WASHINGTON - Surrounded by youthful players looking to quickly find their way in the Women's World Cup, Brazil's standout forward, Katia, talked about how outstanding the additions were and promised they would soon be heard from.
Up against South Korea in yesterday's opener at RFK Stadium, it was the 26-year-old Katia - one of only five players who played important minutes for Brazil's 1999 World Cup team - who spoke volumes in helping to clear the first hurdle.
With two goals in a take-charge second half, Katia led Brazil to a 3-0 win over a South Korean side that showed understandable jitters in its first World Cup appearance.
But with powerful Norway up next for Brazil on Wednesday in Group B play, she knows there's not much time to enjoy yesterday's victory.
"I think it was a good game, but we need to talk about a lot of stuff," she said. "We need to organize. It's going to be a tough game. Norway is a good team and we know them. We're going to play just to enjoy."
The Brazilians are coming off a third-place showing in the 1999 Cup, but come into this year's tournament with a new look.
Pretinha is not on the roster because of a knee injury, and Sissi, the midfield spark on the '99 squad, was deemed, at 36, past her prime by Brazilian coach Paulo Goncalves, leaving 22-year-old Daniela and 17-year-old Marta among the new players stepping up.
Katia said she doesn't feel added pressure as Brazil's primary focus on offense, but was a little frustrated at missing a third goal yesterday.
"When you have an opportunity, you have to finish," she said. "That's my job, to score goals, and it was a lost opportunity. We got three points and that's the important thing,"
South Korea forward Eun Sun Park summed up her team's nervousness with a simple observation: "I was trying to play well, but my body was not working."
The South Koreans will try to find their footing on Wednesday against France, which is coming off a 2-0 loss to Norway. Coach Jong Goan An expects better things.
"Our first game in the World Cup and it's been a lot of pressure on the players. I don't feel the players performed to their abilities," he said.
"I feel the France game will be much better and we will perform a lot better. We have two remaining games to find out [if we make it to the quarterfinals].
"I think we have a chance and they're going to try their best, a game at a time."