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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Women 1, Norway 0


U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage
On what the USA accomplished in the match:
“We got all the players a chance to get some minutes. Kacey White and Kendall Fletcher played 90 minutes, and I thought that was very important because you need play all 18 players, which we have done. The other thing was getting behind there back line, because Norway played pretty high pressure. At times, we did that well and at times, not so good. The most important thing after this game is healthy players and fresh legs going into the final.”

On what she liked about the match:
“We have not given up a goal yet, which is great. The other thing I am happy with is the way Megan Rapinoe played. That will give her confidence and the team as well.”

On the ebb and flow of the match:
“You can imagine that you have a team running at you the whole time and doing everything to win, but still we did not give up a goal. That is a very good thing with this team. We find a way to win. I think we created a running game, a transition game, and I would say we were a little bit naïve. We could have been a little more tactical and kept possession a little bit more, but we were eager to go forward when we didn’t have to. I think that is a lesson to learn. If you want to win a tournament, you have to know how to dictate the tempo, and I would say we didn’t do a good job of that today. Still, the defending, especially the back four, and Hope had another good game.”

On managing the end of the game better:
“If you look at the last 10 minutes, there are certain things we could do better. Instead of still continuing with this transition game, we could keep the ball even more and use the width. But we are so eager to play that big ball. It’s about decision making.”

On playing against her home country Sweden in the final:
“Regardless of what you have done before the final, everyone has the feeling of loving to play in the final. I think all 18 are ready to go. The fact that we are playing Sweden makes it a little interesting. I will have my best friend sitting on the other bench (asst. coach Lilly Persson). It would be cool to win that game.”

U.S. Goalkeeper Hope Solo
On her save of Kristin Lie’s shot in the 18th minute:
“I believe she struck it on top of the box to my right side. But Mitzy (Heather Mitts) was tracking the player down pretty fast to put pressure on her to get a shot off quickly. The only spot she had to shoot was my upper left. I got a good read on it and moved early.”

On tipping Ingvild Stensland's shot off the crossbar in the 83rd minute:
“Good thing my nails are long. I barely touched it. I got just a nick on it, but it was enough.”

On the defense:
“We had two younger players in our back line, a first-capper (Kendall Fletcher) and a younger player (Rachel Buehler) playing in a different position. I was so proud at the effort they put in, the organization, and Buehler was going into tackle after tackle, it was pretty incredible. I thought we were organized and played some of the best defense I’ve ever seen today.”

On Norway’s effort:
“I knew Norway was going to show up to play. We lost to Norway 2-0 in the Olympics, and it’s always been a very competitive match between the two teams. However, they just came off two losses, and I knew they weren’t going to be happy with three. They showed up, were ready to play and came out hard. They pressured us all over the field.”

U.S. Defender Kendall Fletcher
On her first cap:
“It was awesome. I think going into it, the emotion, I had to control myself and I had to focus so I didn’t really feel it, but right when the whistle blew at the end of the game, everything kind of rushed to me. I was like, ‘yes, I did it’! It was a great game, the team played awesome, ‘Pinoe (Megan Rapinoe) had a great goal, it was a great win and it was good to beat Norway, going 3-0 into the final.”

On the physical nature of the game:
“I think when it’s a competitive game, it makes you get into it right away. You’re ready to go from the beginning, right from the first tackle. You have to make statements in this kind of game and Buehler, the way she was just going after it in the air, tackling all over the field, that’s my kind of game. So it was a really good first game.”

U.S. Defender Rachel Buehler
On the match:
“It was a really, really tough game. I was battling in the air a lot because they were playing a lot of long balls. Norway is a tough, hard, fast and combative team so it really was a lot about heart out there.”
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