Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Exploring Russia- Day 8

By: Erin Lycan
Region 1 ODP has participated in this event (Kuban Spring Tournament) for all three years the tournament has existed, this being the third. In the first year, Region 1 advanced to the semifinals and in the second year, advanced to the final, losing to China on penalty kicks.

Courage in soccer is wanting the ball when the game is on the line.

A player who makes a team great is better than a great player.

The team trained this morning and the conditions were pretty wet as it rained throughout the session. We wanted to prepare the team to be especially active in the attacking third of the field and especially combine in the center part of the field to expose their center backs. When we went to half of the field, the Estonia National Team asked to use the half of the field that we weren't using and we were happy to let them use it. We have become friends with their coaches as their English is excellent. The coaches from our team and theirs have spent hours in the hotel lobby sharing stories, ideas, activities, etc. and it has been a great experience to share ideas with them and learn about the soccer culture in their country and how it impacts their national team program.

After returning from training, the team went to lunch and then departed for downtown Sochi for some site seeing and the hope of finding a different meal other than the traditional Russian cuisine we've been eating for what seems like years now. After stopping at the beach and some shops, we were able to locate a retaurant that made excellent pizza. The team made quick work of 14 pizzas and returned to the hotel feeling satisfied and refreshed for tomorrow's match against the Ukraine.

The USA Women’s National Team has played Ukraine on 4 different occasions and won all 4 contests:
6-0 in 1996 in Brazil
2-1 in 1998 in Los Angeles
5-0 in 1998 in Fresno
7-0 in 2004 in Portugal

Players and teams who are constantly moving off of the ball in the attack are EXTREMELY difficult to defend.

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