FEATURE: USWNT players speak ahead of Sunday’s match

The USWNT are coming to Avaya Stadium this Sunday Nov. 12 (6 p.m. PT on FS1) to play Canada in the second leg of the two-game series. The U.S. drew 1-1 against Canada in the first leg at BC place in Vancouver. The Americans look to finish the year on a high note. Here what a few of the USWNT players had to say about the first leg draw, the upcoming game at Avaya and the year so far.

U.S. Forward Alex Morgan 

On the year overall for the U.S. team and finishing on a high note as it heads into its last two games:
“This year has been really competitive, we’ve had a really competitive schedule in terms of the amount of teams in the top 10 played. It’s pretty unusual, playing these last 2 games against Canada. I think we want to end the year on a high note. We want to definitely showcase how we have improved this year, how we progressed, having such a young team. We want to continue gaining experience for those players. We want to continue to build and even though this year is ending we will get a break after this. I think it is important for everyone’s confidence and team morale to end off on a high note.”  

On the evolution of the rivalry with Canada:
“You know looking back to the history of U.S. versus Canada, national teams I’ve been on, it has been a rivalry that’s continued to rise and progress. I feel like when I first came on the team a lot of the score lines have very much been on the side of the U.S. More recently Canada stepped up their game they’ve done well in the international level obviously going back to 2012 in the Olympics and then World Cup in Canada. So, they improved a lot as a national team and we know a lot of those players we’ve played alongside them and against them in the club side. It will definitely be a rivalry that is exciting and continues to grow. We are looking forward to those games.”

U.S. Midfielder Julie Ertz

On getting to play at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, which is right next to her alma mater Santa Clara University:
“I’m super excited to go to San Jose. I have a lot of people going there, I have a lot of friends and family that will be there. So, it’s definitely a place to my heart especially with soccer as well. I’m super excited to go back and I’m also excited to learn from this game and then play them again on Sunday.”   

U.S. Midfielder Samantha Mewis  

On what has been the most fun for her and the team this year:
“I think the most fun is getting to play. I feel like I can grow and learn a lot from playing from such a high level. The team has had a really fun year, a lot of games and the fans have been awesome. We’ve had really great turnouts. I loved getting to play in North Carolina, that was a lot of fun for me. I think just the experience overall, to learn, to play a lot and having a lot of fun doing it.”      

On the familiarity between the USA and Canada:
“I think it’s going to be really competitive. I think anytime you know or have friends on the other team you think you want to win a little bit more. I think that Canada is a great team and it’s a rivalry for a reason. These games are going to be really good for us as a team, to get to learn and grow and hopefully get better as we go through it. I’m really excited that I get to participate hopefully and I think we going to do a great job.”

U.S. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher 

On the overall year for the U.S. team and the value of many players getting experience against top teams:
“I think its huge, not only our players getting a lot of valuable experience, like myself included, it’s not just against any team, we are playing the top teams in the world. I think we have played almost every team, if not every team, in the top 10 this year finishing with Canada. I think that’s huge, going forward anytime you can step on the field is valuable. It’s always a learning experience and to be able to do it against the best teams is even better.”      

U.S. Defender Becky Sauerbrunn:
On the continued growth of the U.S. team and how important it is to play games like this to that growth: “I think that is something that we are trying to find, we’ve gone through a lot, transition year, trying new players and trying new formations. The chemistry is not where it needs to be right now. Do we all hope we get that chemistry really fast? Absolutely but it’s in progress right now.”

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