Quote Sheet: WNT vs. France - Feb. 8, 2015

U.S. Women's National Team head coach Jill Ellis and players Becky Sauerbrunn, Christen Press and Ashlyn Harris talk about the WNT's 2-0 loss to France in Lorient to open 2015.

U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis

On the match:
“We’re in the process of trying to get answers and playing different players and we knew France would be a fantastic test for us. At this point, we’re in the process of evaluating and also building and that’s why we play strong teams, to test ourselves. I don’t think we had great possession, we turned the ball over a lot, but still we had some quality chances, as did France.” 

On playing on artificial turf:
“You’ve got to get used to playing on turf. The tempo is quicker, and just being able to close down players is different because they can move the ball so quickly. We just have to train more on turf and get used it. The thing about France is their tempo and touches make you have to be better defensively, so it was a really good test for us.”                                     

On looking forward:
“It’s an evolution. There are certain phases we need to get better at, but we have to continue to grow as the rest of the world is continuing to be better. It’s a great game for the world to watch.” 

U.S. WNT defender Becky Sauerbrunn
On the match:
“I don’t think it necessarily felt like a loss. Focusing on the defense, I thought we were pretty strong. They had a few good chances, but they didn’t really break us down. They went around us a few times, but one goal was off a shot-cross, which you really can do nothing about, and the other one was marking in the box, and that’s completely trainable and fixable. It’s unfortunate that we lost the game, but going forward, I think we learned a lot about ourselves and I’m happy with the fight and commitment we showed.” 

U.S. WNT forward Christen Press
On the match:
“Of course it’s disappointing to lose. We had so much energy going into this game, the first game of 2015, which is a big year for us. The crowd was phenomenal and France just put in a quality performance tonight.” 

On the attack:
“We were a little stretched in transition. We want to have a big attacking shape, but that didn’t allow us to get numbers around the ball and have the support and connection (in the attacking third) that we are looking for.” 

On the takeaways from the match:
“It’s a big wake-up call for us. We like to win, we don’t like to have these kinds of performances, but we know how much work we have to put in. The drive and the motivation is there, it’s always there, but now we have even more reason to come back and get these guys again when it counts.” 

U.S. WNT goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris
On the match:
“It’s a good test for us. To play my fifth cap against France, one of the best teams in the world, was a good opportunity, but to be the best, you have to play the best and beat the best, and today the ball didn’t bounce our way. We know we have a lot to improve on, but it’s good to work this out now and build our momentum moving forward.” 

On the defense:
“There were a few times that we had some breakdowns that cost us goals and we have to be switched on and focused and be better in the box. Once we tighten those things up, we’ll be fine. If you look at it as a whole, there weren’t too many opportunities that we gave up. I thought our back line did really well. They were shooting from distance, but I’ll take that any day. They really didn’t get behind us much, but when they did, they made it count, and that’s something we need to take away from this match.”