Postcard From Guangzhou, China - Lori Chalupny
Every so often when the U.S. Women’s National Team plays out of the country, a player will write an e-postcard, filling in fans back home on the happenings of the team, off field activities, and anything else on their mind. Today, 23-year-old midfielder Lori Chalupny checks in from Guangzhou, China, where the USA is preparing for the 2008 Four Nations Tournament and talks about the first few days of her fifth trip to China.
Jan. 11, 2008
I’d like to tell you all what’s been going on since we arrived in China, but you see, that’s the problem…not much. Basically, we’re just trying to get over the jet lag and get used to the surroundings.
This is my third trip to Guangzhou, which is a lot for a Midwestern girl from St. Louis, but it’s not so monotonous this time because we’re in a different hotel from the first two trips. It’s a nice one and in a more lively area than before. The food has been really good and I’m rooming with Tobin Heath, who is the youngest player on the roster. Honestly, though, it doesn’t seem like I’m much older than her, although I did get a vacuum cleaner for Christmas and was really happy about it while I’m pretty sure Tobin would not be as excited with an upright vacuum (as well as pots and pans and a bread maker) as I was.
The Four Nations Tournament has been pretty eventful for me in the past. Last year, I scored a big goal against China to help us win the tournament, but the year before I got kicked in the head, then headed in the head, and got a bad concussion that kept me out of action for three months. I’m hoping this year brings more goals and fewer collisions.
We were on the road so much in 2007, but I was looking forward to getting back with the National Team this year. I got to spend about two and half months at home in St. Louis and it was fun and relaxing. We played one of our games after the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in St. Louis, and since I got back, I’ve been recognized a lot more when out and about and I have to say it’s a bit embarrassing. Long story short, people in the Midwest are really friendly.
Off the soccer field, the most fun thing I’ve done so far is play Wii with Tobin. We did bowling, and I destroyed her, but it must have been beginner’s luck as she beat me fair and square in tennis. I did take bowling in college though, so I’ve got a bit of formal training (I got an “A” by the way). I can see some more Wii in our future on this trip, but I have to be careful to save some energy for the games as I worked up quite a sweat playing tennis.
We’ve brought a really young team to China, but it’s been fun playing with them and seeing their enthusiasm and excitement. I remember when I was one of the youngest players on the team, and although I don’t think I’m ready to make the jump to “veteran” status, I feel like I can share some of my experience with them and help them get accustomed to the international game.
We have three tough games here, against Canada, Finland and of course China, and I think it will be a great way to start the year and to start off a new era with a new coach.
I have to run because Tobin is asking for another beat down on the Wii, but thanks for reading and for supporting the U.S. Women’s National Team!