U.S. Stops to Say Hello at Open Training Session
NORDERSTEDT, Germany (Tuesday, June 6) - The German town of Norderstedt has been hosting a parade every day this week. And on Tuesday, the caravan that is the U.S. national team and its security escort stopped for two hours for an open training session at the quaint Edmund Plambeck Stadium (photos).
The U.S. trains at HSV's training ground, which is located near the center of the community of 71,000 located just northwest of Hamburg.
"We just want to thank the city for all their support here while we are training at HSV," U.S. Manager Bruce Arena said. "We are a little bit of a nuisance as we come through with our procession of sirens and everything else every day. We rattle them a little bit so the least we can do is say, ‘Thank you for your support and hospitality,’ and have an open session to say, ‘Hello,’ to the public."
A crowd of approximately 1,000 - including large groups of school children - attended the event.
"We had a feeling that there was going to be a good showing today," Arena said. "I don't know the exact numbers here, but it's nice to see the people turn out."
Before warming up, the entire U.S. squad and coaching staff was introduced over the public address. Bruce Arena spoke and presented Mayor Hans-Joachim Grote with a blue, U.S. Men's National Team jersey with the number "06." Assistant coach Glenn Myernick also said a few words to the crowd through a translator.
The U.S. team trained for about one hour, 15 minutes with the practice plan including an extended warm-up following Monday evening's scrimmage vs. Angola. The team then split into two teams and played a game with four small goals, before a crossing and finishing exercise and a fitness run to close out the session.
Following training, many players stayed around the field for media interviews (listen) and to sign autographs. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller, a crowd favorite on the day as he plays his club soccer in the Bundesliga, was presented with a police uniform hat in an impromptu presentation on the pitch.
"I've just become an honorary member of the police force, so I hope this is going to get me out of a few tickets," Keller quipped to the media as he posed for photos with his memento.