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Post-Match Quotes: WNT 2, China 1

Post-Match Quote Sheet  

U.S. head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On if she saw what she needed as the team prepares for Women’s World Cup qualifying:
“I’m happy with our set pieces. We created a lot of chances on corners, and a lot of chances overall. We need to work on the back four a little bit but I’m not surprised because Christie [Rampone] is coming back and will work with [Amy] LePeilbet. We want to play in a different way defensively, a little bit higher, but overall they did okay.”

On the team’s form with Women’s World Cup qualifying starting in late October:
“It’s good. We have one more game, and every single game it’s important to work on things in the attack. We started off the game very well and we created many chances. Now what we have to learn is that when it doesn’t work and we are dispossessed too often, we need to find a rhythm in the attacking third and use the outside midfielders a little bit more and if they’re pinched in, we need to use the outside backs a little bit more. The word in the locker room was patience. We need to be more patient with the final pass.”

On the decision to start Jill Loyden, her first national team cap:
“We gave [Nicole] Barnhart a little bit of a break after the WPS final after coming in fairly late and a little bit jetlagged. We have faith in our other goalkeepers, and that’s why Jill played.”

On the match:
“We saw a winning attitude in the fact that we created so many chances. Now, it’s not enough to create chances, we have to put away the chances as well. I could see that some of the players weren’t happy, and that’s healthy. We create chances and we get corners, but then again, we need to be more patient and more precise.”

U.S. midfielder HEATHER O’REILLY
On her goal:
“Abby [Wambach] played an amazing ball across the box and I thought I was going to get the initial one but the defender made a good save. It wasn’t over yet and I was able to put it away. But it was a good ball from Abby and I was glad that I was able to put it away in the end.”

On how the team is feeling heading into qualifying:
“I think we have some more work to do. This camp has been a bit scattered with players coming in at different times (after the end of the WPS season), so we still have work to do to put together a solid group and we’re looking forward to our next match against China, but I think we’ll be good to go heading in to Mexico. Right now, it’s just about refining the small pieces, and we have all those training sessions and the one last game, and we’ll be set.”

On how hungry the team is to win a World Cup considering there are only two players on the roster who have won one:
“We’re very, very hungry to win a World Cup. We recognize that we’ve done some cool stuff throughout the years and winning the Olympics has been fantastic, but I don’t think anyone in this group forgets 2007 or 2003, and the losses that we went through, so we’re hungry. Hopefully we’ll take care of business in the qualifiers and gear up for the World Cup. This group wants it bad, for sure.”

On the impact of playing a full WPS season:
“There are obviously the pros and cons of a long season. The pros are that every single player was a leader on their respective teams. Having competitive games week in and week out was obviously a positive. Now we’ve been through a long seven months and have been on different teams so it’ll take us a couple training camps to refine those last little pieces, but we should be good heading in to qualifiers.”

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On the match:
“We’re just so excited to be back together, playing in front of an awesome crowd like this on a beautiful field. You can’t help but get excited. We’ve got our eye on the prize.”

On the performance of the team:
“It’s hard because we don’t get a lot of games together but Pia does a good job of creating the mold, and we bring our own creative flair into it.”

On the performance of the midfield:
“Flank play has been a huge focus for this team going in to the World Cup so we’re pretty happy about tonight.”

U.S. goalkeeper JILL LOYDEN
On her first cap:
“It was awesome. I couldn’t stop smiling. It was so much fun and I had the support of the coaching staff and a great team in front of me. We’ve been here for about two weeks so it’s good. The five of us are in communication the whole time. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first cap or your 200th cap.”