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Journal Entry Menu: June 26 | June 25| June 24 | June 21 | June 20 |
June 19 | June 18 | June 17 | June 16 | June 15
June 26, 2005
Suzy Grabko and Rachel Lewis
Suzy Grabko --- Morning
I woke up this morning at 5:40am to the annoying sound of a beeping alarm clock. We only had 20 minutes to wake up and pack before meeting the rest of the team at breakfast.
Today was the big day! We would have the chance to play against some of the best players in the world! It was an hour and a half drive into the mountains to get to Teresopolis, where the training camp for both the men’s and women’s national teams are located. Once Paul (assistant coach Paul Linson) made his round on the bus to wake up all our sleepy teammates, we started to realize just what we were about to experience. Gazing out at the Brazilian Futbol Confederation’s complex sent a rush of excitement through the team. We were here, and we were going to play hard, and have some fun.
The game started at 9:30am. We didn’t have much time to warm up; only to get our feet moving and to stretch before the referee blew his whistle. We made our pre-game circle one last time and a quiet excitement filled our group. We looked at each other, smiled, gave ourselves a few encouraging words and crowded into a tight huddle.
“CC on three!”
“1, 2, 3!”
The starting line-up jetted to their positions and the whistle blew.
About an hour and a half later the referee blew his whistle. Final score: 6-0. The first five goals were scored in the first half, while the final goal was conceded in the second half. We played hard, tough…didn’t sit back on our heels. We tried to take the game to them. We played to win, not to survive.
The reality is, we got to see and play some good soccer today. Playing against the Brazilian National Team not only showed us world-class soccer, but they also gave us a chance to learn what we can do better as a team as well as individual players.
After the game we traded jerseys, took pictures, and rather unsuccessfully tried to converse with our broken Portuguese and their broken English. But language barrier or not, it didn’t matter. We all shared the same passion and heart for the game. Smiles, laughter and the sense of pride were rampant everywhere.
In the end, we headed to the showers and were bussed up to the dining facilities where we ate another “yummy” meal with the Brazilian team. Quickly thereafter we said goodbye and were on “Mister Tur” (our loyal coach bus that we’ve had all trip) heading to the Teresopolis outdoor market for a little shopping.
An hour later we were on the bus driving back to Rio de Janiero to do some more shopping. It’s almost hard to grasp everything that our morning entailed. At moments the privilege we had to step into their complex and become a part of their training schedule (we actually made it onto their printed schedules posted throughout the camp!) seemed to evade me, while during others the honor was so real. I am grateful for the time we had today and can’t wait to bring back our confidence and new-found skills back to the MIAC!
Lewis --- Afternoon:
There were paintings of all types, but the team especially liked the 3D objects. We enjoyed the opportunity to try to make out what we thought each painting was of, and what we thought they meant. While walking back to the bus from the museum, the sun had set and we were able to see an unbelievable view of the coastline with all the buildings and shops lit up for miles. It was very beautiful, something we’ll never forget.
We went to get a bite to eat at what has become our favorite place to eat - the pizza restaurant. This was the same place that we went to last night, but it was still exciting because you could count on getting any type of pizza you ever wanted. It never got old or boring. Some of the favorite pizza kinds were banana, pepperoni and any of the various desert pizzas.
After dinner, while waiting for the bus, we got to have a good laugh when many people tried to imitate Jason’s (Concordia assistant coach Jason Wright) “pole hang”. He is able to hold his body at a 90-degree angle to the pole with his body perpendicular to the ground. It requires a lot of upper body strength. Many of the girls tried but were unable to successfully imitate him.
From there, we fortunate to visit the Copacabana Market to finish up any last-minute shopping. We saw jewelry, paintings, jerseys and flags, among other things. Many girls walked away satisfied with their Brazilian memorabilia.
Once back at the hotel, we went to the lobby where Jessie and I (Rachel) were surprised with two birthday cakes and a wonderful rendition of an English/Brazilian Happy Birthday song. We were very surprised, and delighted to be able to have some delicious birthday cake. It seemed to be not only a good end to the eventful day, but the icing on the cake for the whole trip, since it is our last night tonight.
It is now 11:00pm
and many of us are quite ready for bed. Today was, possibly, the most memorable
day of the trip. I am very thankful and grateful that we had the opportunity
for this trip, it was an amazing opportunity that I will never forget.
June 25, 2005
Heather Langseth and Darcy Swagger
With an extra hour of sleep under our belts, we were able to hit the beach with a little more spring in our step. We walked the 100m to Copacabana from the Luxor Hotel and spent the morning doing absolutely nothing under the sun.
The players that were adventurous enough to go into the water won a couple of rounds of the game, Cobbers vs. waves. For the people who weren’t in the water, the venders were relentless. And us, being the tourists that we are, bought everything from them. Nice!
After our time at the most famous beach in the world, we ate at the Fluminese Futbol clubhouse. The food was wonderful once again, especially the deserts. After that, we spent the afternoon touring the Maracana Futlbol Stadium, the largest in the world. It was absolutely amazing!
We all put
our feet in the footprints of the Brazilian soccer greats such as Pele,
Ronaldo, and Zico. They have big feet.
Most of the team ended up buying something to support the team. Flamengo lost 4-3 and the fans were very devastated, but we had an awesome time.
The night ended with a late dinner at the Pizza Grill where they serve 118 different types of pizza including banana split, sushi, and of course pepperoni.
Now it’s off to bed to dream about our match against the Brazilian National Team!!
June 24, 2005
Ellyn Roach and Stacy Hanson
We got to our hotel in Rio late last night. This hotel is what some of us would call a "real" hotel. We have hot water, television, hair dryers, and it is very clean. The hotel also has working outlets, except for one of ours...the one that happened to be charging our phone for our alarm.
Today was supposed to be an early morning. We were scheduled to be down for breakfast at 7:00am, with all of our stuff for the day. However, our room had a little problem with our alarm so we woke at 7:30 instead. We rushed down in time to make the bus at 7:45. We grabbed food on the way out (some yogurt, bananas, and Brazilian pastries.) Some of us had the opportunity to buy soccer jerseys from a vender in front of the hotel.
We jumped on the bus and headed for the train station where we took a scenic route to “The Christ” which is the highest point in Rio. The train took us up the mountain to where the statue is located. The ride lasted about 15 minutes. It was gorgeous...the view was incredible!
It was really weird because when we were up there, we actually looked DOWN on an airplane. The whole scene was breathtaking. It was something that you cannot capture in a picture no matter how hard you tried. On the way down we stopped at a couple vendors for some postcards and other various items until we were chased back to the train. The train took us back down the mountain. When the train suddenly jerked to a stop some of us got the pleasure of seeing wild monkeys! Pretty awesome!
We stopped for lunch at another Brazilian barbeque where we ate meat, meat and more meat. Then we had some really good desserts, which consisted of ice cream and pies. After lunch, we went into a room that was filled with trophies. It had the Fluminense collection of all sports trophies. It was really cool.
Then, we went to finally get rid of our donations that we have been dragging around with us the entire trip. We went to a poverty-stricken part of Rio and met up with the head of the organization that we were donating all the soccer-related items to. He showed us around the soccer fields and facilities. The field was a flat field of dirt, but that did not faze the children playing soccer on the field. They were having the time of their lives. They were just happy to have a place to play. We hope that we made some difference in their lives even though we were only able to give them some shoes and jerseys to play in.
We traveled to our game against Aleshandre´s Team Chicago next. Like usual our game did not start on time, but that was ok because our field was amazing. It was in the middle of the jungle between mountains. It was an amazing view. We won our game 6-3. It was really hard to come off of riding the bus all day and then having to play a game, but we came together as a team and pulled through.
After the game, we went out to dinner at a restaurant in a mall. It was Brazilian barbeque style where the waiters come around and serve you the food. We had rice, french fries and meat. The came the dessert pizzas...nummy! The dessert pizza was bananas and cinnamon...it was delicious!!
We then came back to the hotel and some of the girls got ready and went out dancing at a Brazilian club, some girls just rested and went to bed, and some of us went on a walk on Copocabana beach with the coaches.
Now, its time for bed.....good night!!
**Stacy and Ellyn**
June 21, 2005
The Cobbers are en route to Rio de Janeiro and will not be able to file a daily update until June 23rd. The Concordia sports information department learned that due to scheduling conflicts, the game against Juventus that was scheduled for the 21st had to be cancelled.
June 20, 2005
Kelly Ping and Kara Parsons
The morning started out with a bang...lots of lightning, thunder and rain. We headed to the dining hall to eat a usual breakfast. The breakfast consisted of various rolls, fruits, eggs, juice and some other choices.
After breakfast we headed to the Children's Cancer Hospital. Upon arrival we met with a volunteer, President of the hospital and administrators. There was also news crew that interviewed Suzy and also took pictures of the team as we walked through the hospital. We, as a group, felt that the hospital was a sufficient environment for the children and their families to come and get the help that is needed. However, the children are not aloud to stay overnight at the hospital due to the lack of facilities. We all wanted to contribute in some way and are planning on giving a donation as a team/school to help better the facility so these children can stay overnight. The children that were there ranged from infant to 17. They all seemed very curious and accepting of our visit.
Next, we headed to a soccer store in Jundiai. A lot of the girls decided that they wanted to get Brazilian National Team replica jersey's either for themselves or as gifts. Also, many of the girls were attracted to the sock collection.
Once again, we headed back to the hotel for another fine meal of rice, fish, rolls, salads, beans, chicken and farofa (Brazilian word...can't tell you what it is). After eating this fine meal it was time to head back onto the bus with Milton (bus driver). We then went to meet the Mayor of Jundiai; this is a bigger deal than meeting a Mayor in the United States. We also met the sports administrator of the entire city of Jundiai.
The Mayor took us to see the beautiful view of the city. Also, there was a Jardim Botanico (Botanical Garden) that represented different countries like, Japan and Italy.
When we arrived back on to the bus...we noticed that Dan was a little bit more nervous about meeting the Mayor than we had thought. We noticed that he was sweating quite a bit! He must be taking lessons from Pinger and Betsy!
The rain continued and so did practice. We still felt fortunate to be practicing because we were in Brazil and other teams in our conference, to our knowledge, have not experienced this opportunity. Alexandre and Bruno (BRUSA staff) ran the practice. We worked on touches and changing the point of possession.
On the way home from practice, the bus had to go in reverse for part of the way to the hotel, which seemed to amuse several of our delirious players.
We ate dinner and now we have time to rest so we can get up early and watch our coaches play futsal against some Brazilian locals. Good luck boys...
Ping and Kara Parsons
June 19, 2005
This morning we woke up extra early for breakfast and then left for our game against Guarani. The game began with a slow start, and we gave up three goals in the first half. At halftime we discussed perfecting our defensive rotation and keeping a positive attitude due to our unusual frustrations.
We began the second half on a much better note and actually ended up scoring a goal! Go Morgan! We ended up losing 4-1, but felt it was a good learning experience because we not only improved our defensive skills, but also grew as a team.
For me personally, this trip has been an emotional roller coaster due to my injury. As each day passes, the reality of not being able to play is becoming more and more apparent. For the past month I had been in a stage of denial, never truly allowing myself to think about, or believe, that soccer won't be a part of my life for a long time. However, this trip is forcing me to face the reality of my situation, and though it hurts, I know that it is for the better. I am enjoying all of the good things that this trip has given me, and taking the bad days as they come. I am just thankful that I have a wonderful team to support me, and hopefully before long I'll be back on the field where I've always loved to be the most!
After the game, we were able to tour the team's stadium and store. The hospitality that we've been receiving from our opponents has been so wonderful, and they're helping to make this experience an unforgettable one.
After lunch we were able to shower in our new "suite" rooms. They are very nice and the showers were actually warm :) Very relaxing! We then left for a men's professional game in Sao Paulo. We were amazed when we were led into a box seat to watch the game! Dan failed to inform us of this little piece of information so it was a very nice surprise for all of us. I thought they we only kidding and showing us what a box seat would look like so it was even better when I realized we were actually staying there.
All the people helping us were so nice. They really try to make this stay as relaxing and welcoming as possible. The language is the most amazing difference yet there are still so many people who know at least a little English. We hear American music and see posters for American movies and TV shows. It makes you think about how much influence America has on other countries.
While we were waiting for the game to start, another team of boys from the U.S. joined us to watch the game. They were a team who came together from various clubs around the U.S. and are here for a month long training camp. It was interesting to talk about how their trip was going.
The game was super fun! Sao Paulo won 1-0 over Botafogo. Sao Paulo was the underdog so it was good to see them win (especially since we are the underdog here too!)
When then returned to the same pizza place we ate last night. It was nice to go back because most of us knew what type of pizza we already liked. I believe the banana, chocolate, and ice cream pizza's were the most popular. Yummmmmmmm...our team loves desserts! The outing was even more exciting when the girls began flirting with one of the cute waiters ;) Pictures were taken and even an email was given out! Let's just say there was a bit of jealously amongst some of the girls...all in good fun of course.
Now it's off to dream world for a long night of rest. We get to sleep into 8:00am tomorrow! Hope all is well back home and I'm sure you will see all of the pictures we've taken (trust me, we've taken a lot!)
June 18, 2005
Morning - Betsy Olesen and Katie Ormsbee
Today's Theme: FOODMANIA!!
Well this morning we got to sleep in because breakfast was at 7:30am instead of 7:00am!!!
There were more people in the eating area this morning because it was a weekend, but the food still rocked! The fruits, breads and juices are awesome.
The walk to and from breakfast was a bit brisker and longer being we changed rooms for the night, however we feel that the team adjusted well.
After the brisk walk back to our rooms we packed up once again. We packed for our luggage to be transported to our new rooms, but also for our jam-packed day in Jundiai.
We headed out around 8:30 to have a training session. Today we trained at one of the club facilities in Jundiai. The session was pretty light working mainly on defensive positioning in certain game situations. This practice was beneficial, not only a learning standpoint, but it was also nice to give our legs a break being people were beginning to get a little worn out.
Afternoon/Night - Betsy Olesen and Katie Ormsbee
After practice we got cleaned up at the facilities and then experienced a Brazilian barbeque. We quickly learned this is not a quick event! At the start of the barbeque, we were served grilled sausage and steak along with bread, lettuce, salsa and drinks. As everyone went through the line for the first time, plates were being stacked with food because we thought that this was the only serving and also the main course - how wrong we were. The first serving of food ran out quickly due to everyone's hunger.
What we did not realize that traditionally a person would go through the line multiple times only taking a little bit at a time as the food is being prepared. After about 45 minutes we thought we were done but wait, chicken was thrown on the grill and more bread was brought out. WE WERE STUFFED!!
Now it was time to head off to the mall and walk off some of the terrific barbeque. Everyone was pretty excited to go shopping for the first time. We spent three hours walking around the largest mall in South America located in Jundiai. Most people found items to buy or maybe even a little treat of ice cream. The biggest difficulty was the language barrier. It made communicating with the salespeople and store owners difficult at times. Luckily we had Alex, Paula and Bruno along with us to help with the language problem.
Also, in a big mall like that, we found many of the same items that would be found in the mall's back home.
After the team was back together again, we all decided to go grab a bite to eat and head back to the hotel for some much-needed rest as we have a game early in the morning.
The place we went to eat was a Brazilian pizzeria with 80 different kinds of pizza. This pizza place was not like any of the pizzeria's that anyone on the team had ever been to! You could help yourself to pasta or salad before the pizza came around. When they brought out the pizza, we were totally shocked!! Instead of ordering one or two types of pizza you just sit at your table and wait for the pizza to come to you. You name something that could be put on pizza and there is a good chance we ate it.
However, the highlight would have been the dessert pizza. Bananas or chocolate, or ICE CREAM (that's right ice cream), were the hit dessert pizzas of the team.
Well off to bed...haha...as soon as the wild fish in the pond stop floppin' around!
P.S. Strange booms in the near distance night air.
P.P.S. We would like to apologize for any confusion due to our quirkiness from lack of sleep and recent sugar high (see dessert pizza section).
P.P.P.S. Do not panic about the strange booms, we have decided that the sound is very similar to our American fireworks, which we are looking forward to enjoying once we get back home (4th of July just around the corner, WAHOO)!!!!!
Much Love from
June 17, 2005
Morning - Amy Ravenhorst and Morgan Bain
Another early morning here in Brazil. We started out with breakfast at 7:00am and the bread with cheese was amazing!
Right after breakfast we hit the field for another training session. We worked mainly on more technical things since that seems to be where the American players lack...and where the Brazilian players seem to succeed.
As soon as we got back we grabbed lunch and then jumped into our swimsuits to soak up the afternoon sun. Some of the girls stayed by the pools to tan and jump in the pool once in a while. There's also a water slide, and by experimentation we found that it worked best when you went down head first.
Some of the other girls (Amy and Morgan, the two writing this) went to the volleyball net to play soccer volleyball with Dan (head coach Dan Weiler) and Damian (Concordia men's head coach Damian Koshnick).
When we got to the court they were playing with their shirts off to try and to get some sun to erase their very nice farmer's tan. They put their shirts back on when they saw us coming, which was a good thing because we would have probably been blinded by their overly white Fargo skin!!
The soccer volleyball game was really fun and at times very funny! Dan fell a couple times trying to get the ball over the net, and we burst out laughing because it was pretty hilarious!
commotion of the day came at the hotel. We had to switch hotels rooms because
of a little confusion with a big reservation of people coming in tonight.
After our little move we exchanged our money for the "real". All this took
up a lot of time but it wasn't particularly exciting.
Afternoon/Night - Amy Ravenhorst and Morgan Bain
We had to have quick supper because Dan was able to add a game to our match schedule. After inhaling our food, we boarded the bus for a game in Vinhedo. Vinhedo is a town that is just north of where we are staying. It was a pretty tense ride because some of the girls were getting car sick...or bus sick in our situation. We were all a little worried for awhile but luckily we made it to the field with no throwing up.
The game went well, we really thought that our whole team connected on the field brilliantly. We had a lot of spectators professing their love to us; but we think that those words might be the only English that they know. The game ended 5-1 in our favor and we had fans walking with us all the way to the bus. Some of us even were asked to sign autographs! Now we know what it's like for David Beckham.
After the game and getting on the bus, we had a quick stop at a local grocery store for snacks. As soon as we got back to the hotel we hit the showers.
Another great day of soccer, sun and fun!!
And now it's time for bed because we have yet another big day ahead of us. Stay tuned because you lucky people will get to hear all about it tomorrow!
June 16, 2005
Morning - Andi Purcell and Jessie Rosenthal
Our day started at 7:00 this morning with breakfast at the hotel. The meal was similar to yesterday, fruit, rolls, bread, cheese and meat.
After breakfast we headed to the field for our practice. Bruno (one of the coaches from the BRUSA Academy) led us through the Brazilian warm-up. After the warm-up, we worked on corner kicks and set pieces to prepare for our first game.
On our way back to the bus once practice was over we stopped in the community center next to the fields and watched a group of young boys play futsol. It was amazing to see such a large group of such talented young players. The pace of play was incredibly quick as they were playing on a gym floor and their touches and teamwork were very impressive. There were a number of boys watching the game and it was a quick look into their culture as their pride and love for the game of soccer was obvious.
Once we got back to the hotel we found some time to enjoy the sun by the pool before we ate lunch. There are three pools at our hotel. One with a slide, one with a volleyball net and the other indoor. The indoor pool was really warm, the other two quite cold but it was a fun hour.
We finished the first part of the day by having lunch. It consisted of rice, meat, beans, fruit, vegetables and fish.
The whole team can't wait to play our first game. It will be very exciting to play against a team from another country - especially one with so much soccer history.
Afternoon - Andi Purcell and Jessie Rosenthal
After lunch ended we headed back to our rooms to change for our game. We then boarded the bus and were in the heart of Jundiai in 30 minutes.
We were greeted at the field by a group of locals that came to see us play. While they waited, they were playing small games of their own. That is one thing about this country that is different from the US, whenever there is a group of kids together they are usually playing a pick-up game of soccer.
Instead of playing two, 45-minute halves like we do for the college season, we played three, 30-minute periods.
Before the first period both teams walked to the center of the field, carrying their countries flags to shake hands and say hi. It was exciting to be a part of a game where you were not only representing your school but also your country.
The first two periods were played against a mixture of girls that played on the U17 and U19 Paulista Futbol Club teams.
We started out slow in the first 30-minute session, with a scoreless game, but we were in control for a majority of the time.
In the second 30-minute period we picked it up, winning more 50-50 balls, controlling the game and managing to put a goal in the back of the net.
Miriam (Lombardozzi) crushed a ball headed to her by Jessie (Jessie Rosenthal) past the keeper in the first 15 minutes of the game.
The last 30-minute session we played the actual Paulista women's professional team. The play was much faster with the Paulista women controlling most of the game. We lost 3-0 but learned a lot by playing against such talented women.
One difference between American and Brazilian soccer is that Americans are known for being much more aggressive and comfortable with rough play whereas the Brazilians are noted for their skill and precision.
After the final period we talked with Brazilians for a bit, took pictures and then went back to the hotel for showers and dinner.
Dinner was similar to lunch, meat, veggies, fruit and rolls were served.
Following dinner we watched our game film from the three sessions against the Paulista teams. That ended about 9:00 p.m. and we were given the rest of the night to do as we pleased, but most of us are opting for an early night.
Hope all is
well back in Moorhead,
June 15, 2005
Morning - Jill Fancher
Yesterday we boarded our plane at about noon and flew to Dallas. After about a two hour layover, we took off for Sao Paulo. It was about an nine and a half hour flight, which we had to try to sleep because it was all night long. Some of us had some luck, others not so much. But once we got here there was much excitement because of the realization that we were actually here after talking about it for so long.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous!!
We then took a bus ride to Jundiai. It took us about an hour and a half. I tried to stay awake to take in the scenery, but eventually my lack of sleep caught up to me and I fell asleep - so did many of the other girls too (the bus was super duper comfortable, the seats totally reclined and were sooooo cushy).
When we arrived at our hotel, it was so beautiful. It's not your typical hotel. The roofs are like the roofs you see in movies. They're like U's only upside down.
They plants here are so cool, they're so green ;). There's a mini soccer field right here, as well as a volleyball court, a climbing wall and a pool with a water slide. There is also another pool with a volleyball net and a tennis court!!
We got to have our first taste of Brazillian food when we ate breakfast - yummm, yummm good. After we ate Dan (head coach Dan Weiler) let us take about a two-hour nap!! That was the end of our first morning in Brazil and I am very excited about all the things we will be doing.
Afternoon - Abby Pitsenbarger
After our much-needed nap, we were served a big lunch with some of the best fruit I've ever tasted.
The hotel staff was excited to have us and even took OUR picture.
After lunch, we took a 15-minute bus ride to our practice field. The field is in the middle of a nice residential area. I don't know what type of grass the practice surface was made up of, but it was very much like Bermuda grass, which makes the ball roll so much faster.
In practice, we worked on keeping possession and getting our legs and bodies moving again.
The weather was nice and hot. Kelly Ping got the award for having the most sweat on her shirt at the end of practice!
After two-and-half hours we called it quits and got on the bus to go back to the hotel.
Right now we are showering and getting ready to go eat again. We will finish off our night with a presentation from BRUSA.
If you have
any comments or would like to pass along best wishes to the team as they
travel in Brazil, please e-mail the Concordia sports information department