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Post-Match Quotes: USA vs. Sweden

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage and select players discuss the 1-1 tie against Sweden.

© Renate Reimann/isiphotos.com


IN THE IMAGE: U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage will hold one more camp in 2011.

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On her impressions of the game:
“I am very happy that we were patient with the system. The most important thing is that are we are comfortable with the system and that we did we create chances. It was a great warm-up game for qualification. It was very important that we scored that goal, it was a fantastic goal and we deserved it.”

On Lauren Cheney’s performance:
“If you look at Lauren Cheney, she had a different game in second half. So my message to the players was that it was okay in the first half and now we believe you can do it. She did so much better in the second half. We hit the post and we created chances in a good way I think.”

On Alex Morgan coming off the bench:
“It is perfect. That is the reason why she is so good. She is coming off the bench she has a small role. She understands it and respects it, and the team does as well. It was a small role and she did perfectly well. It will not work for 90 minutes. “

On being happy with new set formation:
“I am happy because it is going to be an ongoing discussion on who will be playing. It is creating enough chances and eventually we scored a goal. So this is just the beginning. Remember this is the third best team in the world and I am really glad that we scored that goal.”

On the goal allowed in first half:

“Well, that was a beautiful goal. The crowd got to see two wonderful goals. That was a bending ball into the corner. A little bad pressure on the ball, but then again I give a big hand to that goal, because it was a beautiful goal.”

On the bench play being a big factor:
“If you look at those coming off the bench, Stephanie Cox, Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath, they all played really well.”

U.S. Women’s National Team Midfielder TOBIN HEATH
On the goal:
“Well, it was about that time. We were starting to press them pretty hard trying to get that equalizer. Alex Morgan had been hitting a couple good shots on frame and I just followed it up and put it home. Definitely the right place at the right time.“

On Alex Morgan’s presence sparking offense:
“She is tremendous because she comes off the bench and gives us that spark and energy. She got behind the back line and created great goal scoring opportunities for us. We love having someone like that coming off the bench.”

On what she takes from the game:
“We were happy about our last push. We really wanted to get that second goal to get the win. I think that if we had five more minutes we could have gotten it. There were a lot of things to take away from it and build off, as well.”

On the team hitting the posts and crossbar:
“It is frustrating when you have so many opportunities. I think we hit the post three times. Our team kept rattling shot after shot. We kept pushing until the very end. I was surprised that we didn’t get that second one.”

On her role in the new formation:
“My role is pretty much the same. This game I played on the outside, I can play on the inside as well. But I think everyone’s roles are a little bit different in positioning, having three in the center. But for the most part, it is pretty much the same. “

U.S. Women’s National Team Forward ABBY WAMBACH
On the importance of coming back and getting a draw:
“All the subs that came on made a crucial difference in the game. We had the run of the play during the second half. When Alex came on, she just has another gear. The Swedish team tired at the end of the game. We hit a few posts and a crossbar so we were unfortunate not to get more goals. We created a lot of good opportunities and continued to play a new formation. We are going to continue to work on it. But I was pleased with how the team responded after going down a goal.”

On the formation:

“They were playing high pressure the first half and most of the second half and I think they lost their legs because of it. You have to remember it’s a 90-minute game and we are known to come on late in the second half, especially when Alex comes on. We are pretty comfortable with how we played. We made careless mistakes. It is pretty common coming off of six weeks off so we are getting the cobwebs off of our legs. We will go back to camp in December and sort some of this out.”

On last game before the Olympic qualifying tournament:
“There are still quite a few days before we start the qualifying tournament. Our team is very good, so what we do from now until them is going to be very important. I know that every single player is disappointed to go away with a tie. We do not want a tie that is not what we came here to do. We came to win games. The Phoenix crowd was fantastic, they kept is in it in the end. We were told a few times to sit down on the bench by the official. It’s an exciting game; unfortunately we couldn’t come up with the win. But that is the beauty of soccer.”

U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder HEATHER O’REILLY
On her performance:
“I am for the most part happy on my personal performance. I would have liked to have seen a win from us, but I think that we are growing as a team. We are working on something new, and we are playing a little bit differently this year. Obviously, the way we pressed them in the last 20 minutes shows that we have what we always have: our American passion and our fire, our fitness, and our commitment to win. We are proud of the game, and we had enough chances on net to finish.”

On avoiding losing to Sweden:
“We would have liked to win, but it showed a lot of grit and determination for us to come back and get that goal. I am very proud of Tobin Heath coming into the game and making a difference. Alex Morgan coming off the bench and causing havoc that she caused was incredible. It takes everybody and we are all killing ourselves on the training pitch.”

On focusing towards qualifying for the Olympics:
“We are getting level after that World Cup. It was so emotional. It took a lot out of us to play in that World Cup, come back and finish our WPS seasons, and I think that we are back to being level-headed and back towards Olympics. I think that is what this camp was all about, rolling up our sleeves and looking forward and not looking back on last summer.”

U.S. Women’s National Team forward ALEX MORGAN
On coming off the bench and her role:
“That is pretty much my role for every game. Pia has told me that. I try to make an impact every time. I know that their back line is tired. The main thing is hitting the line every time, knowing that the defense is tired and getting those shots off.”

On intensifying the team by coming off the bench with that late spark:
“That is what Pia thinks suits me best and our team best. Hopefully, I will be a 90-minute player in the future. I’ve accepted that role that Pia has given me. At least I am coming off the bench, making those goals, and making an impact.”

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