Aug. 20, 2006
Hey Today was another adventurous day. We trained at 10 again. The defenders worked on 1-v-1 defending (much needed from yesterday’s game), passing and then we did a really fun drill where a person plays a long ball then an attacker pressures them and they either have to first time it to the defensive mid or take it out of the air and dribble out of pressure and play a long ball. It was fun to change things up. The attackers worked on Finishing (once again much needed from yesterday’s game). Then those of us playing against Argentina worked on corners…so I took a ton of corners. Then those of us who take free kicks worked on free kicks from our designated area. So needless to say I took a lot of set pieces today! It was actually pretty “hot” at training. But take hot lightly, it is Russia. Lunch was not so hot- it was plain white fish…pasta and meat sauce. So I ate meat sauce on fish (weird).
After lunch we went on a boat tour of Moscow which was tons of fun. The weather was nice until the lightening came at the end. We saw the Kremlin, some people laying on the grass and asphalt (I think they thought it was the beach) most wearing Speedos and the older women in two-pieces that I don’t think I would even wear. We just got to see a ton of Moscow sites. The tour was about 2 hours but getting onto the boat was quite an adventure. So we get to the dock and the line is really long, so Amy our team administrator stood in line while we listened to Jerry (security) tell cool stories. So Amy got our tickets and we went down to where you get on the boat. That was only the beginning of the pushing, shoving, cutting and angry people. People got mad because a huge group of us joined the front of the line because Amy had our tickets, so they proceeded to cut us. I end up CRAMMED like a sardine in the middle of people all of whom were taller than me, it’s a little warm outside and as the air (smell of people) was all around me! The boat unloaded and people began to flood the loading gate and at the time there was only one entrance but a guy came over the loud speaker and announced that the back stair case was open (everyone was fighting to get a seat upstairs in the sun) and people starting two-handed pushing us out of the way. When I finally made it up to the top a few girls had seats and Jess had been saving one for Lopez but she had decided to sleep in the covered part of the boat so I got a killer seat. Dew, Joe, Jess and I found out that they had suckers, so we got small ones we found out how good those were so we got XXL ones and tired to predict how long it would take us to suck them. We were way off….but afterwards my jaw hurt badly, but it was worth it!
Towards the end the rain came so for the last 10 minutes we sat downstairs. We came back and I watched a movie called “Invisible Children” which was about North Uganda and the problem going on there with children being abducted, it was very interesting. Then we went to dinner and I just got done meeting with some people who work with Athletes in Action here in Moscow. It was very cool. One was from Brazil, another from Moscow and the last guy was American. We set it up to go to Church tomorrow morning. I am very excited about that since we don’t really ever get to go.
We will train tomorrow afternoon and then we play Argentina on Monday at 4:00 p.m. I will be starting at defensive mid and then moving to right back (if all goes to plan). Talk to you tomorrow!
Well it’s the day before another game.
Today we were crazy and it began with us waking up an hour earlier! Whoa! Just kidding but really we did wake up an hour earlier to leave for church.
The people we met last night from Athletes in Action met us at our hotel this morning and we rode in our bus to church. It was called Moscow Bible Church. So we were driving and we have been to several parts of the city going to different fields, but we went in a whole new direction into a whole new neighborhood. It took us about 25 minutes to get there. Twelve of us went and the two trainers. So on the way we all of a sudden the driver slammed on the breaks in the middle of the street and our police escort stops traffic, but in the mean time we almost hit our own escort…kind of funny because it was a busy small street (although the city was pretty dead on Sunday Morning) but relatively speaking it was busy, so we flipped the U-turn and pulled up to a really shabby looking apartment complex with a long short building in front…we soon found out that the small hotdog building was the church. The service was held in the basement of this building and we were a little early so we heard the little worship choir warming up. There were two guitars and three singers…tiny. Slowly it began to fill and at the most I would say there were 30 people in the service. It was interesting there was a different translator for every different person who came up and spoke. So the sermon was in English but halfway through the sentence he would stop and the woman would translate. On the ride back most of us fell asleep. (Early morning)
Lunch was neat. There was chicken again BUT it had seasoning on it and was kind of Mexican and there was tortillas so we tried to make tacos with chicken ,rice, guac and the tortilla….it was nice for a little change. Very little, but still a change. Then we were supposed to leave right for practice but the grownups stayed at lunch and chatted for an hour so we entertained ourselves. Dew has a camera on her computer, so we were just being goofy and recording it and then watching it and laughing again even harder. She was kind of “candid cameraing” because none of us ever knew when she was recording. Then we played one of our favorite games. You get a mouthful of water and them someone tries to make you laugh, but you can’t spit the water out. We got out of control. Water was flying everywhere and I spit mine in Noogies face. She was trying to make me laugh so she got in my face and it was funny so I lost my water…woops. So FINALLY they came up and we left for training.
Training was at yet another stadium. They have tons of random complex/stadiums everywhere in the city. I guess it’s a HUGE city, but in NYC there aren’t small stadium and turf fields everywhere….just another thing that is very different. So we drove to this new stadium which took about a half hour. We played small sided, did crossing then worked on attacking set pieces. Very short but fun. Then we did abs. Oh but we had to move the goals for small sided. I have never lifted a heavier goal-the post and crossbar were solid metal and pretty thick and at first there was five of us trying to carry one-two per side and then one in the middle, well I was at the lower part like where the post is perpendicular to the ground aka the heaviest part because it was doubled up at the bottom. I thought I got a hernia! But Val came to the rescue. It was funny. We have dinner in a while and the rumor floating around is that we will have real Mexican, which I don’t know how that is possible. I didn’t think there was much of a Mexican population in Russia (maybe I’m crazy).
After that who knows what the night will bring, tons more laughs though. Oh and Dew painted me a picture of a wave-she is really really good so that’s cool!
Bock and I last night watched these shark shows on animal planet (that is really the only English channel)-it was awesome, but I don’t think I’m going to hit the beach for a while. And I guess every Sunday at our hotel is dessert buffet cause I have never seen as many desserts in one place, they are just in all these displays all over the lobby-cakes, shot glasses with jelly goo, brownie things, ice cream…everything you could think of-but we don’t get it. BOO!
Talk to you tomorrow after my game…we play at 4pm here.