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U.S. WNT Quote Sheet vs. Canada in 2008 Four Nations Tournament

U.S. WNT Quote Sheet

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage
On the match:
“I’m very satisfied with the game today. It was a great battle in the first half. The talk at halftime as good, so it was nice for all of us to see the goals, and younger players scoring goals. For us, it was a good start. We tried to change the attack a little bit. We weren’t successful in the first half with the final pass, but the second half was much better and I am very happy about that.”

On the absence of Kristine Lilly:
“I coached Kristine Lilly with the Boston Breakers and I’ve seen her play many times. That is a great player, one of the best in the world, so I would love to see her on the field. But she is pregnant and I am happy that she will have a great family. That means that other players will have to step up and today we saw two goals from (Amy) Rodriguez and two goals from (Lindsay) Tarpley and that’s how it will be in the future, new players stepping up to become leaders and goal scorers.”

On going in at halftime tied 0-0:
“The talk at halftime was great. I had (asst. coach) Erica Walsh talk about defending, I talked about the attack and (asst. coach) Phil (Wheddon) helped us with certain parts. We kept possession in the first half, but didn’t penetrate the way we wanted to. In the second half, we got a quick goal and all of a sudden things went well. It was a really good start, especially as we had two goal scorers who are young and they did a great job out there.”

On young forward Amy Rodriguez, who scored twice in her first start:
“Her speed is exceptional and the fact that she scored two good goals today is good confidence for her and for the team. There will be different players stepping up at different times and I think that can be one of our strengths. It’s not about one player, it’s will be about the whole team. There will be different teams, different times and different stars.”

On coaching her first game for the USA:
“It is a special moment. Of course I was nervous, but at halftime, I felt that no matter where you are, this is soccer and that felt good. It’s good for my confidence. I’m so happy because it’s a good start on our road to (Olympic) qualification and it is a game I always will remember.”

On incorporating new players into the team:
“I feel proud that I get the chance to coach both young and older players. Christie (Rampone) has been coached by April (Heinrichs) and Greg (Ryan) and Tony (DiCicco), and that’s something special, three great coaches, and all of a sudden I am standing there. And at the same time, I have Amy Rodriguez. So that mix makes it so interesting. It’s unique and I enjoy it everyday.”

On the play of the U.S. back line, which featured two players earning their first-ever caps:
“(Canada) played three up top and very physical, but (the U.S. backs) brought out the best performance in each other. They helped each other. We’ve been working on defending, and they’ve done a great job in practice, and then when the game comes up, they did whatever they had to do…you could see they had confidence in themselves and the team.”

U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly
On her role in the match:
“It was kind a new role for me, I was playing right midfield and usually I’m a striker, so a little bit different role, a lot of playmaking. I like to usually be on the other team’s restraining line and this time I found myself serving the restraining line. Luckily, I connected with Amy Rodriguez on a couple of goals and later to Lindsay Tarpley when she came into the game. As much as I like scoring goals, it was a great feeling to help set up some really nice goals today.”

On the change from the first to the second half:
“I just think this is a new year for us, a new coach, kind of a new look to the team, a new philosophy, so I wasn’t surprised that in first half we didn’t get as many chances. But I think we were figuring things out and we stayed persistent. I think our rhythm really tired out the Canadians and it showed in the second half when things opened up for us.”

U.S. captain Christie Rampone
On debutantes Becky Sauerbrunn and Ali Krieger:
“Becky and Ali did amazing. You wouldn’t have even known it was their first cap. They had a lot of patience and composure and they were just easy to play with. They communicated well and I think we did really well as a back four.”

On her first game as captain:
“It was awesome, so much fun. This team is bringing it together and to see everyone’s face after the game, just smiling and enjoying the game, I think it’s a good start for 2008.”

U.S. forward Amy Rodriguez
On her first start:
“The first half was a little bit quiet, there was not a lot going on. Abby and I were trying to look for the ball and we didn’t get as much of the play as we’d like to. In the second half, things turned around. We definitely played a lot more offense and Abby and I were able to get in, I was making runs in behind and luckily the midfielder and defenders were able to play me in.”

On her first goal:
“The first goal I made a diagonal run behind the back line and I saw the ‘keeper coming out over my left shoulder. I kind of took a touch ahead of me and luckily I had an open net, so that was a great feeling. I was so excited, my first goal, and proud to be able to be on the field and play in this game.”

On her second goal:
“The second goal was kind of a surprise. It ended up being another cross from (Heather O’Reilly), who did an awesome job today and had a bunch of assists. Credit goes to her for playing all those balls in. I kind of got a little nick on it, it was kind of a roll down my body kind of shot, but it ended up going in.”

U.S. defender Ali Krieger
On her first cap:
“It was amazing. The feeling was unreal. Just being in the big stadium and finally getting a chance to play with this team was awesome.”

On getting some words of wisdom from Rampone before the game:
“Before the game she told me, just be brave, just relax and play your game, so that helped a lot.”

U.S. defender Becky Sauerbrunn
On her first cap:
“It was really exciting. It was a tough game to start off with Canada because they have a very disruptive style. It was a little difficult at first keeping possession of the ball, moving it around quickly. But as the game went on, we got more fluid and quicker with the ball and I think we found success.”

On breaking her nose:
“I’ve never broken any bone, ever, so there’s a first time for everything, I guess. I’m always going to remember, first cap, first broken bone, first win.”

Canada head coach Even Pellerud
On the match:
“I’ve seen similar games before between the USA and Canada. We can play a good a half, maybe a good 70 minutes, but then we get tired and start to do tactical mistakes and get mentally tired. After the first goal, I think that was visible to all of us. We broke down as a team and in particular, the back four. From very few goal chances against us in the first half to the second half where the USA created way too many goal chances and of course, were the better team.”