US SoccerUS Soccer

Quote Sheet: WNT 2, Italy 0

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage

On the match:
“The second half was better than the first half, but overall I think we controlled the game and it looked good for the most part.”

On Abby Wambach:
“You can see the more games we play, the better she becomes. She is a threat every time she gets the ball.”

On the back line, which featured two young players in Rachel Buehler and Stephanie Cox:
“We still stayed sharp and I have to say Kate Markgraf played three games in a row and is one of the best players defending…Christie Rampone didn’t play and still they couldn’t score so that is very good. Overall, I am very happy about the defending. That’s good to know because we can concentrate on the attack.”

On facing Canada in the championship game:
“It’s good to play Canada. They play almost like Norway (who the USA will play on July 2) in that they are physical and their formation, so that is good for us to work on different things. We haven’t decided on the starting lineup yet, but we may try a couple of new things and see how that works against Canada.”

On the feeling of playing in a Final:
“It’s hard to explain that certain feeling because it is now or never. And that’s the kind of feeling you are looking for if you are playing international soccer.”

U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd

On rebounding from two rough games:
“It’s been a bit of a rough tournament. The first game, I struggled a bit and came off mid-way through the first half. The second game, it was unfortunate, I just went up for a head ball like I usually do and came down on the girl’s head and broke my nose. There was a lot of blood coming out. It was quite an event. I’ve never broken my nose before. So in this game, I was faced with the hard task of wearing the mask, but it wasn’t too bad.”

On her cross to Wambach for the second goal:
“We’ve been going back and forth in practices working on set plays and she told me to just float it up there and she’ll get to it. So I’ve been working on the right pace of the ball. In this game, I took two corner kicks in the first half and she told me, just float it up there. The one she scored off of in the second half was a great finish by her.”

U.S. forward Abby Wambach

On the game as preparation for the Olympics:
“It was the third game in the span five days, so it was good to get some people some rest and get some people some experience. At this point, we’re just trying to take care of those few last details before we head to Beijing. We don’t have very many games left before that so it’s exciting.”

On the match:
“I’m proud of the team today. We played Italy back in the Algarve, and it’s just easy when you play a team recently to let your guard down a little bit, so I was proud that everyone came to play today and it was nice to get a couple goals.”

On her first goal:
“I kind of got around my defender and I heard Carli (Lloyd) coming in hard towards the 18 (yard line). She yelled ‘18!’ and I think her voice moved their back line up. Usually they just drop very low, but it kind of got them very aware of her so that opened a space for me to drive end line and I shot the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs.”

On her second goal:
“It was a really well struck corner. I think I am like six inches taller than every Italian so it was not that difficult of a goal to score, but it felt good.”

On the championship game against Canada:
“Tournament finals are different. Both of us are training and preparing for Beijing so I think maybe each coach will throw different things at the game. I don’t know what will happen, we’ll see what our side will do, but I do know that every time we play against Canada, which has been very frequent in the past few years, it’s always a battle. There’s only so many things that you can do and then the pride factor gets throw into the middle and the rivalry between Canada and us is pretty strong. We hope to just come out and play hard. We got some players some rest so hopefully they can come in for us and even jack the tempo a little bit more.”

U.S. defender Kate Markgraf

On the performance of the back line:
“We had Stephanie Cox on the left and Rachel Buehler playing in the middle, along with Heather Mitts, and later Lori Chalupny. I’m just so impressed with our defense. As the team gets older and the team matures, and new players come in, we don’t lose a beat. That’s a sign of our depth and the great coaching that our young kids are getting at an early age.”

On the championship game against Canada:
“They are a great team, and a team that tries to break up our rhythm. They are very direct so we have to be really good physically as well as get the ball on the ground and play our game. So it will be a good final.”

On playing three games in five days:
“It’s really tough, but when we get through these four games in eight days we are going to be ready for the Olympics, where we get two days rest (between games). I think it’s a really good preparation mentally and physically for our bodies and we’ll be ready to go for the Olympics where we get a little more (rest) time.”