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U.S. WNT vs. Iceland Post-Game Quotes

U.S. WNT vs. Iceland
Municipal Stadium; Albufeira, Portugal
March 6, 2013

U.S. head coach TOM SERMANNI
On making just one sub during the match:
“We should make some changes for the second game. We have a lot of fresh players so we should be able to increase or at least maintain the tempo we can play at.”

On the match:
“I was happy with the win and I was relatively happy with the second half performance, but it took us 45 minutes to get going. I thought in the first half, we were a little bit slow, a little bit sloppy and untidy. In the second half, we played a tempo that suits us better, moved the ball a lot better and put the Icelandic team under more pressure so that was better. It was a game of two halves.”

On the performance of Crystal Dunn, who made her first career start:
“She did fantastic. Crystal played the full 90 minutes and she was still full of running near the end. She was aggressive in how she played, she was up and down the field throughout the game and played exceptionally well.”

On getting a shutout:
“I’m happy with the clean sheet. It was of aims before we came into the game and the tournament. We wanted to make sure we didn’t give away any easy goals so it was good to come out of the game with no goals against.”

On scoring just her fourth career goal, in her 100th cap, while wearing the captain’s armband:
“Today was an incredible game for me. It’s sort of coming full circle here in the Algarve for me as I got my first cap here and my 100th cap here. Wearing this jersey is always such an honor and I value every moment of that, but to wear the captain’s armband makes it even more special. And then to get a goal on top of it! Usually we hit the corner kicks back post, but it came right to my head and I was ready and it was probably the best goal I’ve had. Well, maybe the Korea goal (in the 2011 Women’s World Cup), but it was an awesome goal so I’m pretty excited about it!”

On the USA getting its first shutout of 2013:
“It was great for us to get the clean sheet. We were tight back there and they didn’t get too many opportunities. In this tournament there are so many good teams and goal difference is really important so I’m happy we were able to come through with no goals against.”

On right back Crystal Dunn, the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy winner at North Carolina, who made her first career start and earned her second cap:
“Crystal did great. She’s a dynamic outside back, she gets up and down the flank really well, she’s hard and tough and really athletic. It’s great to see such a young player doing so well.”

On the match:
“It wasn’t our best soccer game of all time. Against China, hopefully we can play some better soccer, connect some more passes and get some better rhythm.”

U.S. goalkeeper JILL LOYDEN
On making her third start and getting the shutout:
“Anytime you can play and get on the field and get some minutes, it’s a great opportunity to have fun and smile out there and I get to play behind some awesome teammates. We had fun out there and it showed. We got the shutout.”

On the U.S. defense:
“When I really don’t have to do too much, that’s always a great game for us. Credit to the defense for doing their job and making my life easy.”

On the USA having a much better performance in the second half:
“The second half was a lot better. We got the rust off and started knocking some passes. We were looking good and playing some sexy soccer.”

On her goal:
“I’ll actually say that I got the assist on Alex’s goal. She did all the hard work. As a forward, those kinds of goals come very infrequently, so I’ll take it, but at the end of the day, Alex did all the work. Hard defending and getting the ball across the front of the box and it was a simple goal for anyone to finish.”

On moving to within four goals of tying Mia Hamm’s world all-time scoring record:
“Right now, my thoughts are not about that. It’s about the Algarve Cup and getting the wins we need to get to the Final. This isn’t an easy tournament to win. There are great teams in this tournament, and if the goals come from me, or Alex, or Boxxy or Buehler, so be it. As long as we are on the right side of the scoreboard with the amount of goals that we need to with that game, that’s the most important part.”

On the slow start in the first half:
“We started off slow. There weren’t one or even two reasons for it, but in the end, often times we get in the locker room and sort things out. We really needed to get our outside backs into the attacking third and that really did sort out a lot of the lethargy we felt in the first half.”

On Rachel Buehler scoring in her 100th cap:
“I am so thrilled for Buehler to get a goal in her 100th cap. It’s a big deal for any defender to get a goal and for her to do it in her 100th cap is really special.”

On how winning the FIFA World Player of the Year has changed things:
“Whenever you are awarded such an honor, you want to represent it in the right way. The only way we can keep women’s football moving forward is to come back stronger and better. We’ve had a long four years, so I definitely took a break. Getting back into the swing of things is a bit more difficult as an older player, but I am optimistic about the way our team is playing. Yeah, we didn’t play as well in the first half, but the fact that we can recover and still make a go of it in the second half says a lot about who we are as a team and shows a lot to the younger players about the expectations of what this team is about.”

On the USA’s greatest strength:
“Our mentality. No matter what the circumstances are, no matter who our opponent is, it’s our belief that we will go out and play the best soccer we possibly can. It doesn’t mean we are going to be flawless, we are going to make mistakes, but I think our team knows how to win games. We have players that can score a lot of goals. Alex Morgan didn’t get one today, but don’t’ worry about that, she’ll figure it out and get on the score sheet later in this tournament.”

U.S. defender CRYSTAL DUNN
On making her first start:
“I was a little nervous at first, but I think that’s normal. The girls around me were really supportive and they definitely helped me on the field. Once I got my first touches in, I felt pretty comfortable.”

On the match:
“I think we did well. A clean sheet is always a great start to the tournament. Iceland made it hard for us, but we kept our composure and really defended well as a team.”