Flash player Abby Wambach:
Carli (Lloyd) scoring three goals today – I’m super proud of her. […] She’s coming back from a shoulder injury but it takes a while to get back into the groove and she’s been working relentlessly to practice her shooting on goal. She put herself in great position to score goals in different ways today. That just shows the mark of a player that wants to get better every day. She sets high standards for herself and I’m glad that she’s on my team.
From our perspective, whenever you a goal early, it’s obviously positive, but there’s also the part of you that thinks, ‘Gosh, I hope my team won’t let down at all.’ And I thought there was a bit of time throughout the first half that we weren’t playing as well as we could’ve, we weren’t keeping the ball, we were kind of jittery on the ball. I think we settled down a lot in the second half.
(On the upcoming away-games stretch) These three points were big for us in terms of heading into these four road games. We know that anytime you head on the road, it’s not easy. You only have 16 players to play with and playing four games in 10 days, it’s going to be grueling. So we’re going to have to manage how we get through the first couple of games.
Flash player Carli Lloyd:
It felt great – some great assists by Alex (Sahlen) and Abby (Wambach). Just collectively, a good team effort. I think when we put the ball down on the ground and play and actually possess, that’s when we’re at our best.
(On whether she’s “back” from her injury) I think lately with the national team, with Shannon Boxx out, I’ve kind of had to be that sitting player, that holding player the last three games with the national team. So I think just kind of triggering my mind and my brain to put myself in goal scoring opportunities on the field, connect with Abby up top. I hold high standards for myself because I am an attacking player on this team, in this role with the Flash, and I’ve got to produce. I’ve got to score goals. I’ve got to create goals for other players.
(On her third goal) I remember winning the ball in the midfield and playing it to Abby and Abby reads the game really well. I kind of bend my run out, was waiting for her to play it, made sure I’d stayed onsides. Abby played a great ball through. Last-minute I had to kind of get my toe on it, just poke it in there and Ashlyn made the save but it came underneath her a bit and I just kept running through it, followed it up and finished.
(On the playoffs) Obviously we’re in good standings right now and the focus is still just one game at a time. We’ve got a long road that we’re going to be going on – a four game road trip. And we’ve just got to continue taking it one game at a time. You can’t look at the table. You can’t say, ‘Alright, we’re right there.’ Because in this league, anybody shows up on any given day and they can take points away from you.
Flash coach Aaran Lines:
Very happy. Once I’d gone through all the technical stuff in the locker room, I said the one thing I want to see tonight is a winning mentality. I want you to fight for every square inch of ground. I just want to see a winning mentality and a winning team. They showed up. It was very convincing.
(On Carli Lloyd) Carli just her energy, she just engaged the whole team, that midfield tonight. She was a bundle of energy. She was hungry. She was on the ball. She was doing wonderful things in the offensive third. … A complete performance from her, I thought. Very happy for her. She has the the ability to do that and a lot more at the club level and I think we’ve seen that.
(On upcoming road trip) It’s going to be a very difficult four-game stretch. We looked at the schedule when it came out and this was a stretch that I thought long and hard about. Do you come back after the second game? Do you come back for 36 hours and then go again? We’re staying on the road, so we’ll see if it’s the right decision or not after the four games.
Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris:
It’s everything right now. It’s the basics of football and we can’t even get the basics right, right now, whether that’s marking in the box. How are you going to give someone like Carli Lloyd the amount of space and time she had on the ball? I think we were soft all across the field. I’m super disappointed in my team and myself. I’m not sitting her pointing fingers or pointing blame but at this level it can’t happen. And I’m tired of the excuses, I’m tired of the comments about being young, I’m over it. And if we don’t start producing results, something’s got to happen, something’s got to change. Right now nothing’s getting better, so that’s where we need to start. We have to start progressing. We can’t lose 4-0. We haven’t scored now in five games.
We can’t win games if we don’t score, that’s reality. I’m disappointed and this league is tough. You can’t just show up and win. I don’t know if that’s a lack of profrsssionalism on this team. A few of us can’t carry it, can’t carry the weight. I’m completely deflated at this point. I’m disappointed and you can tell I’m not happy. How can you be happy with that result? How can you be happy with the last four results? So something has to change and until it changes it is very difficult to be a team right now in this manner. We’re looking from the top. We need some guidance. We need some leadership and until we get that, it’s going to be hard to produce anything. Collectively we have to figure it out.
Spirit coach Mike Jorden:
(On how the losing streak affects the team mentally) It’s not easy because we’ve played in a lot of games that we’ve been on the wrong side of and we’ve played well. It’s just one of those things we’re we’ve got to finish our chances, number one. But one of the things we’ve been focusing on is to kind of stay in games early, don’t make any mental mistakes. To be down 2-0 like that in this league, it’s not good. I give a lot of credit to the team for not giving up. They’ve showed a lot of character all season. There hasn’t been one game where we’ve just kind of accepted whatever the score might be. We fought back, I thought we played pretty well at times and then the third goal killed us.
(On taking any lessons from Seattle Reign) For us it’s just trying to get some continuity and score some goals and continue to get a little bit better each week. Really, the scores haven’t indicated the types of games we’ve been playing. Kansas City was a tough game last week because they’re a good side and we just couldn’t compete in 95-degree weather out there and traveling. But most games, we’ve been in. Maybe not 50-50, but we’ve been in most of the games we play. We just haven’t finished and we give up silly goals.
(On the first goal) We gave a silly ball away at the midfield and just got transitioned and crossed in and finished, a lot like the one in D.C. a couple weeks ago. Same kind of thing. We gave away—we should’ve cleared a ball, instead we pass it to a Western New York player. Next thing you know, it’s in the back of the net.
(On starting Holly King over Stephanie Ochs) King over Ochs? We changed our system a little bit. And where I’m at with this young team I’m giving everyone chances. It’s each game and each week so Steph’s played a lot of minutes. And I think recently she hasn’t been in great form. Holly King has been playing well. So that’s how I’m looking at it.
(On getting Carline Miller back) She’s out for the season, so we’re not going to get her back. We thought it was going to be a six-week thing. They did another MRI and she’s done. So I’m excited to get Diana Matheson back maybe next week, which will certainly help us.