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Reactions after the U.S. WNT Opens 2011 World Cup with 2-0 Win


U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage
On the match:
“It feels great to have been playing the first 45 minutes, do some changes at halftime and come out even stronger than the first half against a very strong team in North Korea. I’m very happy with the way we scored the goals but not only that, the way we played, being so sharp defending. It’s a good start to the World Cup.”

On the pressure in the first half from Korea DPR:
“I watched North Korea a couple of times so I knew we’d done our homework and knew they were a good team. They are good on the ball, technical and not only that, they read the game very well. We made some changes because I think they were fairly successful along the flank…I was not surprised because every team that qualified for the World Cup is a good team.”

On how she feels after winning their first match:
“In the 2008 Olympics that start was tough because we lost to Norway 2-0. Today, we won 2-0. It’s been a bumpy road to get to the World Cup, but today I think we showed that we are ready. I want to stress how important it is to look at the next game. I really enjoyed this game and we’ll prepare for Colombia.”

U.S. Forward Lauren Cheney
On why it seemed the team played better in the second half:
“I think in the first half we started strong and we were trying to figure it out. In the second half we came out and played well. We got the ball moving, we attacked the flanks a little bit more and I think we did a good job.”

On if she got frustrated by having chances but not scoring earlier in the match:
“I wasn’t frustrated. Obviously, you don’t mean to hit the ball to the ‘keeper, but I knew that if I kept going eventually I would get one.”

On what it means to her to score the first goal of the tournament for the USA:
“I think it wouldn’t have mattered who scored as long as we won. It’s obviously a great feeling scoring goals and that’s why I play forward or outside midfield because I love to attack.”

U.S. Defender Rachel Buehler
On the match:
“It was a really great game for us. We fought really hard and came out with a really good mentality. We were able to improve in the second half and get some good goals and hopefully we’ll be able to build some confidence from this win.”

On winning their first match:
“I think the bumps in the road were good for us, they helped us improve, build on things and tighten up weaknesses. This game was really great for us. We came out very unified and played with a lot of heart. I think it’s a great building point and I’m excited to keep building throughout the tournament.”

U.S. Forward Abby Wambach
On the tournament and atmosphere so far:
“I would just like to say thank you to Dresden and the German Federation for putting on such a spectacular event. I know it’s going to get even better. The fans all came out cheering loud and were educated about the game. Obviously, coming out with three points from this game was big for us and much different than the way we felt in ’07. I know for me it gives us confidence. We have a tough game against Colombia and Sweden ahead so we want to prepare for those games. All in all I think (WWCOC President) Steffi Jones and all of the people who have been working on this World Cup have done a very great job. My hat is off to Steffi.”

On how she feels after winning the first match:
“When it comes to World Cup environments, world championship environments, I know that this team shows up to play. We have so many experienced players that run down the middle of our team, our starting lineup, that I believe we have the edge on some of these teams. North Korea is a fairly young team, and Colombia is a fairly young team so there are going to be nerves involved. I think when you look at all of the games, we want to be the experienced team, we want this environment. This is what we create all the time. Obviously, you want to focus the bumps in the road that we had to get here, but it doesn’t matter what happened in the past. Right now, it’s all about what happens in this tournament and that’s what our mind is set on.”

On Lauren Cheney getting the opening goal:
“When Lauren [Cheney] scored that goal it’s kind of the monkey off the back in terms of every team wants to get that first goal of the World Cup behind them. Lauren puts away a fantastic header. I know for me it gave me so much more confidence going into the rest of that second half and it did feel like we were just ready to get that next goal. I’m really proud of Cheney. She has had an interesting road to get to this point. She gets put into the starting lineup last minute, comes in and scores the first goal of this tournament. It just goes to show you the kind of confidence this team has from top to bottom. It doesn’t matter who is starting. We believe we can win this tournament and it’s not going to just be the 11 that are on the field, it’s going to be everybody.”

U.S. Goalkeeper Hope Solo
On playing in the opening match of a World Cup:
“I was so nervous for the first game, but it was really nerves back at the hotel. Once we arrived to the stadium and started warming up, it just felt normal, it felt right, it felt like I was supposed to be here. It was an amazing feeling.”

On the Korea DPR goalkeeper:
“I think the North Korean goalkeeper played a great game tonight. She had some crucial saves for her team that kept the game close.”

U.S. Midfielder Carli Lloyd
On the performance of the team:
“We stepped out on field today confident, we went at them, we created chances and we finished two great goals. Everybody was on and working hard, covering for each other. It was a good feeling and I hope we continue to build off of it.”

On what they need to do to prepare for Colombia:
“It’s definitely important for us to take care of our bodies. A lot of us jumped in the ice baths after the game and we’ll do another ice bath tomorrow. There are some knocks and our legs are going to be a little bit tired so we just need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to get ready for that next game. It does go fast and we’re traveling tomorrow, but we’ll be good to go and look to build off of today.”

On the atmosphere in the stadium:
“This is probably one of the best atmospheres that I’ve played in. It was just unbelievable. The fans were really close and there were lots of American flags in the stands. It was really fun to be involved in and Germany is doing a great job of hosting.”


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