USW National Team Discusses the Upcoming Quarterfinal against Brazil!

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage and select players discuss the team’s upcoming quarterfinal match against Brazil at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

© Thomas Eisenhuth/isiphotos.com

Pia Sundhage

IN THE IMAGE: U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage and select players dicuss the team’s upcoming match against Brazil.

U.S. Head Coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On responding after the loss in their last game:
“Even though we didn’t win against Sweden, I think the players and the team are in a very good place. I’m proud of the team because everything they do on the field, off the field, they are ready to play the quarterfinal.”

On Heather O’Reilly’s status:
“Heather practiced today and she was 100 percent. She looked good.”

On if she sees a big difference in the physicality between the U.S. and Brazil:
“Not really because at the end of the day we’ll both play [90 minutes]. When you talk about the physical part, it has to include the ball so it’s about balance, it’s about quickness and speed, and all I know is that we are prepared.”

U.S. midfielder SHANNON BOXX
On the team’s mentality going into their match against Brazil:
“We knew we’d have to play Brazil at some point and they are a big rival. It’s going to be a fun game. We’re just really excited to get going and play against Brazil. We know we have the confidence to beat them.”

On what the team needs to improve on against Brazil:
“We’ve created a lot of opportunities, but we haven’t finished them. I think that’s a huge focus for us – just making sure that we finish our chances. We’re not going to get that many against Brazil so we need to make them count.”

U.S. defender ALI KRIEGER
On what the key is to stopping Brazil’s attack:
“Communication is going to be key for us. We need to make sure we’re on the same page, have our head on a swivel and stay compact. As a team, we need to defend in numbers and work hard together.”

U.S. defender RACHEL BUEHLER
On playing Brazil after a loss:
“Losing to Sweden was obviously a disappointment, but I think we had some great moments of soccer in that game. It just didn’t go our way. Now, we’re going to face Brazil and we’re getting ready for that match.”

U.S. defender CHRISTIE RAMPONE
On facing Brazil in the quarterfinals:
“We knew we had to face Brazil to win this tournament. Facing them a little earlier is not really what we expected, but we’re taking it in and I think the players are actually excited to play Brazil.”

On handling the Brazilian attack:
“They have three great attacking players with Marta, Cristiane and Rosana, but we’ll be ready for it. We like to go against the best, we want to beat the best. It feels better to do that and go forward.”

On facing Marta:
“She’s the best. As a defender, I’m a competitor and I love to compete against the best. She’s the best player in the world and it’s a challenge. Individually, it’s something that I strive to keep winning those little challenges throughout the game, but also as a team defending in numbers to get her frustrated.”

U.S. forward ABBY WAMBACH
On facing Brazil:
“I believe we have the confidence and the faith in each other as a team, as a 21. We believe if we do this together, we can beat anybody. Obviously, Brazil has fantastic individual talent and have proven over many years that they are capable of winning games – beating us in fact in big tournaments – so this is not going to be an easy game, but neither will any of the games from here on out. It could be the difference of an inch here, a toe-poke here so I’m excited to see what’s going to happen tomorrow night.”

On if losing the last match has an effect on their quarterfinal match:
“Until the final whistle blew I thought we were going to get the equalizer. I feel like the belief system that we have set in place for this team is right no par. Granted, we didn’t equalize but in the end there are so many different variables that are out of our control – what the referee does, what the other team throws at us – but what is in our control is finishing chances. We need to win games now, it’s do or die. It’s the situation and feeling that I think the U.S. has been good at.”

On what they can do finish more of their chances on goal:
“If we just concentrate on getting the ball on frame and not taking too many chances outside of our shooting range, maybe one or two here or there to get a rebound, but for the most part goalkeepers have 35-yard out shots covered. We also need to convert on some of our set plays. We scored on a corner kick [against Sweden] which is a positive, but I also think there are a couple of opportunities I need to get my head on so we can get even better chances.”

On how the team is feeling going into the quarterfinals:
“Experience goes a long way. All of us are not very comfortable or used to losing very often, especially on this team. It’s very rarely that we lose two in a row. Not that I have 100 percent knowledge that we are going to win this next game, but I can bet we are going to give every single part of ourselves in this game so we can ensure our berth into the semifinals.”

On how she needs to approach the Brazil match:
“I think the patience factor is going to be important because the games aren’t like they used to be even 10 years ago. There’s not going to be a 3-0 or 4-0 quarterfinal, semifinal or final. That will be a very rare occurrence, if it ever happens again. The games are going to be closer, the chances are going to be fewer and you just have to be ready.”

U.S. midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On what the team needs to do to beat Brazil:
“It takes a team to win championships and I really believe that every single person on this team is going to contribute. We need everybody. We have that USA mentality and are going to go at them. We’re fit, we’re strong and we don’t give up. I think that’s one of the greatest things about this team. We’ve been doing some really good things, creating a lot of chances. I think the goals are going to start to come, which is important.”

This is going to be some game. Plan to watch it and look for the defense of Brazil to be incredibly strong!

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