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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT 4, JPN 1


Post-Match Quote Sheet
U.S. WNT 4, Japan 1
Volvo Winners Cup – Halmstad, Sweden
June 18, 2012

 

U.S. WNT head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On the team’s performance:

“I think we had the ability to play to a lot of strengths today. Abby had a great game, Alex Morgan had a great game as well, and so did the midfield. We changed the wing players a little bit [from the Sweden game] and we dominated the midfield which is a hard thing to do against Japan, who keeps the ball all the time. I think they were dangerous, but we also we controlled the game for the most part and in the defense as well. The back four did a great job with the six up front.”


On balancing the attack and making it unpredictable:
“We were able to go direct when their back line stayed high, we have speed up top and I think Abby won every single air ball, and that’s a threat. We gain a lot of confidence doing that. But also when it was on, we were able to change the point of attack and keep it. A player like Tobin Heath, she keeps it and she brings players into the game. They were loyal to the game plan and that was good.”

On Alex Morgan:
“She is unique, there is no doubt about that. And this team brings out Alex Morgan’s performance because we are doing a good job behind her and we find her with the right balls. And you have to give Abby Wambach a lot of credit for the way Alex Morgan is playing. Those two up top are the reason we are playing 4-4-2 and I think it’s a pretty good 4-4-2.”

On the match:
“We won against Sweden and then on one day of rest, we were ready. We changed a few players, but they had fun out there; they wanted to win and they wanted to play a good game. Having that much fun out there is a winning formula.”

U.S. WNT midfielder LAUREN CHENEY
On the big win:
“Obviously, I think we needed that win against Japan for our confidence. They are a great team, but we came out strong and got two goals in the first 10 minutes and I don’t think you can ask for a better start than that.”

On the USA creating a bushel of chances:
“I think our momentum going forward was great. Our attack came from the way we defended, we were extremely organized and right when we won the ball we were looking to go forward and I think that made a big difference.”

On breaking through with a four-goal game against Japan after scoring three goals against them in the previous three matches:
“I think that we respect them so much, that it was a little too much. I think we went into the games knowing they could play, we know they can knock it, and I think this game we came out and knew it was about us, not about Japan and we played our game. I think going forward we know can beat them. They were our nemesis in the World Cup and hopefully this will just build our confidence for the Olympics.”

U.S. defender CHRISTIE RAMPONE
On the team’s mentality in the match:
“We just came out with a great attitude today. We went after them hard and we’ve been working hard on the team defense, putting a lot of pressure on them, and it paid off with that early goal, we kept the momentum going and the team played great today.”

On turning good defense into good offense:
“Being in good (defensive) starting positions is a great way to attack. I think once we earned a lot of turnovers, we went at them with speed, which we haven’t been doing in the past. We put them under pressure and you saw a lot of goals today.”

On the win:
“It gives us a lot of confidence. We have been training really hard to try to get this win. The team feels really great and we are in a good spot right now. We get to go back home, play one more game against Canada in Utah and then we’re off.”

U.S. forward ALEX MORGAN
On the match:
“I am really excited with the way we played. We executed what we worked on. We needed to pressure the Japanese team, we needed to work together on defense and regain the ball after we lost it and I think we did really well with that. A lot of our goals came from our defensive effort so I’m really happy with the result.”

On if she had an extra gear on her second goal:
“On my second goal, I felt a little fast, but at the same time I had some anger in me because I had missed the shot before.”

On the big win:
“At halftime, Pia said she gained a little bit of confidence and with a game like this heading into the Olympics, it helps our confidence as well. It helps us feel at ease with all this preparation that we are putting in. We see the actual results, which is such a great feeling and we are exactly where we want to be heading into the Olympics.”

U.S. forward ABBY WAMBACH
On the win:
“I think that every so often all the things you work on come together. Of course the first 10 minutes were very impressive, getting two goals. We’ve been working on (starting strong) so I think that’s a really good pat on our own backs to continue working on even more difficult things that challenge us.”

On the back and forth match:
“We don’t want to take anything away from Japan. I think the score line maybe read a little different than how the game played out. We created way more chances than them for sure, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t create chances as well. We have things to work on. They scored on another corner kick, and I think that was really good for us at this point. When you win, sometimes you easily sweep things you need to work on under the rug and the fact that they scored on us that way is good for us.”

On the team defense helping the attack:
“Our defense is directly related to how well we can do in the attack. I wonder how many goals we scored today off a great defense play, or a turnover and a counter attack. The transition period and high pressing them is important for us, especially because they are so technical on the ball. We want to rattle them a little bit and I think we did a good job of that.”

On looking forward:
“Anytime you can beat one of the best teams in the world, it feels good. But this is only the beginning. We know we can play even better. We know there were spells in that game where Japan had a little bit of the run of play and we have to OK with that. The game is evolving, the rest of the teams in the world, they are not only getting better, but getting more confident and more capable on the field. So there are going to be times when they are going to get chances. We had to keep telling ourselves that, especially against a team like Japan, even if that does happen, we are OK. We need to stay patient, wait for your opportunities and when you get them, you have to finish them.”

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