Aug. 15, 2006
Moscow, Russia – Well, it was my fist full day here in lovely Moscow. We woke up at about 8:30 for taping, had breakfast at 9:00 and training at 10:00. I forgot to tell you that last night we got a briefing by everyone – Heif (Aaron Heifetz, US Soccer Media Relations), our translator and the security guy. Well the security guy went on about watching out for pick pockets and then he goes on to say terrorism is a concern at the World Championships. Bombs are a major concern like car bombs or potential bombs on our bus. So pretty much everyone but a few of us freaked out when he said that. But Jerry, that is the name of our head of security, goes to check our bus all the time before we go anywhere so that is a comfort.
So back to today. We had a police escort on the way to training. Every time we come to a major intersection there is another policeman there who stops traffic for us. The place we trained is right next to one of the stadiums – not sure which one but there was flower gardens all over and each said something or was a picture of something. Some were soccer balls, some people, some flowers in the shape of flowers, they were awesome.
The grounds were huge with fields spread out all over the place. There was a cluster of three where most of the teams practiced but we were on a really secluded area on a turf field. We just played small sided and then worked on finishing (forwards) and defenders did winning the ball and then long balls.
I got new cleats, but I was an idiot and everyone convinced me to get the ones that aren’t as comfortable (a little too small) as opposed to the kids ones that we more comfortable, but not as cool looking. They were the white vapors that had red heals- the ones I got are pearl white with gold and blue…..I WANTED BLACK but they didn’t have any.
Lunch was chicken, beef, pasta and soup with veggies and fruit. Then we had a meeting where we got our credentials with pictures. We got little goodie bags too with a shirt, poster, media guide and a stuffed fox which is the mascot for the tourney. Then we went SHOPPING! We went to red square and St. Basil’s cathedral which was beautiful. The domes were like cupcake tops that were swirled all different colors-all the buildings in red square were really deep red except for the mall it was cream colored. The mall was called GUM not gum, pronounced “goom”.
There were a million little venders with the stacking dolls. I did a little shopping. Then we just walked around the red square and the gardens near by. There was a fountain, and some guys were DIVING from a balcony into the fountain…not the brightest thing ever since the pool at the bottom of the fountain was like 4 ft max. Kelley (O’Hara a forward from Stanford) almost got pick pocketed right when we got there. We came back and napped for a little while. Dinner was salmon, noodles, soup and fruit. Now I am going to try and stay awake until 9:30 so I can sleep through the night.
Today we woke up at 9:00 am had a meeting with the refs at 9:30 about expectations and what we can expect…yikes. They are refing similarly to the World Cup, which in my opinion was a little too card happy but now we know what to expect. I just got back from the gym. I was doing some abs and arm stuff. We don’t train until 4:00 pm because that’s what time our game is on the 18th. So I will let you guys know what other adventures happen today later on. Hopefully preseason is still going well and everyone is having fun. I can’t wait to come back to Florida State and finally meet all my new teammates and see everyone again!