Sheet: USA 1, Mexico 0


U.S. WNT Head Coach Pia SUNDHAGE

On the match:
“I am very, very proud of the team doing so well, playing that kind of soccer in those conditions, well done. Abby’s goal was great. I thought she was the best player on the field.”

On Kristine Lilly, who made her first start for the USA since 2007:
“She is as professional as can be and I thought that she had a pretty good first half. We were busy on both the left and right sides.”

On the snowy conditions:
“It’s hard to imagine (conditions like this). Usually we have a game plan, but we took the game plan and said, you know what, we need to rethink and play everything forward and put pressure behind their back line. Still, you could see a couple of good passes on the flanks and I’m very, very happy with the way (Amy) LePeilbet and (Rachel) Buehler are playing. They are not just booting the ball, they complete good passes to start the buildup from the back. It’s very, very, very hard to play in these conditions, so I’m very happy about the way they played.”

On finally getting the goal after many chances in the first half:
“What we said at halftime was to continue to use the wings and for both Heather O’Reilly and Lilly to get crosses into the box. If you have Abby on your team, you should spend some time doing crosses, and at halftime we said eventually we will get the goal because we created a lot of chances.”

U.S. WNT Midfielder Kristine LILLY

On playing in the snow:
“It’s so fun. Granted, the conditions aren’t the best for us to play but we won, we got a good goal, had a good celebration and it was just fun to be out there with the girls and play. And we got a good crowd for a day like this.”

On the playing on a field covered in snow:
“We said ‘this is what it’s going to be’ and we didn’t really know what to do, how to warm up. We had an area that we could play in a little bit. We wanted to have fun, but we also wanted to play to win and that’s the great thing about this team every time we step out on the field whether it’s muddy, rainy, great or snowy, we play to win. And getting a win tonight was really good for us.”

On the team’s play in the poor conditions:
“I think we have the character and mentality to win and to go after it. We got a goal and our defense did a great job keeping Mexico in front of us because Maribel (Dominguez) can get behind players. But you take a lot from this because it’s a win against a team that we are going to have to qualify against, so it was big for us.”

On her future with the U.S. team:
“Through the years, you are always trying to make the team. Before, I had a starting position and I felt a little bit more secure, but you never were because you are always competing. Now, it’s trying to make the team. It’s a different feel, but I’m going to do whatever I can if it fits with Pia and the team. If she thinks I can help, great, but if it doesn’t then life goes on. But right now I’m looking forward to doing what I can out there, and I’m proud of what I have done in these two games.”

U.S. WNT Forward Abby WAMBACH

On the match:
“It was a hard game to stay patient, to wait for those moments, the opportunities. We got a lot of opportunities, but whether they were good opportunities that’s for someone else to decide because the surface just was so difficult. You may be a step off. The ball might roll or stop and you whiff. There are so many variables that you can’t control that a game plan really is thrown out the window and you have to just pick up every single play and do something a little different to try to get the defenders to fall.”

On playing in the snow:
“You couldn’t predict that the ball was going to roll out of bounds because it would stop. You couldn’t predict that it would stop, because then it would roll out of bounds. It was like everything was almost opposite. I’m actually pretty surprised that we got that goal. We were definitely knocking on their door for quite a while but these conditions were probably the worst I’ve ever played under. But it just goes to show the kind of team that we have and I give so much credit to our defense because they have a very experienced forward who knows how to use her body and how to keep possession and I’m surprised that they didn’t get more chances.”

On the snow angel celebration after her goal:
“We were walking out before the game started, and I said ‘if anybody scores snow angels for sure! And if we get number two it’s going to be a snowball fight. The snow angels were great. We, as a team, probably struggle to celebrate well. So, I’m proud of us for following through with what we said we would do.”

 

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