Saturday, February 2, 2008

Groundhog Day

The WNT Blog is back! And what better day than Groundhog Day, because in an homage to Bill Murray’s classic film “Groundhog Day,” life at Women’s National Team training camps (with no international matches during or at the end of camp) is pretty much the same day after day after day…However, the difference this week is that this is a “Mega-Camp” with 36 players trying to impress head coach Pia Sundhage. The camp is actually being run as two camps simultaneously, with 12 veteran players training in one group and the remaining 24 players, mostly young players and a few veterans coming off injury, in another. With practices at different times, it makes for some busy days for coaches and support staff, but it’s always exciting to see new faces in camp. Many of the first-time call-ups have had extensive experience with the U.S. U-19, U-20 and U-21 National Teams, but several are getting their first looks with the full team. U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team head coach Bill Irwin is in town for a few days to help evaluate, having coached many of the players on the U-21s, and new WNT assistant coach Jillian Ellis is at her first camp since joining Sundhage’s staff. After coaching the U.S. U-21s, the U.S. U-20s and in college at UCLA, Ellis is also well-versed in the talents of the sub-23-year-old players in the USA. This afternoon, the younger group gets to show its stuff in a full-field scrimmage. We’ll try to get a report on the match.


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