U14 Girls: Finals
Stars n' Stripes vs Benson Soccer on Field 20 Stadium @ 18:15
Championship day - Big day for Stars n Stripes as our girls play in the Finals at 6.15 pm so we have a long time to prepare. Kids sleep in and then have breakfast at 9. Boys are washing clothes today, some of you are missing a precious memory watching this activity. Actually, Anita our trainer and Dedra, Will's mom, are doing the laundry while the boys try and make piles and look confused. While the wash is going on we go and have lunch and then do match analysis for both teams.
Another great sunny day, truly fabulous weather, 65 degrees and no clouds anywhere. Just cool enough to carry a jacket with you and we spend most of our time taking it off and putting it back on again. Girls leave early to prepare for Final and boys meet to plot their cheering plans. Lots of excitement going on around here.
As we prepare for the Finals, the stadium is filled with people and chants for games already going on. We actually place the girls in a locker room, very professional, as they get mentally prepared for the Final. We play against one of my longest friends in my tour history, Benson Soccer, another USA team and the chants verses each other are top quality.
Game time and the girls march out in World Cup fashion and wave to the crowd. I think they are nervous. Now I know they are nervous as they play very timid and give up an early goal and go into halftime 1-0. Charles and I try every possible formation with girls playing every possibile position to generate more attack. We create chances but nothing goes in and we lose 1-0. 2nd place in the Dana Cup and the girls are sad but proud as well.
The boys were princes in every aspect. They even run to dinner early and get the girls a plate, set up their table, and do a welcome line for cheering as we walk into the lunchroom. With medals around their neck and the 2nd place Cup help up high, the entire eating hall breaks into applause for our girls. It was awesome.
After dinner we meet again and give the kids the chance to mingle for awhile and take part in the carnival next to our school. It is a great site to see kids from South Africa, Zambia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Americans juggle a ball together, joke, do tricks, or just talk in our courtyard. This has definately been a great stop for our tour.
Tomorrow we have a beach in our plans and some wind down time. The boys are all hoarse from yelling and the girls are exhausted mentally and physically. A day without a ball might do them some good. Speak to you then.
P.S. Getting chances to call home are difficult, parents; no payphones around but kids are emailing from internet cafe when they can find a free terminal. They are trying though as we all are.