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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT 2, Canada 1


U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage

On the match and the lightning delay:
“I feel like I am a player. I am exhausted and happy. Even though we started off playing very well before the rain, it was hard to get back, but the players did a fantastic job in the locker room and in coming back from giving up the goal that made it 1-1. It’s was a good win.”

On what she did in the locker room during the one hour and 39 minute delay:
“I had a plan, but I changed my mind because the players handled it very well. There was music in the locker room and happy smiles. They were ready to go. This team coached themselves in the locker room when it was raining outside. I am very proud of that.”

On why she didn’t bring Natasha Kai on until overtime:
“I thought we did well at forward with A-Rod because of her speed and with Angela Hucles. We switched Carli Lloyd to a more attacking role in hopes that she would get some more shots. With all due respect for Canada, which is a good team, we were thinking about extra time and that 30 minutes. We got 30 minutes out of Tash so I thought that was good timing.”

On if she thought her team should have hung back a bit more instead of going for a third goal:
“I think we did a little bit of both and with this young team, I think it’s healthy that they tried to score another goal. I am not opposed to that. I thought they did well.”

U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx

On the match and the lightning delay:
“I’m really proud of the team for the way we handled the rain delay. Canada is a great squad, and we’ve played them many times this year. We respect them a lot and have to come out every game and play tough, and battle, but also possess the ball. We did a great job with our possession and created a lot of chances.”

On what Natasha Kai brings to the team:
“Natasha brings so much energy and when she comes on the field, she brings an excitement and energy to our team. Her physical battle in the air is amazing and there she was finishing on a header.”

“I see how she is when she comes onto the field. When she’s waving to the crowd and getting the crowd going, that puts a smile on the faces of the people on the field who are already tired and it lifts us up.”

On her game-winning assist:
“Amy (Rodriguez) got it in the corner and just laid it back and I was wide open. I knew Natasha was in there, so if I could get that cross in behind the back four she could head it in.”

On working for more than 100 minutes to get a winning goal:
“All year this team has been great at dealing with pressure of being down a goal, or tied, or having a team come back. We’ve always fought for 90, 100, whatever it takes, minutes. I like the fact that we are creating the chances and having different people score goals. The next step is having people finish them.”

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo

On the match:
“It was one of those strange games because I didn’t have to do too much, especially in the first half. But suddenly Sinclair gets her great touch, her one shot, and that’s usually how Canada plays us. Not a lot to do, but when I have to do something, it’s usually you have to make a great save. But that said it was a hard game. Our defense was all over the place, going into tackles and going up for air balls. It was intense.”

On Natasha Kai’s role off the bench:
“I told Tash that we were going to need her big time in this tournament. I told her she would have to come on the field and that we would need goals from her. She came on and played awesome.”

U.S. defender Kate Markgraf

On the match:
“Canada is a great opponent. They came at us with numbers and they are very strong physically so we had to match their athleticism and their mentality and then be able to play our game. We don’t try to play that way. We’re not as good at it as them, so we have to keep the ball on the ground. We had a lot of great chances and Canada was a really good team, but that is what a quarterfinal is all about. ”

On how well the field at Shanghai Stadium absorbed the heavy rain:
“The field was beautifiul. It drained probably the best of any field I’ve ever played on. The rain was not a factor what-so-ever.”

On the match:
“It was a very difficult game. Anytime you get in a quarterfinal, it’s a gamble who is going to win. There are lucky bounces and sometimes the best team doesn’t win. Canada was a heck of a team tonight, and we had many chances, and didn’t finish them, and it kept them in the game.”

On it being over four hours from the opening whistle to the final whistle:
“It was a long time, but that’s what the Olympics are about. It’s never going to be easy.”

On moving on:
“There were so many players who stepped in the final 30 minutes and played really hard. We’re getting some momentum. We lost our first game, but we’ve played well ever since. Hopefully that momentum will carry on through to the semifinals.”

U.S. forward Natasha Kai

On her game-winning goal:
“The ball got played back to Shannon Boxx and I saw her ready to cross so I just made sure I got on the end of it.”

On coming off the bench:
“It doesn’t matter if I play 90 minutes or a minute, as long as I help the team. It takes all 18 players to be successful. I came in knowing I need to be that spark and help my teammates out and we came out with the win.”

On wearing a headband with the jersey numbers of three injured teammates:
“Four is for Cat Whitehill, 20 for Abby (Wambach) and 12 for Leslie Osborne. They got injured this year and they are a big part of our team. I just wanted to give them a shout so I got their numbers on my headband.”

U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly

On lightning delay:
“The way we looked at it was that we were starting the game all over again, 0-0. It might have played into Canada’s favor a little bit because we got that early goal, we were playing great soccer and they were definitely on their heels and then we had to come inside for such a long time.”

On the match and it being over four hours from whistle to whistle:
“Soccer is crazy sometimes, and this definitely is a new experience for us. I don’t think we’ve ever been at a game for this long. But if we can do this, we can do anything, right?”

On Natasha Kai:
“She’s just full of energy. She’s great starting a game, but maybe even better coming off the bench. She really gave us the lift that we needed and that goal was unbelievable.”

On the myriad of U.S. goal scorers:
“The cool thing about this Olympics so far is that we’ve had so many different goal scorers. I think that is what’s making us special right now. We’ve had six different goal scorers for seven goals, so that’s a pretty cool stat and that’s what’s making us so unpredictable.”

On the USA’s back line:
“We have to give a lot of credit to our defenders who played 120 tough minutes against a Canadian team that is constantly trying to get behind our back line. The amount of 50-yard sprints our backs made was amazing. Everybody did their part tonight.”

On if the team got down after creating so many chances:
“You’re going to keep getting your chances and statistics tell you that that more chances you get, your more likely to get one in. So you really can’t think those negative thoughts. That’s not going to do you any good when you’re out on the field so I think that collectively, we were very confident.”

U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd

On the match:
“Games like this are why you play. My legs were dead, everyone’s legs were tired, but you just have to push through it. It’s deal with this or go home. So we stayed behind each other and told each other to keep going and ended up with a victory.”

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