WNT Dec 15, 2009
Pia Sundhage addresses the U.S. team after the final training session of camp
Yet another U.S. Women's National Team training camp has ended, and once again, the camp was a successful one. Last night, U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage and her staff mixed and matched the senior side with the U.S. U-23 Women's National Team for two, 11 v 11, 90-minute scrimmages in chilly weather. The first game ended 2-1 with Megan Rapinoe bagging the winning goal on a blast from distance with about 15 minutes left. The second game ended 1-0 as Kristina Larsen, a UCLA standout who was called in during the afternoon to play in place of Carli Lloyd who was suffering from a minor injury, scored the lone goal. The games were fast and intense, with the U-23s trying to show their stuff in front of the national team coaches and there were more than a few thundering collisions (No Surprise Award: Rachel Buehler was involved in a few of them), so the WNT players were a bit sore this morning for the final practice. With full-field games late night, and afternoon flights today, a somewhat tired and U.S. team hit the field at 8:45 a.m. for a fun skills competition and some 4 v 4 games on big goals. Points went to the winners of each skills competitions and each 4 v 4 match. As you can see below, the Yellow Team took top honors, and with that, $10 Starbucks gift cards.
So ends a 2009 for the U.S. Women's National Team that went 7-0-1 and featured the start-up of a new women's professional soccer league. Several young talents emerged that could help the USA in year to come, several veterans bid adieu to the international game and numerous others staked their claims to rosters spots come 2010. The new year promises to be even busier as the U.S. team gears up for CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The qualifying tournament will be held sometime in the early fall, but we don't yet know when or where. The USA returns to The HDC in mid-January for a training camp from which Sundhage will choose her squad for the 2010 Algarve Cup in Portugal.
So we leave you with a hearty, "MERRY CHRISTMAS (AND HANUKKAH) TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!"
Last day skills and 4 v 4 champs!