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Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT 4, Norway 0


U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage
On the match:
“The first half was sort of a battle and the movement off the ball was not that good. We didn’t find the rhythm. At halftime, I talked to (center midfielders) Boxx and Carli and I think they started to run and get the movement of the ball going a little bit better. It’s hard to play against the U.S. You can keep up for 45 minutes, but after a while, because you have to run so much and stay so focused in defending, at the end of the day, so many times we look stronger at the end of the game.”

On what she learned from the match:
“We tried different things. We changed the formation late in the first half…So it was good for us to know the tactical stuff. Late in the game, we played a 3-4-3, and imagined we were one goal down, and we scored two goals. So it’s good for our confidence, so the next time we play Norway we know that we can beat them, and that’s an important feeling. At the same time, we know it’s the Olympics and you have to go from 0-0.”

On Angela Hucles’ 40-yard goal:
“I had a long talk with her today, and we were talking about her expectations of herself, and it should be that she is as a goal scorer. It was one of the most beautiful goals we have seen this year.”

On the defending:
“Impressive. If you look at the defenders, even when we played three in the back at the end of the game and played man-to-man, because they are fast at smart, they did a fantastic job. They were very sharp and comfortable with the ball.”

On what the team needs to do against Sweden to win that game:
“(We need to play) the way we defended today, especially at the end of the first half and second half, and bring our attacking personalities like we did in the second half. We need to have that in order to win against Sweden.”

U.S. forward Abby Wambach
On the match:
“What a great game for us to prepare for the Olympics. Obviously, Norway is in our group, so you can’t get better than that. Today, it was two great teams who play hard and play fair. We just tried a lot of things. We tried different formations and some things we don’t normally do in a game. Whether we were successful at it or not, it felt good to take risks.”

On the second half:
“It was a lot of fun. I think our team really takes it to the next level in the second half. Is it because of our fitness? Yes. It’s it because maybe we change formations a little? We get ideas from Pia about what to change and what not to change. Usually our first halves are more successful than our first, just beating down on teams in the second half. A lot teams can’t stay with our high intensity and our pace. So it always feels good to come away with a win in Norway, on someone else’s turf.”

U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd:
On the game:
“We are working at coming out and playing a good all-around soccer game. Hopefully, we’ll peak at the Olympics, but today was great.”

On the second half:
“Well, one of things Pia told us to do (at halftime) was run. We were getting the ball from the back line and unfortunately, we weren’t beating any players, so we had to make space and run. There were a few runs we made to open some other players so we’re trying to get the job done in the center of the park.”

U.S. defender Kate Markgraf:
On limiting Norway’s attacking chances:
“Norway’s strength is the counter attack. And the one way we absorbed it was dropping back really quickly, and the closer they got to shooting range, then we put a lot pressure on them. In the first half, we kind of didn’t put as much pressure on them as we would have liked, but in the second half we got better at trying to win the ball and trying to tackle and that was why were so effective.”

U.S. midfielder Angela Hucles
On her prodigious strike for the third goal:
“For a split second I thought I should shoot because the goalkeeper was back-peddling. Then for a split-second, I thought I shouldn’t. I just eliminated that thought and went for the chance. I took a touch and shot the ball and I couldn’t tell if it went in at first.”

On the goal:
“You pretty much don’t think about. It was one of those split-second decisions you make on the field. You hope your skill comes in a little bit and a little bit of luck. It was probably one of the most technical goals I’ve ever scored.”
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