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Post-Game Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT vs. Canada

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage and select players dicuss the 4-0 win against Canada to claim the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olypmic Qualifying Tournament title.

© Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com

Abby Wambach

IN THE IMAGE: Abby Wambach (pictured here in September) passed Kristine Lilly for second place in the all-time U.S. and world scoring records, trailing only Mia Hamm.

U.S. head coach PIA SUNDHAGE

On shaking up her starting lineup:

“We have so many options. If I look at the bench, all the 20 players are good players. Our job, especially in a tournament, is to find the best starting lineup and today we decided to not go with one of the best players – Lauren Cheney – but the combination of Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan turned out to be pretty good.”

On if Alex Morgan earned a starting spot with her performance:

“If we play tomorrow, I’d say yes. But when we go to the Algarve Cup, I don’t know. That’s the beauty of the team we have right now. We will still change the starting lineup quite a bit and regardless of who we are picking it will be a good team. But she brought something special today with Abby. We had an air presence and with her speed on top it made us look really good today.”

On dominating Canada:

“I look at the tournament and we are winners. That is important. It’s great to feel the gold. If you look at Canada, I’m not caught up in that. It’s more how we play, how we play in the midfield and that we were able to shut down [Christine] Sinclair. Next time we will face different teams and it’s all about our style.”

On the crowd of more than 25,000 that sold out the lower bowl of the stadium:

“The atmosphere was just tremendous and fantastic. It’s so much more fun to play under pressure and coach under pressure and people care.

On playing five games in 10 days on artificial turf:

“It’s hard with this turf, it has beaten them up. There is a reason that some of the players like [Amy] LePeilbet didn’t play today. We play on the turf, have one day off and play again. It’s so much harder to play on turf than natural grass.”

On if she thought Canada would give the U.S. more of a fight:

“I think that would be almost insulting to say ‘more’ because they gave us a hard time, but today we put everything together. I think we made them look poor at times, but don’t forget that they created chances and there were things out there that they did well. At times, it was a tight game.”

On not giving up a goal in the tournament:

“It’s nice to not give up goals. We gave up a couple of good chances, but we have a very good goalkeeper and a great captain in Christie Rampone…We’ve been working with the defending quite a bit and will continue to do that. I’m very happy and impressed with our defending, playing in a tournament and not giving a goal is huge.”

U.S. Women’s National Team forward ALEX MORGAN

On partnering with Abby Wambach up top:

“I really like playing with Abby up top. We feel really comfortable and can anticipate each others runs, so that always helps.”

On sitting out the game against Mexico and making an impact against Costa Rica and Canada:

“I didn’t have a great first two games and didn’t impact the game like I would have liked to. It was right to play Syd [Leroux], who had scored five goals the game before. Emotionally I was mad and of course I think every player wants to play. It motivated me even more to play in these next two games.”

On if her performance warrants a place in the starting lineup:

“I’m not sure if I really stated my case but I knew this was an opportunity that was given to me. I tried to make the most of it and I feel really comfortable with Abby up top. The defense did a tremendous job today and throughout the entire tournament. They really led us through to this final.”

On the plan of attack for the USA:

“We talked about going at their backline, stretching them out a little bit and showing them our speed. Luckily enough in the first five minutes we broke through their backline and I got that goal. We talked about it before the game and we executed it during the game.”

On the atmosphere at BC Place:

“I thought the crowd was amazing. We love playing in front of big crowds. The chanting made us motivated even more because this is a rivalry. We wanted to quiet them even more.”

U.S. Women’s National Team defender KELLEY O’HARA

On the team’s defensive strategy against Canada:

“We talked about applying pressure higher up the field and that was part of our game plan. I think that the reason the back four did so well defensively was because our top six played such high pressure. They really set the tone and tempo for defense. I think they did an excellent job and that was one of the reasons we were able to do so well tonight.”

On the personnel rotation on the defensive line and Christie Rampone’s leadership:

“It’s definitely difficult because you’re playing with new people every game, but Christie Rampone does an excellent job back there. The goal tonight was to be on the same page, move the line up and down, and be a unit much better than we were against Costa Rica. She did a great job leading us.”

U.S. Women’s National Team forward ABBY WAMBACH

On her partnership up top with Alex Morgan:

“I think we definitely play really well together. Her skill set is completely opposite of mine and that makes for a nightmare for defenses. She’s so fast and strong on the ball, so if it’s a 50/50 challenge or a goal-scoring opportunity she’s likely to win it and get a shot on frame.”

On the USA’s fast start to the game:

“I think we came out really strong and the early goal took the wind out of their sails a bit. It quieted the crowd down a considerable amount, and then of course the second goal is just the backbreaker for them. It’s hard to score one goal against the U.S., let alone two to equalize and three to go ahead.”

On the atmosphere at BC Place:

“The quality of the stadium was amazing. The Canadian fans brought their best with the packed stadium tonight. None of us can complain. It’s great for women’s soccer and it’s a really small glimpse of what we’re going to see in 2015 with the World Cup so I’m really excited for that.”

On Hope Solo’s big saves in the first half:

“That’s the very reason why Hope Solo is on this team and that’s why she’s the number one goalkeeper in the world, in my opinion. When called upon, she makes the big saves and she goes into serious confrontations with forwards on other teams. I’m proud of her for sticking on the field and staying in the starting lineup.”

On passing Kristine Lilly for second all-time leading U.S. goalscorer:

“At halftime Alex reminded me that was the case. I wasn’t really aware of it and was kind of focused on the game. [Kristine Lilly] emailed me a couple days ago to say, ‘Why don’t you tie me already? And then why don’t you go ahead and beat me? But don’t make it a toe poke, make it a nice goal.’ Those two goals were great for us being that they were in the CONCACAF Final. We didn’t win the last qualifying tournament so this was a big game for all of us, and we’re really pleased with the result.”


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