USA had only 4 games today. First game was USA U23M against Turkey. We were expecting a blowout, but USA did well, keeping the score to 7-0. Turkey had not been scored on yet. USA actually came close a few times. That would have been an upset, but it didn’t quite happen. :) You can watch the game here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE4K_6JNfYU
Day Six: USA vs New Zealand
The U19M team had only one noon game scheduled today, so in the morning, the team went shopping at the Salamanca Market at the waterfront. It was good to get out and away from the hotel and pool for a change.
The Salamanca Market is a highlight of Hobart. Every Saturday, hundreds of vendors set up their booths of food, arts, and crafts on the street fronting the harbor. High quality and a wonderful setting. The U19 boys shopped for gifts to bring back home as I did.
Again, what a day…
The day started with the U23 men playing against Great Britain. There is so much going on in a day that it feels like that game was two days ago. I hesitate to say much about the game because my memory is failing me… Since I am on the deck and can’t even see the TV screen, I really don’t know much of what happened in the game itself. I guess everyone (including me) will have to watch the game here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLg8JT7jEaI
The final score 10-0 in GBRs favor.
Today was a really long day. The U19 girls played three games - all of them were great games and they played impressively. Both Australia and South Africa were intimidating teams and the USA girls made them work hard for each and every goal. Unfortunately, the USA remained scoreless in those games, but kept SA at 5 points and AUS at 4 points. The Australians scored three of their 4 points in the first 10 minutes and then scored only 1 more point in the last 20 minutes. It was very impressive.
Day 5: France and Canada
Our morning game is with France who I believe will win the gold in these games. They are fast. I mean blur fast. I tell our boys to stay with our game plan until I call free sub so that starters and subs can have enough minutes in the game to become a better player for the experience. I tell the boys to have fun.
Day Four: Last day of practice and Opening ceremonies
We warm up for our 10:40 am scrimmage with the French U23 women. It's the last day of practice and the pool is feeling intense. Teams are stretching and warming up in the water with purpose. The referees are looking sharp and moving with vigor.
Short update today- bed sounds awfully inviting…
Last day of practice for all of the teams. The U23 boys played against the Turkish U23 boys and also the NZ U19 boys. Great practices, but both of those teams are quite strong and USA U23 couldn’t keep up. USA made some strong drives towards the goal, but never managed to go all the way. Both other teams were very disciplined, which is something the USA U23 still need work on. There are clearly teams here who will beat the USA U23 easily, but there will also be teams that will be very good competition. None will be easy!
Third day of practice: Colombian U23 women
We arrange a morning scrimmage with the U23 Colombian women and by coincidence, arrive at the pool at the same time. A group picture is taken. We like scrimmaging with women. They play a clean game and allows us to work on our play sequence. But they still demand a high level game from us and command our respect. We have Justin Lee back with us but we are still short handed as Ben Zeigler is still out with the stomach bug that we fear is going around.
I know I promised to send regular updates of our progress in Taz, but life at a world championship is pretty chaotic. I keep hoping things will calm down a bit, but that’s unlikely. Opening ceremonies will be tomorrow night, and after that, all we have to worry about is competing and eating. Should be easy, right?
Second day of practice: Argentina, Colombia and Australia
We arrive at the pool for our scrimmage with Argentina. We have the ten o'clock slot and our U19 girls are finishing up their 9:00 am scrimmage against the Colombian women. It's clear that our U.S. Girls are holding their own and even taking it to Colombia. I speak with Kendall and as usual, he speaks modestly of their performance. I ask him what the score was and he replies "oh, 3 to 2 or something like that".