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Megan Rapinoe

U.S. Women's National Team vs. Costa Rica Quote Sheet

U.S. WNT vs. Costa Rica Quote Sheet
International Friendly
Sahlen’s Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.
Sept. 1, 2012

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On her decision to step down as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team:
“It’s just good timing. I’ve been around this team for five years and there is no big tournament for this team next year. Meanwhile, the most important tournament goes on in Europe. It’s just a fantastic opportunity for me. Still, I have mixed feelings because just look at Abby Wambach and look at everything out here today. They don’t have that in Sweden, but maybe they can get that.”

On if winning the Olympics prompted the decision:
“Gold is one thing, but the journey is what matters. It’s all about the journey. I’ve had three different journeys, 2008, 2011 and 2012 with different players. I’m so happy when we play good soccer. Today, the first half was good and at the beginning of the second half it hurts when we don’t play well because I truly believe we can play some good soccer. The fact that we’ve been winning many games, I think that helps, but if it would’ve been a silver medal or bronze medal I don’t know if that would’ve mattered. I’m not too big on redemption. Next year is a very big year for Sweden.”

On her hug with Abby Wambach after substituting her off:
“It meant everything. I’ve seen her and coached her differently. In 2008, she broke her leg, in 2011 she came up with big goals against Brazil and this year I pretty much left her alone. She carries the team in a good way because she’s a good teammate and she does anything for the team. She plays a big part of the team, there’s no doubt about that.”

On the importance of Megan Rapinoe’s creativity to the team:
“I’d like to add Tobin Heath to that as well. I wouldn’t say that they’re typical American players. Megan Rapinoe is hit or miss. She drives me crazy sometimes and sometimes she surprises me and is more clever than I am. She’s very important for the team.”

On bursting out into song before that match:
“I have a hard time expressing how grateful I am and how lucky I am. I wanted to tell the fans, U.S. Soccer, the coaches, staff and players – if not for you I wouldn’t have found the door and wouldn’t be where I am. So, I burst out into song and that’s easier for me than to explain it in smart words.”

On Pia Sundhage’s decision to step down as head coach of the Women’s National Team:
“We’re all sad, we love Pia. She’s done so much for our team and this game. She’s done a lot for soccer her whole life and she’ll definitely be missed.”

On the reaction to her homecoming:
“I couldn’t be more proud than to have Rochester be my hometown and [host] the first game of our victory tour and have it be the way it was. People were interested the entire game - no matter what the score line said. I know they were pushing for me to get a third goal, but this is a victory tour so, we’ve got to get players that haven’t had much playing time on the field because they deserve it. Rochester is the best place. It’s the best place to grow up and they get soccer.”

On why she always plays well in Rochester:
“Maybe it’s my parents and family, I play better when they’re around. I haven’t done much since the Olympics; I was struggling in the second half, fitness wise. I couldn’t be happier for the girls who got goals today and for the crowd who saw a lot of goals today.”

On setting a good tone for the Fan Tribute Tour:
“I hope that this sets a precedent moving forward in the rest of the tour and gets these other cities rallied around women’s soccer. We want it to be every city in the United States.”

On giving Pia a hug after being subbed off:
“I never do that. That’s a sign, it’s going to be hard to leave a field and get into the locker room and not see her. I love Pia so much because she has shown me what it’s like to love the game. Her passion is contagious and I wish nothing but the best for her.”

U.S. forward ALEX MORGAN
On the chemistry between herself and Abby Wambach:
“We continue growing together. It’s only going to get better. We are going to see a lot more goals and assists from each other. I’m really excited for the future with us and this team.”

On playing for the first time back in the United States:
“It’s such a great reception coming to Rochester. Everyone here loves Abby Wambach. Abby is everyone’s hero. I’m so happy we got to come here because she’s done so much for the team; she’s such a leader for us and the country. It’s great to see a sold-out crowd cheering us on every moment of the game.”

On how Pia Sundhage has helped her as a player:
“She gave me my first cap and has helped me grow into this team gradually. It’s been baby steps for me. I appreciate her doing that for me. I wish her well on her next journey.”

On how Pia broke the news to the team:
“It was unfortunate, the timing. Pia has a great opportunity in Sweden. This morning we found out the news so we wanted to play for her and we wanted to put on a good show for her and the fans.”

On starting off the tour with a big win:
“We’ve played Costa Rica quite a few times. They continue to improve their game and I know that they probably haven’t come together as a team recently. We put on a good show for the fans and we hope to see Costa Rica again in the next year or so.”

U.S. midfielder SHANNON BOXX

On the play of midfielder Megan Rapinoe:
“Something that we’ve been working on for a long time has been that offensive player and possession. Megan Rapinoe is the epitome of that, she’s got so much flare and is always in the right place at the right time. When she’s on, it just looks like she’s having fun and it looks easy. I think when she’s confident and goes forward with the ball it makes us all confident.”

On the reaction to Abby Wambach’s homecoming:
“It makes so much sense why we came here first. Leading up to the Olympics, she may not be on, but one thing I know about Abby is that she’ll be ready. She thrives in those moments of the Olympics and World Cup.  We saw her show up in the World Cup, then she took that break and then came back so strong in the Olympics. To come back here knowing that everyone supports her in this town, we didn’t want to come anywhere else. We wanted to come here first.”