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U.S. MNT Conducts First Practice in Lyon, France


U.S. MNT Confederations Cup Notes
June 13, 2003 - Lyon, France


TRAINING BEGINS:
The U.S. MNT went through its first training session in France this morning at the Complexe Sportif Limonest, a beautiful municipal stadium located in a small town outside Lyon.  Set in the hills, the city-run park serves as the match field for local amateur competetions, with the ability to hold about 500 spectators (view pictures of the facility in the "Sights and Sounds" section of ussoccer.com).  Despite warm temperatures and the difficulties of travel, the team conducted a spirited 90-minutes session on an impeccable surface.  Training began with a short-field scrimmage with three goals on each end, then moving to a finishing exercise.  The team finished with a game of 6v6 on a shortened field with regulation-sized goals, with the goalkeeping trio of Tim Howard, Joe Cannon and Marcus Hahnemann the stars of day, turning aside numerous quality scoring chances.  The team continues once-daily sessions tomorrow at 10 a.m.

VIVA LA FRANCE:
Two days into their stay in Lyon, several players discussed the environment surrounding team as the opening matchday now sits just six days away.  The USA's first match against Turkey on June 19 ( 7 p.m. local, 1 p.m. ET) will be broadcast via same-day delay on Galavision beginning at 7 p.m. ET.  Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

Are you getting adjusted to the time change?


Bobby Convey: I think it will be a couple more days until everyone gets adjusted. I slept a lot yesterday and rested up, so I should be ready in a couple days. I’m just trying to get on schedule here. Even if I’m tired during the day, I might sleep for 30 minutes and try to stay up a little bit later. That way I can go to bed at a normal time, get up at a normal time and start eating at the right times.

DaMarcus Beasley: It’s [the time change] taking me a little while to get used to. I went to bed at 8:30 last night, so I was up from 1:30 to 4:30 in the morning. But I think the next couple days will be alright as long as we get out of the hotel and walk around a bit we should be fine. As for me, I’m struggling a bit, but I should be alright. I’ll probably take a nap today, so I won’t be as tired tonight and can stay up a little later and sleep until 8 or 8:30 tomorrow morning.

Chris Klein: I’m trying to get adjusted. I haven’t been over here too much, so I tried to listen to guys who have more experience flying back and forth and try and figure out ways to adapt. I got a good night sleep last night and will try to get into my normal routine as quickly as I can.

What are your first impressions of Lyon:

Chris Armas: The few times I’ve been to Europe I’ve always loved the feel you get when you are over here. The weather is nice, and the people give you a warm welcome. We walked around the town a little bit and there’s a lot of people out and about. There were a lot of kids playing soccer. We saw three different games going on yesterday in the streets. It’s a nice feel over here.

Chris Klein: I think it’s beautiful. Anytime you come to Europe the thing that strikes me the most is the history and how old everything is, which is pretty cool coming from Kansas City where everything is growing and is brand new.

How was the first day of training?

DaMarcus Beasley: The facility is very nice and the field is great. The weather was a little hotter than we thought it would be, but everything else is good. The field was good to play on because it was kind of slick and wet so the ball moved well. Everything has been pretty much first class so far.

Chris Armas: The facility is fantastic. We couldn’t ask for anything better. The great weather and beautiful field make for good training. The field was fairly soft and level and a little wet, so it was good.

Chris Klein: The field and surroundings were very nice. I think the practice was good because it was important for us to get into our normal routine as quickly as possible. We did a good job of getting the travel out of us.

CONFEDERATIONS CUP FACT OF THE DAY:
This will be the sixth edition of the Confederations Cup, with the inaugural tournament being held in 1992 in Saudi Arabia. The four other tournaments were held in 1995 (Saudi Arabia), 1997 (Saudi Arabia), 1999 (Mexico) and 2001 (Korea/Japan). Each tournament has crowned a different champion, with Argentina, Denmark, Brazil, Mexico and France having collected the championship trophy.  The U.S. has finished in third place both times it entered the event, in Saudi Arabia in 1992 and Mexico in '99.

WRITING DEBUT:  OFF THE BALL, a chronicle of the U.S. Men's National Team and their journey in France as seen from the unique perspective of U.S. defender and SoCal native Carlos Bocanegra, can now be read at ussoccer.com. Click here to read the rest of the journal:  www.ussoccer.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=37368

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