US SoccerUS Soccer
Lauren Cheney

Quote Sheet: USA 1, Mexico 0


Head coach PIA SUNDHAGE

On in there was some frustration until finally getting the goal:
“I think the road to the World Cup has been bumpy. In a perfect world we should have scored a couple of goals today but my glass is half full. When you look at the game, it was an excellent game because we played well and we created chances and it was a player coming off the bench, Lauren Cheney, who made the difference. That tells us how important every single player is on this team.”

On the status of Heather Mitts, who was questionable for the final WWC roster during the past few weeks due to a lingering hamstring injury:
“Yeah, Heather played 45 minutes today and she is going to the World Cup.”

On the positives of the game today:
“Well, Shannon Boxx and Carli Lloyd stepped up big time today and I think that both of them played well the first 45 minutes. It is so important that those two work well together with the two center backs. Also, we saved Shannon Boxx’s legs. We took her out and gave Lori (Lindsey) a couple of minutes. That will probably be the one (substitution) that we are going to do in the World Cup because hopefully we will play many games in the World Cup and we need the players coming off the bench.”

On if there is a concern that the USA team scored just once on 34 shots:
“One thing that we could do better is the quality of the crosses. We had a couple of opportunities and even though they were half chances, coming from crosses, it is an area we will continue to work on. I have to say that it is good that it was a long range shot because that adds another dimension to our attack. I’m not concerned, I am happy for the fact that we scored that kind of goal, we scored it late and still we created a lot of chances.”

On singing her several line rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark during the team’s post-game WWC send-off ceremony:
“I think that soccer is all about feelings and rhythm and that reminds me a little bit of Bruce Springsteen and some music. I thought it was a pretty good idea to sing a little bit of his song going to the World Cup.”

Forward and goal scorer LAUREN CHENEY

On the goal:
“Actually, I was looking in behind for Alex (Morgan) or Abby (Wambach) but their backline had dropped so far that I just picked my head up and took a shot.”

On if the team talks about taking shots from further out:
“I think we were successful with crosses in the game, we were getting into the box, we were getting in line and we were getting chances inside the six. I think we were just forcing it and I don’t think the goalie was expecting a shot from that far out.”

On if there was a sense of frustration before the goal:
“I don’t know if it was necessarily frustration but there was definitely a lot of energy on the field. When I came on, I could tell that everybody was anxious to get a goal and when you are knocking on the door that long it does get a little frustrating but also a little exciting knowing you can get one.”

On where she was when the USWNT won the World Cup in 1999:
“I was in Indiana but I went to Chicago to watch the World Cup. I’m very excited. I’m so excited to go to Germany and I think we have a great team and a great shot to win this thing.”

Defender CHRISTIE RAMPONE

On honoring Kristine Lilly before the match:
“She’s just an exceptional player and person. She’s someone I looked up to when I first got in the team. To be able to present her with those flowers was an honor for me. She’s paved the way for me. I just hope to help lead these girls on to all the great experience she gave me. Hopefully we can bring one home for her.”

On what can the upcoming World Cup do for women’s soccer:
“I think it can still elevate women’s soccer. I think we’re at a little bit of a standstill. (The 1999 World Cup) was such an amazing time and I think America was ready to embrace the team. Now it’s about growing the sport and getting more sponsors on board. Getting more people to our games and to our WPS games, and a good showing at the World Cup will help that.”

On what she likes about this current team:
“The different personalities that we have and the different flair. I think we have a good mix of experienced players as well as young players that bring great energy. Everyone has that passion for the game, which is just great. I think we bring out the best in each other. We went through some rough times with this team, which we haven’t really experienced with the U.S. team, so I think that’s going to help going into this tournament.”

On Pia Sundhage’s guidance:
“She just brings a great balance. She loves the sport of soccer. She brings great passion and great energy. But at the same time there’s that balance of having fun and enjoying our time. We spend a ton of time on the field, in meetings, there’s a lot of serious time. She definitely brings that balance for us.”

Forward AMY RODRIGUEZ

On the match:
“Was it frustrating? No. I look back and I should have put some of those away earlier than the [92nd] minute that we scored but at the end of the day this game was important to us as a team.”

On building towards the WWC:
“I think that right now were still working and building towards being 100 percent when we get to the World Cup. Experiencing missed shots or bad plays, we need to do that now. Because come June 28, we don’t want to be doing that any more.”

On if the last game against Mexico during Women’s World Cup Qualifying was on the players’ minds:
“Yes, but I think the focus on tonight’s game was us. It wasn’t on the past, it wasn’t on our last game against them, but that was in the back of my mind. We left Mexico with a bad taste in our mouth in that we lost to them and ended up getting third place in CONCACAF. Tonight was important for that reason, but more importantly for the preparation for the World Cup.”

On if the team would have been satisfied with a tie:
“I don’t think that’s our team atmosphere. Pia’s always said that we are a better team for 90 minutes than any other team and I think we proved that tonight.  A lot of teams can hang with us in the beginning. But because of our fitness and our relentlessness, we’re dedicated and we don’t give up, that’s why were able to score in the 92nd minute and come away with a win. It’s really exciting and it’s also very uplifting and is a big confidence booster.”

 


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