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U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Australia Quote Sheet

Quotes from the U.S. Women’s National Team second match of the Fan Tribute Tour, presented by Panasonic in Carson, Calif.

© U.S. Soccer

IN THE IMAGE: Woman of the Match Shannon Boxx changed the match after coming on at halftime

U.S. WNT vs. Australia

Quote Sheet

WNT Fan Tribute Tour, presented by Panasonic

The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.

Sept. 16, 2012

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On enjoying the moment with the U.S. WNT:

“This is a great team and we do good things. The fact that they gave me a guitar with their autographs, that was just huge. I’m very happy and it’s very emotional.”

On trying to take in the last couple games left in her tenure as head coach:

“They have made me a better coach. I’ve been around this team for five years and it feels phenomenal, it’s like a dream. It’s cool.”

On why she’s leaving the U.S. Women’s National Team:

“I’ve been away from home for five years and before this I was in China, so it’s been six years and it’ll be good to go home. Sweden is hosting the European Championship so that is a big challenge. I’m going for that and we’ll see how it works.”

On the evolution of women’s soccer in the U.S.:

“It’s a unique opportunity to continue to do something for women’s soccer and let the girls continue to dream about being professional players. I hope that a professional league will come back in one way or another. It has to be in the right way so you actually develop the players. Hopefully, that’ll happen.”

On what the Fan Tribute Tour games are like for her as head coach:

“A game is a game – it doesn’t matter where it is or when it is – a game is a game. That’s my passion. Now, it’s different to play the final at Wembley or just a game on the victory tour, but I respect the game so much that it’s exciting. That’s the word: exciting. If you look at the first half, not so much, but then they turned it around and they came back and that’s typical for this team – coming back and never giving up.

On the first half performance against Australia:

“You have a little bit of luck, but I would also say that it turned around and the fact that we created chances near the end of the first half, we gained some confidence. I understand it’s hot out there. I said at halftime that speed of play doesn’t mean you have to run more, but you have to make a quicker decision. I think they did, with the subs and everything, they did well. I’m so proud of them.”

On the state of the National Team roster as she leaves as opposed to what it was like when she was hired:

“It’s different. We have some different players. You have Tobin Heath and Lauren Cheney, they were in China in 2008. Tobin didn’t play that much, she didn’t play in the World Cup that much, and then she played the whole game and played a big part in the gold medal (this year). Compare that to Alex Morgan. Just a year ago, she was sitting on the bench and waiting for her turn.  Here she is now scoring goals and playing a big part. The next step for this team is if you find technical players and players that read the game well, you can decide how you want to play because you do have the speed and the strength.”

On playing out the last few games of Pia Sundhage’s stint as head coach:

“Just trying to enjoy it. It’s definitely sad and she’s done so much for this team and has brought so much passion. It’s going to be a tough time, but we want to celebrate it and do the best we can. We felt this was more of a home for her to give her that guitar and try to give her the best give we could. She’s given us two gold medals. We gave her a great guitar. Taylor donated it and it looks great, so it was something to send her off in the right way.”

On playing these WNT Fan Tribute Tour matches:

“We had such a great run in the Olympics and we want to thank all the fans out here for supporting us. We’re trying to put on the best show that we can and showing that we can have great moments of soccer, smile out there and have fun and sign autographs. Just have more connection with the fans.”

On how Pia Sundhage made her a better player:
“She made me a tremendous player by her knowledge of the game and the way we breakdown film and have open communication in meeting sessions and seeing everyone’s viewpoint of the game and not just her viewpoint. It has made me look at the game in a different way and I love it even more.”

On the future of the U.S. WNT and the search for a new coach:

“It’s difficult, especially when you’re celebrating something and losing your coach. That’s up for U.S. Soccer right now to figure out who the next coach is going to be. Everyone doesn’t know what the future holds so we’re enjoying this moment now as a team because come January, the coach will call in who they want and some of these girls, myself included, might not be on the team.”

On the match overall:

“We came in yesterday. I think we were a little slow. Our fitness isn’t there. We’re trying to make the ball do more movement than ourselves. I think Australia dropped off a little in their fitness and it opened up some space for us. You’re going to see a more attacking presence and less defensive because it is a victory tour and we want to score goals so we want to score goals. We probably aren’t as sharp as we’d like to be defensively, but that’s part of it.”

On Pia Sundhage leaving the U.S. WNT:

“It’s a lot more emotional in terms of feeling sad for her leaving us, but she’s moving on to different things and we all wish her the best second place (finishes) for the rest of her career.”

On how the team has grown since Sundhage took over as coach:

“We’ve definitely grown as a team, we’re a better team than when she first got here. I hope that’s the same case for the next coach that comes in and takes over as our leader.”

On the match overall:

“I think our subs did a fantastic job for us. I think that Heather O’Reilly and Shannon Boxx changed the game. Shannon just has a knack for winning balls and spraying it wide, which is what we needed to do in the first half. I think our tempo and speed of play in the second half was much faster and I think Australia suffered from a little fatigue in the second half.”

On her future as a player:

“We’re trying to wait and see. We’re in a holding pattern in terms of deciding what our fate will be. I know that this team is going to make big strides. We’ll see who the coach is and a lot is up to that next person. Who knows what kind of team they’re going to want to take into the future and hopefully I’ll be a part of it.”

U.S. midfielder SHANNON BOXX
On the match overall:

“We were keeping good possession in the first half, but we needed to be a little bit faster. For me, coming in my role is more defensive and get those hard tackles. That’s how I motivate players and motivate my team. I got into a couple good tackles at the beginning and motivated myself to go a little bit faster. We had Heather O’Reilly on the outside taking players on and I think that changes it. Once you see one player doing it, the next one is going to do it. In the second half you saw the whole team kind of raise the level a little bit because we want to win.”

On how Pia Sundhage improved her as a player:

“For me, just the confidence she gave me. She didn’t have to come up to me every day and say this is what I want you to do. You just knew she had confidence in you when she put you in. The passion she gave us rubbed off on us. You could tell in practice, we were cheering more for each other and we were more motivated to win. She brought that flair, she brought that offensive side. She picked players like Tobin and Rapinoe and worked on the offensive side. I think she made our team a better, well-rounded team.”

U.S. forward ALEX MORGAN
On playing in front of family near her hometown of Diamond Bar, Calif.:

“I had a whole section of my friends and family. I bought a lot of extra tickets for them to come see me play. This was my first time playing at The Home Depot Center and we got the biggest crowd here that we’ve ever gotten and we’re excited to continue this Fan Tribute Tour.”

On improving in the second half after going down 1-0:

“We still had the confidence and we wanted to continue to have fun. We wanted to give back to our fans and give back to Pia in her last couple of games. We just wanted to have fun out there and not stress ourselves out at all. The players off the bench made a huge difference today.”

On the match overall:

“I think that the players that came off the bench really had a lot of energy. They kept the ball a lot more, we had a lot more possession and were more composed on the ball. Resting and trying to get our bodies back to 100 percent, we all haven’t been together in two weeks and we’ve been taking some more time off from the field, so we were a little rusty in the first half.”

On playing in her home state:

“Today was a lot of fun especially playing in front of a big LA crowd after coming off such a hot Olympics.”

On playing in the WNT Fan Tribute Tour:

“It’s such an amazing atmosphere to play in front of this big crowd. It’s motivating for us out there on the field. We’re just excited about all the enthusiasm that’s going on out here.”

Source Article from http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Womens-National-Team/2012/09/US-WNT-vs-Australia-Quote-Sheet-9-16.aspx
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Australia Quote Sheet
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