Sunday, January 13, 2008

Almost Game Time

The U.S. team trained today at the game venue, the Guangdong Olympic Stadium. The field is green and plush, although with six games over the five days, it’s going to get a bit chopped up for sure. The team ran through some passing patterns, did some finishing, played a bit of 11 v. 11 and then worked on some set plays. Tomorrow, it’s one final training and then the match against Canada on Wednesday, January 16. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. local, which is midnight ET. Canada and Finland both arrived over the past two days and all three squads are staying at the same hotel. Interesting enough, all three of the teams in the hotel are coached by northern Europeans. Michael Kald of Finland is of course Finnish. Even Pellerud of Canada is Norwegian and the USA’s Pia Sundhage is of course Swedish. China’s head coach, Elisabeth Loisel is French, meaning all four coaches at the tournament hail from Europe, despite only one European country in the competition. Tomorrow, all four coaches will be at a press conference at the stadium. It will also be defender Christie Rampone’s first press conference as captain of the U.S. National Team.

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