YNT Dec 8, 2009
Those of you who watched last night's match between USA and Netherlands on FSC may have noticed some adverse conditions. Afer raining all day, the winds came toward the end of the first half and from then on it was all hands to the pump. Field Ops bravely held down tents which covered the team benches during the game. The winds kept picking up and after the final whistle in the international game, it was a full on free for all.
Benches were overturned, boxes were flying everywhere and nearly every tent ended up at least 20 yards from where it was once anchored. One small tent flew across three fields and landed in a bush, while down on Field 11 a three-tent pile up needed ten staffers' attention. In a process more akin to planting the Stars and Stripes on Mt. Everest, one person tried to dismantle the medical tent flag as it billowed violently.
Golf carts zipped around picking up the wreckage of chairs, tables and signboards. At one point a fire extinguisher was dislodged from its post. It exploded sending a few unsuspecting folks sprinting from the blast point. After battening down the hatches as much as we could, we were forced to head back for the night.
In the morning, we surveyed the full extent of the damage. The ussoccerstore.com tent was rendered inoperable after blowing over the fence surrounding the Athletes' Lounge and into a tree a good 50 yards away. "Even Tim Howard couldn't have saved that one," remarked one onlooker as he examined the corner flag graveyard.
Nonetheless, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy staff is nothing if not resourceful and after an early arrival at the fields everything is back in working order for the final day of the showcase. As you can see, the sun is up and we're looking forward to a day of beautiful weather here at the final day of the showcase.
Some more data on the weather:
- The nearest major intersection at Deer Valley Road and Cave Creek Road was one of 30 without traffic signals working on Tuesday morning.
- The fields are about two miles easy of Deer Valley Airport, where 48 mph sustained winds and 74 mph gusts were recorded - the highest in Phoenix.
- The 48 mph winds were the first of that speed in more than seven years (July 14, 2002),
- Nearly an inch of rain (.89 inches) fell - eight times the December average of .11 inches. From July 1 to Dec. 6, a total of .94 inches fell. We nearly matched it.