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Carli Lloyd

U.S. Women's National Team vs. Japan Quote Sheet

U.S. WNT vs. Japan
2012 Olympic Games - Final
Wembley Stadium; London, England
Aug. 9, 2012

U.S. Women's National Team head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On her overall feelings:
“Unbelievable. There are no words. I can’t even try to do it in Swedish. This is just unbelievable. Winning a gold (medal) at Wembley is phenomenal. The thing with Carli Lloyd is we didn’t have her in the starting lineup before the Olympics. She has proven that I was wrong. Today, I think she was one of the best players.” 

On Hope Solo's performance in goal:

“She played very well and helped us big time when we struggled a little bit in defending. I think Japan played very well, but give credit to our defending and give credit for the way we counterattacked.”

On Carli Lloyd stepping up in big games:
“I'm so proud of her because she played so many games and all of a sudden I thought she wasn't good enough. Then she just comes back and helps the team tremendously and she proved that I was wrong. I love that.”

U.S. forward ALEX MORGAN
On the match:
“It was amazing. Our team just battled through to the end and we finished it off strong. We're just so happy right now, we just want to celebrate and enjoy the rest of the time we have together.”

On the overall tournament experience:
“It was such a journey. It was so emotional. It was up-and-down and we all did it together. We were such a unit and we leaned on each other when we needed to. We ended up on top and I'm so happy. We're the best in the world right now.”

On Abby Wambach's performance through the tournament:
“Abby has just been so great for this team. In this tournament she has contributed in every game. She had a goal in almost every game. She's just been huge for me and this team. I'm really happy she's with us on this medal stand with a gold medal.”

U.S. midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On her performances in big Olympic matches:
“Coming in, I was coming off the bench and I didn't know what to expect. I prepared harder than anyone. I don't think there is anyone who trains harder than I do. I was ready for the moment and I took it game-by-game. I focused and I kept on it every single day. Hard work pays off.”

On restoring head coach Pia Sundhage's confidence in her play:
“When someone tells me I can't do something, I'm going to prove them wrong. That's what a champion is all about and that's what I am - a champion. I fought harder, dug deeper and I wanted to make all those doubters out there wrong and that's what I did.”

On how the loss against Japan has driven the U.S. team:
“If you look at the last World Cup final, it was a tough game into overtime and a penalty shootout. We played Japan a lot this year so we knew what to expect. We just gained a bit of confidence knowing that we can beat them. Hope (Solo) had some brilliant saves, everyone fought hard and I was lucky enough to get two goals. Everything came together and fell into place. We weren’t going to No one can stop this team.”

On the goals she scored:
“I was happy to have my attacking role back today since Boxy was in. I knew that I just had to get in the box. I saw Alex, and I just ran for the ball. I passed Abby – I don’t even know how close she was to me – but I was just going for it. The second one I was doing what I do best is taking the space and dribbling at players. I kept dribbling and didn’t think about and just unleashed the shot and saw it go in.”

On the feeling of winning a gold medal:
“This was a year's worth of work and the sacrifices all of us have had to make for our friends and families, for the players that didn't make the roster, this goes out to all of our fans that cheered us on last summer and were equally as heartbroken as we were. This year has been trials and tribulations, we lost to Japan a few times, and this win feels like everything has come full circle. I'm so proud of this team for never giving up. It was a team effort for this entire tournament and it shows what it takes to win championships -- it's teamwork and loyalty and trusting in each other.”

On what the win does to the memories of losing in the 2011 World Cup:
“It makes everything sweeter. I can rest assured that the rest of my life won't be spent in nightmare status. I'm not going to be upset for the rest of my life. We put so much of ourselves in this. We sacrificed our families and friends. This means everything to us. It seems surreal in the moment. We really want to say thank you to all of our fans for cheering us on and being a part of this.”

On how the team responded after Japan’s goal:
“It all happened so fast. We conceded the goal, and of course it creeps in your brain ‘Oh my god, is this really going to happen? Are they going to come back and tie this up?’ We fought. We dug deep.  We were screaming at each other that we cannot let them back in this game. Hope and Carli had fantastic games today. Obviously Carli with two goals, but you can’t go without saying that Hope saved the day literally five times. I’m so proud of us; the resilience of this team for never giving up and always believing in ourselves even when the score line said otherwise. This is what the Olympics is all about. It was two great teams that faced off against each other today that have mutual love and respect for each other, and sometimes the ball bounces your way and today that was the case for us.”

On the team’s gritty performance:
“We knew that it was going to be that way, especially after having 120 minutes in our legs after the last game. We knew in the last 15 or 20 minutes they were going to do whatever they can to get the equalizing goal. At that point I just kept pounding my chest going “Guys, this is only about heart. We’re all tired. All 22 players on the field are tired. It’s about who wants it more. Right here. Right now.” Today we proved that we did.”

On what this win means for her after last year’s disappointment in the World Cup:
“We all know I broke my leg in 2008 and this team went on to win gold. That was obviously very hard for me. It’s been eight years since I’ve been a champion of the world. Yes my team won, but I wasn’t a part of it so that’s a totally different feel. We can so close to winning a World Cup, which I’ve not yet done. That in and of itself was devastating, but I knew that if we put our energy and our belief in each into this year we could pull of something special. And we did.”

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On the team's effort:
“I think it just took everyone. Carli (Lloyd) not even starting and comes back with a killer performance, Hope (Solo) was on fire tonight and I think (Shannon) Boxx, she was probably our player of the game. It was such a team effort.”

On erasing the feeling of the loss in the 2011 World Cup:
“It still hurts a little bit, but there's no pain when you have a gold medal around your neck. This is unbelievable. This reverses the nightmare and now this is just such a beautiful dream.”

On the medal ceremony:
“It was crazy. We came back out and everybody was still here, I don't think a soul had left the building. It was electric in here all night really.”

On her emotions after the game:
“I was just super happy, and then I looked up and saw my family and I just lost it. I’m sure I’ll lose it again when I see them.”

U.S. goalkeeper HOPE SOLO
On the match:
“I have to be patient as a goalkeeper and I have to let the game come to me. I haven't been tested too much in this tournament, there were some awkward goals against Canada in the semifinal. There was going to be one game in the tournament where I had to show up and play and I hadn't had it in five games straight. You can't win a major tournament without good goalkeeping and today you saw good goalkeeping from not just myself but from the Japanese goalkeeper. I'm so proud that women's goalkeeping has come this far.”

On Carli Lloyd being well suited in big moments:
“It's not just the skill on the ball and the physical aspect of the game, but she's got what it takes. It doesn't matter what she goes through. She's mentally strong and that's what I admire most about Carli. Nobody can affect her play, not being benched, she'll come back on the field and make plays. She's just a winner. She's a veteran on this team and she'll find a way to win.”

On the tournament:
“It truly felt like it was a team effort and everybody participated. This team is special and things don't always pan out the way you predict, but we went 6-0 and that shows how special this team really is.”