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Post-Game Quote Sheet: WNT 3, MEX 1

U.S. Women’s National Team Quote Sheet

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage

On the match:
“We saw Mexico play three days ago so we knew the formation, but they have a 12th player, and that’s the crowd. It was absolutely wonderful. This is my first time here in Mexico with the U.S. team and that kind of crowd, I appreciate a lot. We knew there would be battles, a lot of one-v-one, and a technical Mexico team. So we needed to stay focused in defending and find the space outside their backs. We did a pretty good job at the end of the day.”

On if she wanted to score more goals against Mexico:
“I’m not caught up in counting goals. In order to stay focused and respect the opponents, we look at the next game. We did our homework and scouted Mexico, and after the 90 minutes, there were so many good things, both technical and tactical, from this team.”

On Abby Wambach scoring seconds after Mexico had tied the game:
“As you know, after you score, you are a bit vulnerable. It was good to take the lead going into halftime and it was good for Abby’s confidence as well, so it was a big goal.”

On coming through in front of such a big opposing crowd:
“It is very important…This is something we will remember and take to the next game. It’s easy to knock it around and keep possession when it’s not a big game. Today was a big game and I’m very happy with the way they kept possession.”

On Mexico’s improvement:
“I have not played against Mexico as the U.S. National Team coach before, this is my first time, but as the asst. coach for China, we played against Mexico half a year ago, and Mexico performed much better (today). I think they proved a lot.”

On the USA’s next opponent, Costa Rica:
“We watched Canada-Costa Rica just before our game. (Costa Rica) has some players that I think are very good. We have done our homework and we respect the way they play. We need to stay focused in defending and we also need to keep possession and find the rhythm, even though the game matters a lot. We have to have confidence to keep possession and penetrate at the right moment.”

U.S. forward Natasha Kai

On the win:
“It’s great for team. It gives us confidence going into our next match. The crowd was huge today. I don’t think I’ve ever played in front of a crowd like that, but I think it pumped us up too. It was a great crowd.”

On Abby Wambach scoring seconds after Mexico had tied the game:
“Abby’s goal played a big part in our confidence, it gave us a boost and that third goal put us at ease, but we needed more. Coming into the second half, we were really composed, we played as a team and it took all 11 of us going forward for the entire 90 minutes and getting back on defense.”

On if this was Mexico’s best team yet:
“For sure. They are an awesome team. They are so great individually. Playing them today, they were a whole new team from playing them in October. If they play (against Canada) how they played against us today they are going to give Canada a run for their money. I hope they do well. They have a chance.”

U.S. forward Abby Wambach

On her goal:
“The momentum started to shift for Mexico right after their goal and I knew that something had to be done right away in order to nullify that. I don’t even know how long it was, maybe less a minute, but it was huge for a team, a big up-lifting moment for us. It gave us the confidence to finish up the rest of the half and the rest of the game.”

“Up until that point in game, the momentum was kind of going both ways. We had a bit of the run, but I wasn’t getting as involved as I should have so I needed to take more responsibility and it came at a great time. Kate (Markgraf) just played a great ball over the top.”

On going into halftime with a 3-1 lead in front of the pro-Mexican crowd:
“To go into halftime 3-1 here in Mexico with the crowd as loud and as big as it was, what a great feeling. Pia was really proud of us and wanted us to keep up the good work and effort.”

On the second half:
“The second half really showed what kind of team this can be. We really tried to keep possession as much as we could. We tried to dictate the tempo of the game. We didn’t need many more goals, so we tried to keep possession a little bit more. A game like this does nothing but wonders for the younger players on this team as far as experience you gain from a game played in front of 22,000 people with your Olympics hopes on the line.”

On the crowd:
“This is as hostile as environment as you can get. You can’t replicate this.”

On if Mexico is playing as well as they ever have:
“I think they are. They’ve got the personality players that they’ve always had, but I think they work very well as a team together. I think (Mexico head coach) Leo (Cuellar) has done a great job getting them to play more soccer, but when it comes down to it, I think the best team won today.”

U.S. defender Rachel Buehler

On playing in front of 22,000 fans in her fifth cap:
“It was such an amazing experience. The crowd was phenomenal. It was so emotional and loud. It was awesome. I feel fortunate to get to play in a game like this. Everyone was cheering against, it was Mexico’s home field, but you kind of take that cheering and pretend it’s for you. You make it positive and go with it.”

U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly

On the match:
“Obviously with 22,000 people screaming against us, our strength as a unit really showed through. People on the field, people on the bench, people coming off the bench as substitutes, everybody just pulled together and that’s how we got the win today.”

On playing in front of packed stadium:
“For the conditions that we were under today, I think we were very composed and showed a lot of growth as team today. I’m really proud of this whole entire unit.”

On looking forward:
“We’ll celebrate this game. It’s worth celebrating. This was a great win for us. We’ll really enjoy this game, then we’ll regroup and focus on Costa Rica as that’s obviously a must win for us.”