Quote Sheet: WNT Enjoys Media Day in NYC

Quotesheet: WNT Enjoys Media Day in NYC
USWNT Media Day in NYC
USWNT Media Day in NYC

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis
On the U.S. team’s form heading into Women’s World Cup:
“The team is in great spirits, very focused, [we’re] fine tuning, and you know, really excited to get going out there in Canada.”

On the difficulty of the tournament:
“If you just look at some of the Ballon d’Or ballots and nominees you can tell that the rest of the world has some tremendous players. I think that for the general public, they’re going to see an amazing level of athleticism."

"I think defending is going to be a very, very big part of this World Cup. Teams’ ability to make space and limit it is going to be a big part of this tournament. But if I’m a fan, or if I’m my ten year-old daughter, I want to see goals, I want to see fun, I want to see high-fives and goal celebrations. Those are the things I think the general public can see from this (World Cup).”

On facing Sweden and former USWNT manager Pia Sundhage in the second game of the group stage:
“All opponents I view with respect. Obviously I know Pia as a personal friend. So I know her very well and have the utmost respect for her as a person and as a coach. In terms of our personnel, I think it’s very different than when Pia was in charge. We’ve got different players involved and we play slightly differently, so I bet she’s probably got her scouts involved scouting us. But I think it’s great, I have no problem playing against my friends. I welcome the competition. Pia is a tremendous lady who’s done a lot for our sport and for our Federation here, and I’ll be excited to see her up there in Canada.”

U.S. forward Abby Wambach
On opportunities presented in this year’s World Cup:
“Well obviously winning is one of the biggest catalysts for positive growth of anything. Here in this country we haven’t experienced winning a World Cup, so we all want to see what kind of growth could take place after doing so. I’m just excited about having another opportunity to move the game forward.”

U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd
On growing fan interest in the sport:
“I was thinking about this over the last year or so leading up (to this year’s World Cup). The last World Cup was great, and I think that Brazil game really enabled a lot of people to jump on board and follow us more. But I think we’re at a point now where, if we win this thing, I mean, this could be huge. And there’s no better time to win it, with the coverage, with social media, and with the fact that we haven’t won it in 16 years. So it’s a great time to win it, I think it’s one of the best environments we could be in, and we’re ready to go after it.”

On head coach Jill Ellis:
“I’ve known Jill for a really long time. We go back from the U.S. Under-21 days, and it’s pretty cool to kind of see everything come full-circle. I want to win a World Cup for her, I want to win it for myself and my teammates. But she’s done a great job of kind of steering the ship and getting us to believe in the philosophy and how we want to play, and I think things are really coming together.”

U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe
On the growth in popularity of the team:
“We know that we are part of this crazy growth stage (in the sport’s popularity). Four years ago, before the last World Cup, we were not doing this (Media Day), and I think we had like five or six thousand fans at our Send-Off game. We’re really proud of where we are now, and hopefully that just keeps growing.”

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo
On excitement ahead of the World Cup:
“We all should be really excited. I’m really excited. We’re in New York City for a couple more days, but I think all of us are ready to just fly to Canada, close the doors behind us, and just really start to prepare our final days into the first game.”

On the competition within the team and depth of the squad:
“Competition is what makes us all better. That’s not cliché, that’s how our team operates. But it’s a competition that’s healthy. We know that to win the World Cup it’s going to take all 23 players. And I think this is the first tournament that I’ve been a part of where we have the opportunity to rest players throughout the tournament, to get a number of players’ minutes, and you’re not going to see a drop off in the level of play. I think that’s incredible and it’s the first time that we’ve had so much depth on a U.S. team.”

U.S. defender Christie Rampone
On the difference between this World Cup and the others she’s experienced:
“It’s been amazing to see the build up to each and every World Cup, obviously this being my fifth. The coverage has been really amazing, which then sparks interest from everybody at home.” 

On the World Cup being so close to home:
“Being close to Canada, I think it’s going to be even better, because game times will be live and in prime time, and people will be able to watch it instead of getting up at the crack of dawn and seeing a game. So I think the timing of this event is definitely going to be a big factor for us.”

U.S. forward Alex Morgan
On the experience of this World Cup versus the last one:
“Going into the last World Cup, I just remember we weren’t getting as many fans as we’re getting now. We didn’t have as much coverage, and it was harder to get on TV. I feel like everything is lined up for us, and all we have to do now is win it.”

 “Well I was definitely learning during that 2011 World Cup. Christie, Carli, and a couple other players – Abby – were helping me along the way. It was my first major tournament, and I didn’t really know what to expect going into it.  I hadn’t played in front of a crowd larger than five or ten thousand, so it was very new to me. I think going into this World Cup I just feel like I can expect a little bit more, and I know what I needed preparing for this World Cup.  I feel, mentally, a little more at ease, just with the experience. There’s some things you just can’t learn without experience, and I think having a World Cup under me – and going through that emotional rollercoaster, from group play all the way until the end of the final – I think definitely helped me to be mentally stronger today.”