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Pre-Game Quote Sheet: USA vs. Brazil in Gold Medal Match of 2008 Olympics

Midfielder Shannon Boxx

On facing Brazil for the fourth time this year, but this time with their star players:
“I think it’s been great that we’ve had a chance to play them a couple times in the warm-ups because it’s always good to play great teams. It will be different as there are some great players that weren’t there, but we’ve seen those players in the past so we’re definitely prepared for that. We’re ready for an exciting game.”

On if there is more motivation to defeat Brazil due to the loss in the 2007 World Cup:
“Of course there’s motivation. I would say Brazil is one of our biggest rivals, so there is always motivation to beat your rival. Even if we won that last one, there would be motivation to win this on since you’re playing for a gold medal.”

On comparing this team to the 2007 FIFA World Cup team:
“It’s just a different team. A lot of the same players, but we’re playing different, our attitude is different and we play as a group. It’s just so fun to watch and play. I’ve seen that grow a lot this year. We’ve come together as a team, and I think that’s the difference.”

On what they need to do to stop Brazil’s Marta:
“I wouldn’t say that we’re focusing on one player on the Brazilian team. I think Brazil as a whole is a very good team. They are technical and we’re going to look at how we can beat them as a team. One part of that is to stop their top player, but as a group one thing we’ve done very well is defending together as well as playing on the offensive side together. If we can do that against Brazil, I think we’ll be successful.”

Midfielder Heather O'Reilly

On facing Brazil:
“We’re pumped. We’ve played Brazil before and we know they’re a pretty awesome team with a lot of great personalities. But this team player for player is unified and strong, and we’re together. We’re looking forward to the game.”

Defender Lori Chalupny

On why Brazil’s Marta is so good:
“I think she’s got a couple qualities that are fantastic. Her ball skills are top notch, she’s also very quick, very speedy, and overall she’s a very good player. We’ll definitely need to keep an eye on her throughout the game.”

On if the team is looking forward to facing Brazil:
“We have tremendous amount of respect for Brazil and we know they are a very good team. We’re excited to be in the final, and we’re excited to be playing them.”

On if the team talked after the loss to Norway:
“What I think is great about this team is nothing really needs to be said. We know where were headed and what we wanted. You can tell just by looking in each other’s eyes that we knew we still had a chance to get to this final game. What’s been great is we’ve taken that loss and the momentum has gone up from there and we’ve really improved from that last game.”

Defender and Captain Christie Rampone

On facing Brazil:
“I’m looking forward to this game. We played them a couple times this year, but they didn’t have some of their players so it’s going to be a great game. They are playing at the top of their game and we’re getting better each game, so it’s going to be exciting.”

On what Marta, Cristiane and Daniela provide Brazil:
“They’re personality players that have their own individual flair. They’re good on the ball, they have speed and confidence. We’re going to have to stay tight as a unit, play as a full team once again, stay compact and know where they are at all times.”

Forward Angela Hucles

On getting more time on the field:
“It’s been a change for the whole team. I didn’t really know what my role was going to be until I arrived in China. For me, it’s been a tremendous experience to contribute in any way I can, whether it be scoring goals or coming off the bench. Obviously, I’m excited to be able to play.”

On what was said after the opening loss to Norway:
“One reminder Kate Markgraf gave us was the 2000 Olympics when the United States beat Norway in group play and then lost to them in the finals. That was a good reminder to say we’re starting off here, but it’s only for now.”

On if there is a revenge mode against Brazil:
“I think it’s just an amazing feat to play in this Olympic final with the rest of my teammates. It doesn’t really matter who we’re playing in this final, it’s going to be a tough match and we’re going to want to go out there and beat them. We’re looking forward to it.”

On when she celebrated with them after one of her goals against Japan:
“It was something that I wanted to do. In my small way, (celebrating with the substitutes) was something I enjoyed.”

On the move to forward:
“It’s been a few years since I’ve played forward and I haven’t been in this position where I’ve been able to shoot this much and have these kind of scoring opportunities. But overall, I’m happy whenever I get to play. Being part of the Olympics is a huge thing, much less being able to play in an Olympic final match. I love being able to score goals if that’s what’s asked of me and any way I can contribute I’m happy to do that.”

On if it’s been hard adjusting to forward:
“I was a little upset with myself in the quarterfinal game about missing a few opportunities. It was little bit of being unaccustomed to being in that position. I think it’s just one of those things where I had to let it go and move on.”

On filling in for Abby at forward:
“Abby obviously has been one of our go-to players in terms of scoring goals and is a really offensive threat. When she went down it was a huge loss for us. With the players we have, I think it just made sense to put me there when Abby got injured.”

Defender Kate Markgraf

On Brazil:
“We give Brazil an ultimate amount of respect, but we also have confidence in ourselves. We know it’s going to be a great game and we’re not taking anything for granted.”