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Post-Match Quote Sheet: USA 4, JPN 2


U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage

On the match:
“It was not an easy match as I thought Japan played very well, but we were able to come back from 1-0, and it’s due to the entire team. We’ve been able to get goals from different players and tonight was no different. I’m very proud of how the team performed tonight and now we can look forward to our next match against Brazil.”

On if she thought the match would be won so comfortably:
“I don’t think the match was comfortable. I think Japan played very well and if you look how they posses the ball, it could be a role model for women’s soccer in the future. Coming back from 1-0, it’s all about the team. Scoring different goals from different places made the difference. Japan is a good team so the next World Cup and the next Olympics, you can look for them to get a medal.”

On facing Brazil:
“Right now, I’m not thinking about anything but our team. I’m going to really enjoy the win, and then I’ll think about Brazil tomorrow.”

On Angela Hucles:
“Angela Hucles is a fantastic story. As the coach for the Boston Breakers in 2003 (in WUSA), we talked about changing the point of attack and changing speed, and she was average. I saw her for the first time in December with the U.S. team and something happened as she decided to get fit and change speed. She has been one of the most important players in this team.”

On the play as a team:
“We don’t have one star, but we have 18 players, a team. That’s why it’s so fun to be around the players on and off the field. That is a winning feeling and I’m so honored and proud to be coaching this U.S. team.”

On if the team still was confident after losing their first game to Norway:
“If you look at that game, I think we still played a pretty good game. We kept our game plan, which is so important. Even though we lost and we didn’t score goals, we knew it was coming because we created goal chances. That’s what happened (tonight) as well. If you’re going to lose a game, it’s good to lose the first one.”

Midfielder Heather O’Reilly

On what they said after going down a goal:
“With this team, nothing even needs to be said. We’ve had our backs up against the wall so many times this year, and we’re so unified and so together, we can just look at each other’s eyes and know were there for the player next to them and we’re going to fight. We’ve been doing that all year, we did it today, and we’re so excited about going to the final.”

On her goal:
“All I was trying to do is get it far post and good things would happen. I can’t claim to say I saw her off the line and chipped her, but like I said you try to get the ball across the frame of the goal and stir some trouble, and that’s exactly what I did. I’ll take it. It was exciting.”

On facing Brazil:
“We’re pumped. Bring it on. We’ve played Brazil before and we know they’re a pretty awesome team with a lot of great personalities. But this team player for player is unified and strong, and we’re together. We’re looking forward to (playing Brazil).”

Forward Angela Hucles

On going down a goal:
“Our intention wasn’t to get a goal scored on us, but it happened and I think it showed the strength of the team that we didn’t put our heads down. We continued playing and tried to raise the level (of our play).”

On the crowd:
“The fans tonight were great. There were so many people here. I saw a lot of American flags in the crowd. It’s a tremendous atmosphere.”

On the team improving:
“We’re getting better every single game and we have some great momentum. We expect a tough match, but we’re looking for gold.”

Defender Lori Chalupny

On her goal:
“I came in from a wide position and was able to take a couple touches in toward the middle. I had a small window to get a shot off, and got it in there in the top corner.”

On the way the team is playing:
“We just having a blast out there. Pia has been excellent at letting our own personalities shine. With Abby going down I think everyone has stepped up their game and we’re getting scoring from so many different places. It’s so fun to be out there.”

On what she was thinking when they were down 1-0:
“We have tremendous leadership on this team with Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf as our captains. They kept us very focused. We just wanted to get that first goal, and focus on getting one at a time. We were never nervous. I felt like we were getting opportunities and we were going to have a chance win one back.”

On the team effort this tournament:
“It’s been amazing. Ever since Abby (Wambach) went down we kind of realized we all had to pick up a small piece of what we were going to miss from her. It’s been awesome that we’ve gotten goals from so many different players, everybody has stepped up. The team chemistry right now is just awesome and we’re having a great time out there. It’s all coming together.”

On getting to the final after losing their opening match to Norway:
“In one way or another it actually helped us get to this point. We realized we can’t take anything for granted and every moment we need to be focused. Our momentum has been going up and up and up since the first game, and we hope to continue it in the final.”

On facing Brazil:
“We’re really excited. This is my first Olympics, so playing in a gold medal match is an amazing feeling. We’ll rest up a couple days and it will be an exciting match.”

Defender Kate Markgraf

On being behind:
“We were only behind by one goal, and we had 70 minutes to score two goals. That’s the great thing about soccer, you can score at any moment. We weren’t concerned and we started to play our game better and better. We started controlling the ball and getting a couple goals before the half.”

On Brazil:
“We give Brazil an ultimate amount of respect, but we also have confidence in ourselves. We know it’s going to be a great game and we’re not taking anything for granted.”

Defender and Captain Christie Rampone

On playing the ball on the flanks:
“It was definitely a game plan to find the width because they did play narrow, which we saw in video clips. We wanted to expose their outside and stretch them a little bit and make them defend.”

On facing Brazil:
“I’m looking forward to this game. We played them a couple times this year, but they didn’t have some of their players so it’s going to be a great game. They are playing at the top of their game and we’re getting better each game, so it’s going to be exciting.”

Midfielder Carli Lloyd
“People have been saying we’re a bit of an underdog this year, and we’re getting pumped up from that. It’s just great that were not relying on just one single person to get the job done. It’s a collective effort, a team effort. Pia and the coaching staff have done a tremendous job of leading us to this final.”

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