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, 19-year-old midfielder Danesha Adams checks in from Teresopolis, Brazil, where the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team is playing in the three-team Ricardo Teixeira Cup against Canada and Brazil. The U.S. team opened the competition with a 2-2 draw vs. Canada, but rebounded with a 2-0 victory vs. Brazil. Adams scored the second goal, running onto a cross from Lauren Cheney to finish from close range. Today, the speedy flank player and UCLA sophomore talks about her trip to the rain forest, the good eats in Brazil and how she can get a bit worked up if someone elbows her in the face.
Hey, what’s up…Danesha here from Teresopolis, Brazil. We’ve been training hard and have played two games so far, but our head coach Tim Schulz is great at making sure that we experience the places we travel to as well, because who knows, we may never be in Brazil again.
Last Monday, after training, we took a trip to a local National Park, really a rain forest, and boy, did it live up to its name because it was raining pretty hard and there was a whole bunch of trees. Initially, we had trouble getting in because they thought we had more people in the bus than we paid for. C’mon, it was three bucks a person to get in to see a bunch of wet trees! Cut us a break. Then, they almost wouldn’t let us walk around because it was raining, but once they let us out of the bus, we took what we thought was a trail and ended up in someone’s backyard. After backtracking, we found some great trails with dense trees, pretty flowers and you really felt like you were out in the wilderness, until you came out of the jungle and hit the paved road. Then we walked back to the bus. We got drenched, but it wasn’t cold at all, so in the end, it was a fun team outing.
Brazil is certainly a country of great contrast. Before we visited the rain forest, we got to go to the beach in Rio de Janeiro, and I can say that it wasn’t like any of the beaches I’ve been to in America, mostly because all the guys were wearing very small bikini briefs. (Welcome to Brazil.)We averted our eyes and ended up having a great time. I took a long walk along the beach and saw some really beautiful scenery. There were islands off the coast that were almost glistening in the sun and we walked to some rocks and climbed to the top where we could see the famous Copacabana beach in the distance.
I must say that the team has been very impressed with the food here at our hotel. I am not used to five course meals for lunch and dinner, but I don’t seem to be complaining or pushing myself away from the table. There hasn’t been a night were I haven’t gone back for seconds, and, umm…thirds. My first plate is usually filled with fruit, like pineapple and watermelon. My second plate is usually two pieces of steak, a piece of chicken and some potatoes and carrots. The third plate is two more pieces of juicy, thick, filet mignon steak. Hey, us soccer players need lots of energy, right?
We played our second game of the tournament on Wednesday., April 19 (which was Val Henderson’s birthday! Happy B-Day roomie!) We played Brazil and they definitely play a different style of soccer. They were very skillful, but I didn’t think they showed their fancy dribbling as much as they usually do. I got into the game at halftime and right away I could tell the match was very physical. I got a yellow card late in the game, which I probably deserved, as I took this girl out from behind with a pretty hard tackle. I took a long run at her and then went into my slide. Unfortunately, she got a little touch on the ball or I would have gotten all ball instead of her leg. (Oops). But please know that it was after she elbowed me in the face, so she had it coming. I was fortunate to get the second goal in the 2-0 win. Lauren Cheney played a great ball back into the seam and I didn’t think I was going to get to it, but it rolled through a bunch of our players and their players. I was just chillin’ at the far post waiting for a cookie. The ball rolled through to me and I took a big bite. Thanks for the great pass, Cheney!
We have two more games to go and we are really focused on getting a better result in our next game against Canada We tied in the first game of this tournament. It was frustrating and hopefully we’ll use that as positive motivation for the next game.
I guess that’s it from Brazil.
Holla at ya lata,
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