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Post-Match Quotes: USA 2 Iceland 0


U.S. Women's National Team vs. Iceland
2010 Algarve Cup
Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
Feb. 24, 2010

U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage
On the match:
“We needed to change the point of attack. We tried in the first half, but we were a bit foolish because we played the big ball too much. The first 10 minutes, I thought it was ok, but then it broke down because the defending was good on the flanks. So at halftime, we said two things. Play faster on the ground and shorter, and the other thing is find Abby and Cheney earlier becuase there was so a lot of space in front of their back line, but we didn’t utilize that in the first half. In the second half, we did ok.”

On the player of midfielder Lori Lindsey, who got her first cap under Pia and second of her career:
“I was very happy with Lori Lindsey. It feels good to see her come off the bench and get involved in both goals. She did well.”

On Abby Wambach:
“This is good for her. She's still coming back from the injury in 2008 and I think she has a couple more games in her before she is on top of her game. I think it was good for her because Iceland played physically and whoever she plays will play hard against her.”

On the match:
“We've only been here a couple of days so the first game is always tough, but I think we picked up the rhythm as the game went on.”

On what she would like to see improved in the next match:
“We need to see more from the center mids. It’s not only about Boxx and Carli, but for the team to find the them. We tried to play that big ball and just passed the center mids. If we can get them more involved in the game, it will change the rhythm and will be a bit more unpredicatable if they dicate the tempo. So, that’s something for the next game.”

On the upcoming Norway match:
“They have a new coach, so it’s very intresting to see if she is playing the similar Norwegian style, but she will probably try some new things. I expect a really tough game and a battle all the time. They will play high pressure to begin with a formation like 4-3-3, so it’s about how can we deal with the flanks and at the same time explore the space in front of their back line.”

On goal scorer Lauren Cheney:
“Her combining with Abby worked well. It would be a little scary if we didn’t create chances at all, but she could have scored two, three, four maybe? It’s a good start.”

U.S. forward Lauren Cheney
On getting a goal after coming close four times in the match:
“It definitely felt like there was a bubble around the goal, but I think in that situation you just have to keep going for it. I just kind of laughed it off. I just kept saying ‘next one’ and Abby kept saying ‘next’ one, you just try not to put more pressure on yourself than neccessary.”

On her goal:
“I saw that their two center-backs had stepped up, but there outside backs held, so I just made a little bent run and Lori found me and I stayed composed. It was just me and the goalie.”

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo
On saving the two penalty kicks:
“It’s really funny, because Abby and I sat at breakfast for about an hour this morning talking about penalty kick strategy and what I like and what she sees in goalkeepers when she takes a penalty. We picked each other’s brains, so going in I kind of knew what I wanted to do.”

On what happend during the scramble at the end of the match that led to the second penalty kick:
“I have no idea. I found myself crawling on the ground, I found myself trying to make slide tackles with my feet. Next thing you know, my arm gets stepped on and I thought I broke my arm. I grabbed the ball and ran off the field because I thought the ref called a foul. By the time I realized my arm wasn’t broken, I turned around and there was a PK -- and my arm still hurts. There was a lot going on during that play.”

On if she’s ever saved two penalty kicks in a game before:
“I’ve never faced two penalty kicks in one ninety-minute game before.”

On the match:
“We had a slow start. We had chances at the begining and didn’t put them away. It took a lot of patience to finally get one goal, then the next one came. It wasn’t our best game. We had moments of brilliance, but the ground was hard, really bumpy and we had a hard time getting our first touch. It can get better and it will get better in the next game.”

U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly
On the match:
“I think a lot of times in our first game in this tournament, it’s a little like, the pieces are still coming together and that’s exactly what today was. It took us all game to really to sort out our attack. It was physical and we stayed persistent to get those two goals. So, I think collective confidence that it was going to come was definitely there.”

On Hope Solo saving two penalty kicks:
“That was so exciting, I’m so happy for her. Of course, it’s not ideal to give up two PKs in a game, but she’s awesome and saved us as suusal.”

On the positives of some newer players getting some minutes:
“Lori Lindsey coming in and serving a great ball to Lauren Cheney for the assist was huge for us, Casey getting some time and Meghan Schnur in her first cap at left back, she did excellent. It was definitely a good first game for everyone today and we’ll definitely grow from this.”

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