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Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT Defeats China 2-0 to Claim 2006 Four Nations Tournament Title

On the match:
“It was a wonderful game for all the people to watch. Both teams played very good football and it was a very exciting game with good chances for both teams. I am very happy with my team. We have some experienced players and some very young players, so I want to thank the Chinese Soccer Federation for inviting us to this tournament because it’s very important for our young team to play quality matches against great national teams like China.”

On the mentality of the U.S. team heading into the must-win game:
“The mentality of this team is to look at any situation like this and just step out with a determination to win the day, and that’s what they did. I don’t think the crowd affected them, I don’t think the cold affected them. I could see it in their faces and eyes before the game started, there was that additional focus and determination to win this game today. You don’t always get the breaks, but I knew they would do everything they needed to do to win it. We have a lot of veterans out there in Lilly, Abby and Boxx, but if you look at the young players in the middle of the defense, they had that same determination.”

On the team defending during the tournament:
“We were unlucky to give up the one goal that we did (on a penalty against Norway). Our priority early in the year is going to be our team defending, and we are doing great already because we worked on it last year, so everybody understands their roles. We think we can be the best defensive team in the world, but our defending leads to our attacking. We’re pushing people high up the field to defend so we can immediately attack in their half. That part has been fantastic.”

On China:
“Our defending as a team was very important and we did very well today in that regard, because China has a great attacking team with players like Han Duan and Bai Li Li. Coach Ma is doing the right things with China. They are playing very good football both defending and attacking, and on set players, and I see a big improvement in the team.”

On the U.S. midfield:
“Our midfield play was outstanding. I thought Tarp, Aly and Boxx were dominating and the back that rotated in (defensively) did a very good job helping out as well.”

On U.S. captain Kristine Lilly:
“Kristine Lilly had a special tournament. She made a big difference.”

On the game:
“From this match, we can see there are some differences between the Chinese and American teams, such as experience, tactics and even physical, but I am very satisfied with my team. Every player did their best and this tournament will be very helpful to the young players. We will benefit a lot from these games, especially for the young players, as they have a chance to gain experience. We have a lot time to go for our improvement.”

On the win:
“I think this group was just a bit frustrated coming off the France game because we thought we could have finished that one off. That gave us momentum coming into this game against China. Our goal is always to win, not only to this tournament, but every game, and the team stepped up.”

On the game:
“Overall, we played very good team defense, which made it easier for us to attack. Really the big thing was finishing some chances, but we had more numbers in the box, which gave us more variety and more chances to score and that made it difficult for China to stay with us.”

On the pro-China crowd:
“We loved that the crowd was against us. It motivated us.”

On the tournament:
“I think probably more so at this tournament than in the future, we had to think the game through with the young players we had out there. It was about making an effort to work hard and put ourselves in the right positions defensively. The more we play, the more naturally it will come, but the focus and determination we showed in this tournament was just outstanding considering the amount of time we’ve played together.”

On the match:
“The girls around me just helped me out a ton, allowing me to learn and to play the way I did. In today’s game, even though we were up 2-0, the speed of the game was amazing and every time China got the ball they rushed at us so fast. I learned what it felt like to play in such a big game and I had never felt that before. With Hope behind me, Amy next to me, and Heather on one side of me, I just felt like we played so well together. It was such a rush and a great experience."