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U.S. WNT vs. Russia: Post-Match Quotes - Feb. 13, 2014

WNT vs. Russia: Post-Match Quote Sheet
International Friendly
Feb. 13, 2014

U.S. WNT head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the one-day weather delay impacting the first half of the game:
“That was noticeable in the first half. We looked a little bit rusty. Give credit to Russia, they’d obviously done their homework from the last game and in the first half made it difficult for us. The game was quite tight. The difference in the second half was we got two early goals. As soon as we got the two goals, that basically opened up the game and sort of finished the game from the standpoint of Russia probably being able to get back into the game. After that, we got into a stride, the space opened up a bit more and we started to create a few chances. It took us a little bit to get going tonight, which is to be expected, and credit to Russia for making it difficult for 55 minutes out there.”

On what was said at halftime:
“We talked about a couple little things at halftime. We felt we could have stretched the Russians a little bit more and looked to try to play in behind them. We started to do that in the second half. What helped us is getting those two early goals. That really made the difference. If it was still 1-0 after 60 minutes it would have been a tight game, but as soon as we scored [in the second half] that changed the game.”

On six different players scoring goals in the match:
“That’s fantastic. On any team, you want players to score goals and even if you look at last year, we had multiple players scoring multiple goals. It’s great when you have a team that scores goals because that’s how you win games. We’re very fortunate that not even from just midfield, but our defenders are able to get forward and score goals. That’s a big asset for us.”

On how the matches against Russia will prepare the team for the Algarve Cup:
“Any game we play prepares us for Portugal because it’s really important to get some match practice under our belt. I think what we’ve seen now after being together for 17, 18 days is some good practice sessions and more importantly three international matches. You put all that together and I think it gives us pretty solid preparation heading into the Algarve Cup.”

On the fan support in Atlanta:
“With the game being called off last night due to the weather and all those factors, it’s obviously going to be quite cold for people going home, so it’s phenomenal that people come out and support this team. We really appreciate that support right throughout the team, the players, the staff; everybody appreciates the support we get.”

On the approach the team took to the game and if it was different from the first match with Russia:
“For me personally, I was real excited because it was going to be my first start as a mom, my first game back in almost over a year. So, I was excited to go out there and play. Against Russia, we had a big win last week and we were hoping for another big win tonight, which we had. We were working on a few things that we wanted to improved, and I think we saw those tonight. I’m really happy with the result and really happy with the way we played tonight.”

On the variety of goals scored and how it will help throughout the year:
“I would say a lot of our goals tonight came off of crosses and that’s something that we really wanted to focus on coming into tonight’s game. The one thing I’ll say about this team is that we are so dynamic; we are able to score in so many ways. Tonight we saw a lot of crosses and a lot of goals that way, but we also saw a lot of other goals and it’s just exciting to put a lot of balls in the back of the net and see that big number on the scoreboard.”

On what she is looking forward to after to big wins:
“I am looking forward to Portugal. The roster has not been named yet, so I’m not sure if I’m going. Hopefully I’m on that roster. Hopefully we can get a couple really good games in. I know we have a very difficult group ahead of us. It’ll be great practice for us to be playing against those good teams that hopefully prepares us for the World Cup qualifiers this year. “

On the support of the crowd in Atlanta:
“I would say that tonight was a good night to come. Last night would have been not as fun, and I’m so happy that the fans got to enjoy tonight’s game. Through the weather they came, and we’re very grateful for that.”

On making her first start since returning from injury:
“It was amazing. I’m so happy to be back. To be able to play my first game in Georgia in front of my family and friends is amazing. It’s been a long road and I’m just really happy right now. My parents got a hotel up in Atlanta, so I wasn’t stranded up here alone. I got to hang out with them Tuesday and Wednesday night. My whole family was there, so it worked out perfectly actually.”

On how her ankle felt:
“It was good. The game plan was 30 minutes and I got through that, felt really good, felt confidant, and felt comfortable. It was just nice to be able to put on the jersey and play in a real game.”

On what’s next for her:
“We’re taking about 10 days off, then the group is getting back together to head over to Portugal for the Algarve Cup during the end of February into the beginning of March. That’s our next big thing.”

On where the team can improve after two strong results:
“This last year was about bringing a lot of different players in and getting a lot of different looks and giving people a chance to show what they have in games. Tom’s given a lot of people their first caps and it’s awesome. He basically said 2014 is about performance and results. That’s what we’re looking at next. Making sure our performance on the field is always up to par and that we’re also getting the result regardless of how we’re playing.”

On what was said at halftime:
“[Coach Sermainni said] That we need to get in behind them more and also find the space in front of the backline, which we kind of struggled to do. In the second half we definitely found that and it helped.”

On preparing for the Algarve Cup in Portugal:
“I think we have some much depth on the bench. We’re able to switch people in and out and not really miss a beat. It’s great. It keeps everything competitive, definitely in training. It’s been a good ride.”

On her goals coming into tonight’s game:
“We knew they were going to look at the film to see what we did to score seven goals on them and they kind of got us for the first 45 minutes. In the second we broke through, but I think we wanted to keep in stride and try to beat 7-0.”

On good teams not only scoring but making their opponent’s falter:
“Eventually that’s what happens. Even in the 0-0 game against Canada, we found that goal in the last 10 minutes. I think that’s a big thing for the U.S. Women’s National Team is that we’re a 90, a 100-and-however-many-minutes team. We’ve shown that time and time again.”