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Pre-Match Quotes: U.S. WNT Ready to Face Korea DPR in FIFA Women's World Cup


U.S. head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On the USA’s stay in Dresden so far:
“The experience in Dresden has been fantastic. We are happy with all the practices, the stay at the hotel and everything is going smoothly so far. It’s all very exciting. All the coaches went to Berlin the other day to get a taste of what it is to coach in the World Cup 2011. It’s phenomenal.”

On Korea DPR:
“I’ve seen them a couple of times. I saw their World Cup qualification last year and a couple of DVDs. The last time I saw them they played against Germany and lost 2-0. This is a good team. I would say they are a typical Asian team in that they knock the ball around and are very comfortable with the ball. I think if you study North Korea very carefully I think you will see the future of the women’s game. By saying that, I mean between the boxes, because they read the game very well and their speed of play is pretty good.”

On what her team needs to focus on going into the match:
“Going into the game tomorrow, we need to deal with their technical ability, we need to be patient and smart and make sure we can get some crosses into the box and be sharp (defensively) in our own box.”

On if the USA is a favorite to win the tournament:
“The team we have is a fantastic team. If you look back, the States have been very successful and it is good to go into a tournament with experienced players. But we are not talking about the gold, we are talking about the next game. I truly believe that it is important to enjoy the journey and don’t take anything for granted. We are prepared for North Korea. If we can just always win the next game, then we will win the final.”

On the talents of Korea DPR and the match:
“It’s a young team and they have been successful with the U-20s. They have good speed of play and are very comfortable with the ball so for us it’s important not to dive in and be patient in our defending, but at the same time, when we gain the ball, it’s a decision of whether you take the space or knock it around and keep possession.”

On the growth of women’s soccer:
“It’s just fantastic. In 1991, I was in China playing as a sweeper. And what I see, what I saw yesterday, is recognition for women’s soccer. We have so many teams competing for the gold medal, we have quality teams and the best part of women’s soccer nowadays is that everything is happening so fast…it’s not only technique and speed of play, it’s reading the game as well. It’s really fun to be part of women’s soccer right now.”

U.S. goalkeeper HOPE SOLO

On the final preparations for the opening match of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup:
“We thought coming to the Stadium and having our last 45 minute stadium session was going to really excite us. It did, but when we stepped foot on the field we realized we were as prepared as we can be. We want to get back to the hotel, get back to our rooms, get a good meal and get a good night's sleep and wake up and start this tournament. This session was to see the beautiful field and the beautiful stadium. We'll show up ready to play tomorrow.”

On the game against North Korea:
“We're first and foremost looking to play our game against North Korea. Our game means being smart, connecting passes through the midfield and since they're a high- pressure team, going long when the game calls for it. With that said North Korea is very good at connecting passes and they are fit, in shape, and speedy. We have to be organized all the time and we have to have defensive shape and even our forwards will have to defend.”

U.S. defender AMY LEPEILBET
On training in Dresden and the final session in the stadium:
“It's amazing to be out here. This is an amazing stadium and it's finally hit me that we're here. The world cup has started and the big game is tomorrow. We've done all we could to prepare each and every day. I think we're ready to perform.”

On the game against North Korea:
“We've watched some good footage and they're a talented team. They're a young team that likes to play things on the floor. They like to play quick through the midfield and look to the forwards running in behind us. We're prepared and ready and If we can close them down in the midfield we'll be good to go. We know they also take risks because they're so technical. If we can pressure and win the ball in good spots it will help us in our own attacking.”



U.S. defender ALI KRIEGER
On hard work paying off on the eve of a World Cup:
"This is a dream come true. You work so hard in your life - I've been playing the last 20 years - and to play at the highest level is amazing. To play with these teammates and these girls is an extra bonus. They make you play at your best every day. I'm having the best time already and it's only been 3 or 4 days since we've been here preparing for this game. It can only get better.”

On her return to Germany:
“It's amazing. Right when I got off the flight and I got in the airport I felt like I was home. It was a really enjoyable feeling and I was really happy. I'm excited to be back, speak German and see my friends and family.”

On the possibility of taking the field at the FIFA Women's World Cup:
“I think I'm definitely going to be nervous for the first five minutes. You want to get confidence and touches on the ball and everybody feels like that. For me it's my first World Cup and you want to be successful and you want to win.”

On the large crowd expected in Dresden:
“You don't get to play in front of 30,000 people every day and my expectations are really high for such a great atmosphere.It's going to be really amazing, exciting and new. Right when we get out there for warmups it's going to all sink in. I'm sure it will be an amazing feeling that we've finally gotten here and finally reached this point.”

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