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Post Cards from Russia: Midfielder Amanda Poach

Every so often when a U.S. Women’s National Team plays out of the country, a player will write an e-postcard, filling in the fans back home on the happenings of the team, off-field activities, and anything else on their mind. Today, we get a PoachCard, as 19-year-old Amanda Poach, who is having an excellent tournament in the center of the U.S. midfield, checks in from Moscow, Russia, after the USA returned to the capital following its resounding 4-1 win over Germany in the quarterfinals. The USA is preparing for the semifinal of the 2006 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Championship against China to be played at Lokomotiv Stadium on Aug. 31. Poach, a sophomore at Santa Clara University, talks about her penchant for sweets, why Tobin Heath will never be an entomologist and how she “killed” at her press conference.

Hola from Russia! It’s been a few days since my teammate Stephanie Logterman wrote her postcard about what the team has been up to in Russia Since then, a lot has happened. We took two train rides, beat two really good European teams, saw some of the beautiful sites of Russia and ate a lot of desserts. Ok, I ate a lot of desserts. If there is one thing I am missing from St. Petersburg, it is definitely those apple turnovers.

After we beat the French in our final group game, I experienced my first ride on a “sleep train” from Moscow to St. Pete. It was 11 hours. I slept nine of those. The train could have been robbed by bandits on horseback and that still wouldn’t have woken me up.

After arriving in St. Petersburg we were able to take a bus tour of the city and visit a castle. Well, I didn’t go to the castle but I heard it was pretty cool. As far as the bus tour goes, I never made that either. I tried to go on the first attempt in the afternoon, until a car hit our bus (not hard) and the tour was aborted just five minutes in. Then, I was all set to go on the second attempt in the evening, but I was talked out of it by a few teammates and the words “chocolate cake.” So, instead of the bus tour, we went to the hotel restaurant and scarfed down some delicious desserts.

After spending about two weeks in Moscow, life in our new city of St. Petersburg was going well, until about 2 a.m. on the early morning of Aug. 26. I was sound asleep until a book flew past my face and smacked my pillow with a loud “thump.” It seems that my roommate Tobin Heath was on some sort of a hunt to kill every mosquito in the room. She didn’t care that the mosquito in question was right in front of my face. I tried to warn her before going to sleep that she shouldn’t leave the window open as I had experienced similar mosquito issues in Moscow, but she was too naïve to heed the words of this veteran mosquito hunter. She was more concerned with the lack of air conditioning in the room, so the windows came open. We ended up killing as many as we could and when we woke up, the walls were splattered with blood like we’d been in a teen slasher movie. I woke the next morning to Tobin saying, “You’re going to kill me, but I found the air conditioning.” At that moment, I thought of her as one of the mosquitos and I almost grabbed a book.

The Germany game has definitely been the highlight of the trip so far! I am so proud of all my teammates. It was definitely a battle, and give credit to Germany as those girls can definitely play, but we came to the game focused and were committed to the match mentally and physically. After the game, I had to go to the post-game press conference. I think I answered my one question without sounding too stupid, but I am not too good at those things.

We took the bullet train back “home” this morning to Moscow and did a little shopping at Red Square in the afternoon, for the third time during this trip. I think we are done with Red Square. Tomorrow, we hit the field again with an early training session so I better get my beauty sleep. Good job to the Broncos for winning our first two games! I’ll see you guys soon enough ... but we still have some business to take care of over here. For all my friends and family back in the States, I hope everyone is well and I miss you.

One love,