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Quote Sheet: Players and Coaches Reaction To Olympic Draw

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage at the Olympic Draw in Beijing

On the Draw:
“I’m very excited about the challenge of the draw overall. Group F is certainly the strongest of the three groups, but our group will be very good as well. We will play three very different teams with very different styles of play, which will test our ability to adapt in a world championship tournament with just a few days rest between games.”

On the run up to the Olympics:
“It is good to know who we will be facing in the Olympics, but now we must focus on the next game, which is Australia in North Carolina. We have many games before the Olympics and many things to work on, but the preparation schedule is excellent."

On coaching in her first world championship tournament with the United States:
“This is a very unique moment in that a Swede will be helping represent the U.S. in an Olympic tournament. I am very excited about both the U.S. team and the Swedish team and I guess it turned out well that Sweden is not in our bracket!”

On Norway:
“We know that Norway is a very strong team, that they are very well organized and very focused on transition. When you play Norway, it is very much a game of transition and we will need to be very patient and find the right moments in our attacking. They are also very good with set plays so we will need to be sharp in our defending in that area as well.”

On Japan:
“Japan is a very technical team and every player is very comfortable with the ball. We will need to be well organized on defense playing against Japan as they like to move the ball around quickly. They have very high expectations and their goal will be to win a medal. They have great fighting spirit and all of their players are fast and quick.”

On New Zealand:
“New Zealand is an up-and-coming team, a very interesting team and one that has improved a lot with the new head coach. We will need to be on top of our game in order to overcome their enthusiasm. They have played in the World Cup and have some international tournament experience so we respect their willingness to work very hard all over the field and we appreciate their excitement of playing in an Olympics.”

U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd

On the Draw:
“I think it’s all very exciting. We’ve played Norway, Japan and New Zealand pretty recently so it’s good to have some familiarity with the teams we will be facing. But overall, it’s not as important to focus on the other teams as much as focusing on ourselves and how we can win these games.”

On the next four months before the Olympics:
“We need to continue to come together as a team. We need to keep working on the attacking side things as far as what Pia is trying to get us to do, building from the back, keep possession and dictate tempo. These next few months are going to be pretty tough and tiring as we keep building our fitness, and hopefully when we get to China we will be peaking.”

On Norway:
“I’ve played against Norway a few times now. They are physically strong and it’s always a good battle and a very tough game. Japan is a fun team for the fans to watch as they are very technically sound, and New Zealand is big, strong and committed to every tackle.”

U.S. defender Lori Chalupny

On the draw:
“It’s exciting to know our path in the Olympics, but every team that qualifies for the Olympics is there for a reason. They all have qualities that make them the best in their regions and we know they will bring those qualities to the Olympics. Our goal is to make sure we also show our best in those games.”

On Norway:
“We’ve played Norway a few times recently. They always give us an exciting challenge. They are very physical and athletic and great in the air. They have some very good midfielders and have some hard-working and opportunistic goal scorers.”

On Japan:
“They are amazingly quick and skillful. It’s going to take good team defending to be able to slow them down and break up their possession.”

On New Zealand:
“New Zealand was in the (2007) World Cup and I watched some of their games. I was impressed by the way they gave some top teams a run and I'm sure they will be even better this fall in China.”