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Post Game Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT vs. Japan


U.S. Head Coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On the match:
“If you look at the first 25 minutes I don’t think it was good soccer from our side. They kept possession and so forth. But, we stayed composed and we came back and the fact that we picked up the rhythm a little bit makes me happy. You don’t have to play beautiful soccer for 90 minutes but you need to be smart enough to find a way to play such good soccer so you can win the game. I think that we did that in the second half and late in the first half.”

On how the first goal changed the game:
“I think we struggled big time until we scored the first goal. Abby did great today and after a while we picked it up but the second half was so much better than the first half. I think it’s about the flanks. When we changed it a little bit in the second half I think it was better. We need more crosses. We have one of the best headers in the world in Abby Wambach so we need more crosses. That’s something we are going to stress after this game. “

On Abby Wambach’s goal:
“Just look at that goal. It was fantastic. Not only that, there were a couple of times that we played the ball to her she is a target and she just lays it off. It’s absolutely beautiful at times.”

On Ali Krieger’s service:
“It was flying. It was a great setup.“

On if she was happy with the match:
“Certain things. At halftime we talked about the ball played to the forward. We were too conservative; we didn’t step up and win that battle. That changed at halftime and I like that because that is something we will face against North Korea. Asian teams are very good defining that target, so we need to focus on that to do good defensively.”

On how much more time the team needs to prepare for the World Cup:
“We need a couple of more days together and when the game comes against North Korea on (June) 28th we’ll be ready. I am happy with what we are doing. Even though we didn’t have a chance to see Christie Rampone today for instance, this is a great team and they put it together regardless of what we are facing. I’m happy with our situation. “ 

On Hope Solo’s kicking game:
“One thing I stressed that we want to keep the ball on the back line instead of kicking it out of bounds. I hate that. We need to keep it and the fact that they are comfortable playing back to Hope that is a good thing.”

U.S. Forward ABBY WAMBACH
On scoring her 118th career goal:
“The last six to seven months have been tough. Obviously getting that goal gets the monkey off my back. I think (the monkey) was the size of the stadium. But that’s over with and obviously I’m glad that we got the win.”

On how long the team needs to be ready for the World Cup:
“How many days out are we? That’s how far we are from being ready. There’s been a specific plan put in place. Pia has done everything she has possibly been given the opportunity to do. It’s not easy being a coach dealing with the professional clubs and whatnot. I’m pretty confident that no matter what goes on from now until then we’re going to show up, the players who are 100 percent healthy are going to play and we are going to give it our best shot and I like our odds.”

On if the fact it’s been 12 years since the team won the WWC is a motivator:
“I think I speak for the rest of us when I say that we want to define this team. Obviously everyone knows the 1999 Women’s World Cup winning team. Christie Rampone is the only one on that team that is on this team. We want to prove ourselves. We want to show what they did to allow us to have the opportunities now that they didn’t have then. We want to show the world that this team is, in fact, great still and we still are capable of winning championships at the World Cup level.”

On the team’s 77-1-2 record when she scores:
"I didn’t even know that was a real stat. No real pressure, but I know that if we are scoring goals we are going to have a better chance of winning because we have such a great defense. Our back four is so solid. Obviously Christie Rampone didn’t play today because of an injury but Becky Sauerbrunn, she played so strong. She saved a breakaway chance for Japan coming in with the slide right at the end and obviously Hope is one of the best ‘keepers in the world if not the best keeper in the world. I like our chances when we score one goal.”

U.S. Goalkeeper HOPE SOLO
On her first 90 minutes with the U.S. Women since shoulder surgery:
“The great thing is that I have had three and a half games back now and not a lot of shots on me. But the thing I can take from this game is Japan possessed the ball, they had an attack, they had chances on us – not necessarily shots but through balls – and the great thing is I can go look at the video at my positioning my footwork and my form. And at the end of the day when you have all of that right you are going to make the save.  I’m OK that I didn’t have many shots on me.”

On the preparations with the World Cup roster:
“We’ve been training pretty hard. It’s the first official week with the 21-players but we had plenty of tough sessions back in Florida preparing for the World Cup so we’ve been doing this when nobody else was watching for years.”

On Abby scoring:
“I think Abby is back. She’s battled injury and fitness; she’s had a down year and would be the first to admit that. But she and I have gotten a lot closer because obviously I’ve been battling injuries as well and we learn a lot from it. It’s the fittest I’ve seen her and she, of all people, was struggling getting the balls out of the air, her timing, and she’s back and you see her wining every ball in the air and she’s going to be huge for us in Germany.”

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