US SoccerUS Soccer

Pre-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Women Face Sweden on Friday

Pre-Match Quote Sheet
USA vs. Sweden
2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Sept. 13, 2007 – Chengdu, China

U.S. head coach GREG RYAN
On the mood of the team:
"The team's ready. They are going to come out and give it everything they've got tomorrow. We know it's going to be a great game and we'll be prepared."

On the North Korea match:
"That North Korea game was a very unique situation. You look at that team and really you're looking at them like the '99 China team. I think they are on par with them. If they can survive defending set plays they are going to go a long way. That's a game where I knew I had a specific group of players that I thought would be able to beat North Korea. In the end, I thought things went pretty well other than the period of time where we were shorthanded."

On Shannon Boxx and her return from injury:
"You know how it is with ACLs and it takes a long time. Really, not until maybe a month before we started (the Women's World Cup) was she really back on form. We're all so thankful to see her really back on her feet again and playing so well. I thought she did a great job in the North Korea game, playing in the middle and having to run all over the park. I think she's back physically, and maybe with more experience (that she has gained over the last four years) she is going to be even better."

On playing two tough games to start the tournament:
"I think this group is like playing a semifinal and a final in our first two games. That's the quality of the teams. North Korea is fantastic and Sweden was in the final game of the last World Cup. We got Greece in the Olympics in our first game, so this start is unbelievably challenging."

On what will be the deciding factor vs. Sweden:
"Usually it's the big players that decide the games. Not always, but it's 'can the USA's top players create that advantage for the U.S. Can Sweden's top players create the advantage?' Then, as we all know, set plays win championship games and tomorrow is like that kind of game."

U.S. midfielder SHANNON BOXX
On the difference facing Sweden in 2003 vs. 2007:
"Sweden is still a great contender. For me personally, (the difference is) the leadership and experience. I went into that first game with very little experience vs. an international team. We're still looking at them and they have great qualities that we are going to have to defend against."

On playing the second game of the WWC:
"We're very excited about it. We're ready to get back out there. We got a draw, but this game is very important to us and we have to go out and we have to win. Both teams are very good sides. It's going to be an exciting game. We're both great in the air, so you are going to see a battle there. I think the biggest thing is that it's going to be an up and down game. We are going to defend, but we're going to get forward and so are they.”

On her role on the team:
"For me, being a defensive center mid, it's not letting anyone get through. That means being a ball winner, winning balls in the air, winning balls on the ground, kind of quarterbacking the other midfielders in front of me. If I can get the ball and control it too, and keep possession for our team, that is a bonus, as is scoring a couple of goals here and there."

On if the injury causes her to play differently:
"No, not any more. Coming back at six months I was a different player because I couldn't do the things I wanted to do. My body wasn't quite going with my mind. Now I am 100 percent. In the North Korea game I felt quick and I felt that I was there, so I am 100 percent back and that is exciting. It came at the right time."

On the contrasting styles between Sweden and North Korea:
"I think that the two teams are very different. Sweden is very good in the air and very strong, where maybe the North Koreans were very quick on the ball. We're still going to play our game and that is the focus: what we do well, how have we played in the past, and our style is going forward, being aggressive and putting the other team on their heels, and that was the same even for the North Korea game. They are two very different teams, but in the end we are focusing on what we need to do to score goals."

On being on the bench for the USA vs. North Korea game:
"My role constantly changes, and whatever I can do to help the team is what I'm going to do. I was pretty nervous on the sideline, but I was warming up if I needed to go in and I was going to be ready. It will be the same for tomorrow’s game.”

On the Sweden game potentially being her first of this Women's World Cup:
"I've been preparing for this World Cup for two years, as well as the rest of the team. What ever role I play - if I play, if I am a reserve, if I don't get in - that's OK. It's all about the team now and in whatever way I can help the team is what I am going to be doing."

On facing a second tough opponent:
"Tomorrow's an important match, just like every other match at the World Cup and we know that. Obviously, the draw wasn't what we were looking for, but we are going to learn from it and move on. I think that's the best part about this team, we're always ready for the next match and we're prepared for Sweden. We know what our goal is and you're always going to face bumps in the road. We're learning from things and we're moving on."

On the mood of the team after the first game:
"It's been really interesting. We have really relied on each other and I think that is what being a good team is all about. Like I said before, you're going to face bumps in the road and it's how you fight together and come back from it. We tied, it was a great game and we're excited about being successful in the rest of the tournament.”