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U.S. U-20 Women’s World Cup Quote Sheet: USA vs. China PR

U.S. U-20 WNT head coach MICHELLE FRENCH

On the mentality heading into the game against China PR:
“I thought mentality and the focus going into the game was really exactly what it needed to be. I think they felt prepared and I think they also felt like they wanted to go out and prove something based on the attacking side of game and the way that we performed the first couple of games.”

On what the team did better on the attack:
“There was a little bit more patience on the ball. People were a little bit more composed. I still think we’re going to continue to grow in that area but the decision-making on the ball to help us build was right, and we chose the best times when we wanted to probe and get behind the back line. Overall the decision making was a lot better.”

On the match:
“I think we came into the game feeling good and confident. We had a great couple days of training where we were trying to knock the ball around a bit. I think defensively the organization from our back line all the way up to our forwards played a huge part in this game. Lastly, decision making on the ball to build a little bit more and keep possession was an important thing for us today.”

On forward Lindsey Horan and her contribution to her team:
“I’m glad she’s on our team, I don’t have to worry about defending her. She brings a great composure on the ball and sophistication in her movement inside the box. It was great because she had an opportunity to get balls on top of the 18 and unleash some shots. We like to have her in those positions because it is definitely beneficial for us.”

On Horan as a player:
“She’s extremely technical. She’s been that way since she was young. Her ability to keep the ball at her feet and wiggle out of pressure and create opportunities for others because of that ability is something really special.”

On if this was the best game of the U.S. of this tournament:
“I think overall, on both sides of the ball, definitely. Like I said, I think the defending piece was consistent with how we played against Brazil. Attacking-wise, our ability to connect passes was a lot better than our first and second games.”

On looking forward:
“There’s a strong belief among this group that we can continue to move on in this tournament. Coming into this game, the goal was to get a win and advance. That job was accomplished, so now we move forward to the quarterfinals, which we are extremely excited about.”

U.S. U-20 WNT midfielder LINDSEY HORAN

On the match:
“Coming into this game we knew China was going to be a good team, a technical and tactical team. They came out and played great. I just thought we matched their intensity. Our mentality was awesome and we came out and got early goals and I think that really helped us. We knew the Chinese were going to be good.”

On how the team improved on the attack:
“Our defensive side was awesome. We’ve been so solid. Attacking-wise, we’ve been creating opportunities and chances for ourselves and we needed to capitalize on them. Today I thought we were a lot more patient and we were swinging the ball, switching the ball and getting crosses in. We got our chances and we put them away.”

On what the team did better than in previous matches:
“I think we were more confident and patient on the ball. We still created the same kind of chances and opportunities as in the past two games, but we really just put them away. We kept plugging away and we kept going after them and we wanted to score more.”

On the atmosphere at Moncton:
“This stadium’s just a little smaller, which I thought was cool because we could hear the fans more and it was a lot closer. Moncton’s been awesome and the atmosphere incredible in today’s game.”

On improvement on this game going forward:
“There’s always something we can improve on. Obviously we played a good game today and I’m really proud of our team. It’s the best that we’ve played yet, I believe. We’ve just got to keep improving, look at tape and keep going.”

On the approach and execution against China PR:
“We wanted a goal early. We wanted to impose our attacking style and get that back. In the Brazil game, it was a little more frantic. It was a little bit more iffy here and there. In this game we were patient, we were confident on the ball, the speed of play was great. We were switching it and I thought we did really well with keeping the ball.”

On the strength of the opponents in group play:
“Every team in this tournament is obviously a great team. The three teams in our group- Brazil, Germany and China, all three teams were amazing and really difficult to play against. We knew we were up against these tough teams and we had to come out and show our U.S. mentality and I think we did that today.”

U.S. U-20 WNT midfielder ROSE LAVELLE

On the match:
“We really tried to focus on offense more so than we have in the other games and just keeping possession. I think that really helped, especially keeping the ball away from China, who is such a technical team.”

On the quality of the group preparing the U.S. for the quarterfinals:
“It was very challenging group, no doubt, and I think every team brought something different which was also a big challenge because we had to adjust our game differently each time we played.”

On the pressure helping the team focus:
“It was strange thinking that if we didn’t win, we’d be leaving the next day. I think that pressure made us all more focused coming into this game.”

On scoring her first international goal:
“That’s my first goal with the U-20s, so it was kind of a relief to finally score. It was a good pass by Lindsey.”

U.S. U-20 WNT goalkeeper KATELYN ROWLAND

On the U.S. defense:
“Today, defensively it was our best game. We were organized and compact. We really tried to focus defensively. We really came out and shut them down. I was really proud of that.”

On how the U.S. changed over the three group games:
“Obviously Germany is a great team, but we came out in our first game a little nervous. We were a little anxious. We just mellowed down the excitement a bit and we just focused on our game and focused not on the glam of it all, but on us and what we are trying to accomplish. That’s helped us.”

On the approach heading into the quarterfinals:
“We just look at the next game, take it one game at a time. Whoever gets through is going to be a great opponent. Our group has only helped us with that. We’ve had three great games so far, really challenging. That’s going to help us moving forward.”

On Rose Lavelle scoring her first international goal:
“I’m really proud of her. It was a great finish and I made an 80-yard sprint up to her and I hugged her.”

On Lindsey Horan’s performance:
“Great, as usual. She always comes in and finishes well for us. Obviously, three goals in three games, you can’t ask for much more.”