I’m currently in the Portugal for the 2010 NSCAA Algarve Cup Symposium, and I’m posting insights and info as we get to matches and training sessions- I hope you enjoy the updates!
Today began with a little drive to see the German Women’s National Team train. The trip from our hotel was about 15 minutes through some very scenic spots. There were rolling green hills with orange trees dotting the countryside – gorgeous. (We may have pulled over and snuck an orange. Not ripe, but totally worth it).
We arrived at the pitch just as the goalkeepers were beginning their session. Nadine Angerer, one of the very top goalkeepers in the world, really went through the paces. (Her team did defeat Finland 7-0 yesterday, I can imagine she probably needed the workout.) Here’s a little insight from April Heinrichs (P.S. I’m posting this blog before the video has finished processing and heading to bed. If it doesn’t render properly for some reason, I’ll sort it out tomorrow.):
We were extremely lucky to have Doris Fitschen speak with us about the German Women’s National Team program. Doris is considered one of the most successful German women’s soccer players in history, having won seven national titles and six DFB trophies. Fitschen competed for Germany at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. She now works with the National Team program in multiple capacities – from team operations to marketing.
After Doris spoke, we watched the rest of the German practice, and at the end we went down onto the pitch to gather signatures from Birgit Prinz, Nadine Angerer and a few other players. I also met Uli Ballweg, the Assistant German coach. As you might recall, Uli was originally scheduled to present at the 2010 NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia, but unfortunately had to reschedule due to a medical emergency. The good news is that Maybe she’ll reschedule for next year? We’ll see 😉
We were able to watch the Finnish goalkeeper train for about 30 minutes – she worked on crossed balls into the box. And then we headed down to the beach to snap a group photo.
Tomorrow morning, we’re headed over to Montechoro to see the Norwegian National Team train for about 30 minutes. Then, we’ll head over to the U.S. Women’s National Team training session in Guia. I’ll have photos and updates from that afterward.
Here’s a list of WPS players I’ll see tomorrow
Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride)
Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars)
Hope Solo (Saint Louis Athletica)
Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride)
Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers)
Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers)
Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence)
Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC)
Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC)
Shannon Boxx (Saint Louis Athletica)
Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence)
Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC)
Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC)
Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers)
Casey Nogueira (Chicago Red Stars)
Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence)
Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)
Solveig Gulbrandsen (FC Gold Pride)
Lene Mykjaland (Washington Freedom)
Oh, and I forgot to mention that when we went to Denmark v. China, I left an Atlanta Beat scarf for Johanna Rasmussen with the Danish FA representatives in the Press Box. I didn’t get a photo of her with it, so let’s hope she brings it to the Final Day of matches.