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Calm, positive Pia Sundhage inspires U.S. women

  • ESPN.com, Monday, July 11, 2011 5:29 PM

Ravi Ubha has high praise for U.S. coach Pia Sundhage after the USA's dramatic comeback win over Brazil in the Women's World Cup quarterfinal on Sunday.  Sundhage's lack of panic, even with her team down a player midway in the second half of Sunday's game, laid the foundation for one of the most memorable, inspiring rallies in World Cup history.

"She gives us a positive vibe," said Shannon Boxx. "It's been nonstop since she's been here. Always positive, look for the positives -- and I think we did when it came to overtime."

Sundhage, by her own admission, always has been calm, someone who loves life and finds it difficult to get angry. She takes a measured approach at halftime when not pleased with the display of her team or a particular player. "Very often I throw them a lot of questions to make them aware of what we need to do in the second half," said Sundhage. "I just say, 'These [few] things are important.' Then I throw them another question."

Sundhage added, "These three years I think I've been pissed maybe three times [in her three years in charge of the team]," Sundhage said. Boxx said, "I think she has to tell us she's pissed so that we know that. Otherwise, she'll walk away, and then we're like, 'Uh, she's probably mad at us right now.' She doesn't really show us, but later on, she'll say, 'I was really mad at you guys.'"

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