Nordic Cup 2005 – Sweden
Well done, Jillian Ellis. No, not because you’re one of the top women’s soccer coaches in the country, with a 2000 Nordic Cup title on your resume and several trips to the NCAA Final Four with UCLA. It’s because you chose midfielder Manya Makoski to the 2005 Nordic Cup Team.
And that means more “Manya’s Musings,” one of the most popular and well read ussoccer.com journals in U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team history (along with legendary journal writer Jena Kluegel, whose current job at a high-powered New York City investment banking firm, we feel, can be traced directly back to her work on ussoccer.com).
In this second entry, Makoski, a rising senior at Arizona State, checks in from Sweden on the eve of the USA’s first match against Iceland and muses about costumed bowling, shopping for cute stuff, evil birds and a very uncomfortable bicycle.
Welcome back again to Manya’s Musings. I hope you enjoyed the first journal from Nordic Cup 2005 as much as I enjoyed writing it. Today I’ll update you on the escapades of the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team as we get creative with costumes, get a day off from training, celebrate another birthday and prepare for our first match against Iceland on Wednesday, July 20.
YOU’RE WEARING TOGAS TOO?
I mean, it’s not like in the pre-trip information packet we were told to “pack several creative and matching costumes.” Finally, random ideas started popping into our heads, but none greater than the idea of using bed sheets as togas (Are we all in college or what?). We thought that this was the greatest idea ever. Psyched as we were with our brilliant idea, Jen and I ran outside to get some leaves for our wreathes like those worn by legendary Greek goddesses! (Really just pre-wrap from the training room with leaves stuck in it). We planned to meet fifteen minutes prior to departure, knowing for sure we would have the best costumes.
Or so we thought…
Tarpley went across the hallway to rival team member Lori Chalupny’s and noticed a pile of fresh-picked leaves on the counter. Hmmmmm? She felt a pang of suspicion and asked Chalupa if they were part of their costume. Chalupa’s nervous “yes” created total havoc in the midfielder group; the defenders had also planned on wearing togas!
As it turned out, they didn’t, but at the time an emergency meeting was called. We had fifteen minutes to figure out a new costume!! After throwing out ideas of wearing the sheets as diapers, being hula girls, or wearing our clothing backwards, we finally decided on being thugs. Yes, thugs, and if you’ve ever seen me, Tarp, Jill, Carli, Sarah and Jen together, you know that’s a stretch. I know it sounds a bit out of the ordinary for American soccer players in Sweden to be going around as “tough girls,” but my high school days of being called a “Pint-Sized Thug” helped me prepare for the role, and I shared some tips with my fellow midfielders. (Side note from high school: I was anything but thuggish, but I was tough).
With one pant leg rolled up, fake-tattoos, sagging pants and tank tops, we walked out into the hallway to witness THE funniest scene ever. The forwards and keepers team were dressed in yellow t-shirts, navy blue spandex, sky blue latex cleaning gloves with the fingers cut off, and deflated soccer balls taped to their heads as crash helmets. They were Team Lance! Their striking resemblance to Tour de France bicycle riders was convincing enough to put them in the running for best costumes. The commotion we made was enough to bring out the third group in to the hallway, the Super Swedes. Dressed in white soccer socks, black shorts, black t-shirts, pre-wrap eye masks, braided pigtails, and capes made out of bed sheets, the made-up Swedish superheroes certainly made their mark. Gathering in the lobby area, we waited for the staff to make their entrance. With white t-shirts, jeans, sun glasses, spiky hair (the women had pig-tails), and eyeliner (yes, even on the guys), the Johnny Rotten Bowlers cruised into the lobby. Comedy!
We all took some pictures and headed into town (Yes, we did get more than a few stares as the folks probably hadn’t seen a large group of costumed American soccer players too often). Bowling got off to a great start, and although it was briefly interrupted by broken lanes for both us and the Super Swedes, eventually both lanes got fixed, and we finished our game in no time. Jen (a.k.a. Buzz) dominated in our group, bowling some strikes and spares. I, on the other hand, bowled only one strike, good enough to score a big fat 87. Okay, I need to work on my bowling, but I still played with a lot of heart (Much like I did in soccer tennis earlier in the week).
JILL’S B-DAY BASH
Later on in the day, a bunch of us decided to take Jill out for dinner. Forward Megan Rapinoe rode one of the bicycles the hotel rents out and defender Mary Castalanelli and I sat on the back of the bicycle where there is a small flat, metal platform. Let me tell you something, that shelf was meant for a small bag of groceries, not two people! I can’t explain to you how my hips were feeling after that ride, but the words “numb” and “fatigued” might be used.
THE BIRD! THE BIRDS!
BRING ON ICELAND
My concluding thought: So it’s been four days, and I have yet to see an IKEA. I’m kind of disappointed to say the least.
Thanks for reading,