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Thoughts from the USSDA
From Dallas Moses; SSC Alumn (94/95 boys)
Here is my Blog from our recent trip to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy 2012 Winter Showcase in Sarasota, FL.
Thursday, November 29th
I woke up REALLY early today, excited about our Showcase, and drove to Lambert Airport to catch our flight to Sarasota. I had to be there by 5:15 a.m. I was making good time and then all of a sudden I realized that I had no idea where I was. Luckily, Siri had my back. Of course, I was the last of the team to arrive, so guess who had to be the BALL BOY all week? Landed in Florida the weather is amazing! It's a nice 80 degrees with the sun beaming down on us for the first time in a couple of weeks. Our hotel is right on the beach, so we walk 20 feet and our toes are in the sand! We went for a jog and stretch and did some Sparq training on the beach. Tomorrow is our first game and we play Virginia Rush. Hopefully we can get a result and show well!
Friday, November 30th
Well, we had our first game today. We played this morning at 9:00 a.m. It was held about 30 minutes away from our hotel. The game didn't go great. I started and felt okay but was a little nervous at the beginning. I wasn't the only one, one of my teammates lost his breakfast five minutes into the game...yuck! We lost 4-0. We came out playing pretty timid and shied away from the game. We came out in our normal, 4-2-3-1 formation. The conditions were perfect for a game. It was about 65 degrees with the sun coming out on occasions. We had several chances to get out in front but just couldn't finish. They got a couple and then it was all over. The game got away, from us and nothing seemed to go our way today. I played the full ninety and was pretty tired at the end. On the other hand, it was a great day to be playing because their were college coaches lined up everywhere on the touchlines. Sure wish we would have played better. Tonight we tried to put the game behind us. We went out to dinner (pasta-whats new?) and tried to recover as best we could to turn around and play again tomorrow. We play Match Fit Chelsea. I think it will be a pretty solid game, I'm excited for it!
Saturday, December 1st
We had our game against Chelsea today. I didn't start as I expected since I had played the full 90 the day before. Unfortunately, my teammate Kyle Daniel got hurt about 15 minutes into the game, so I had to come on. We had started out with our usual 4-2-3-1 formation and we were struggling holding the midfield. When I came on, Coach Alumbaugh decided to switch formations, we changed to more of 4-3-3 with me sitting deep in the midfield, in the hole, in front of the back line. It worked really well, it was a really good tactical move. We were able to gain a lot of possession, building from the back, and we ended up tying 0-0. Not a win but it was a much better "soccer" game than yesterday. We seemed to get on the ball more and this gave the whole team more confidence, and naturally created more chances by simply having possession of the ball. Once again, every time I would look up I would see a dozen new college coaches on the touchlines. It was really a motivator. I hope I impressed better today...I think I did.
Sunday, December 2nd
Today was our day off. We woke up and did what every other kid would do given our circumstances, we went to the beach. We played some beach soccer, sand volleyball, and swam in the ocean. We watched our 16's play. Then after their game we ate at the hotel. After lunch we had a study hall, (yes kids, a Sunday Study Hall, it ain't all fun and games!), and then when we were done studying, we went to play on the beach some more. After it got dark we all went crab hunting on the beach. This is becoming something of a tradition for the SLSG Metro boys in the nights at the beach. This day turned out to be so nice. Plus we got a rest and I think it rejuvenated some spirits that might have been down as a result of the first game.
Monday, December 3rd
Today was a really good day! We played Andromeda from Texas. I was really glad that our coaches kept us in the 4-3-3 formation that we played in our last game. I started in that hole position, right in front of the backs and played the full ninety. The game was a real nail bitter, but in the 85th minute, Tyler Swanner, put the winner in off a corner that I had whipped in the box. It was a really good way to end a good game. I thought we had played some of the best soccer I have seen us play all year. I was really impressed with our ability to bounce back from such a disappointing first day on Friday. Maybe the most important was that we fought back from a goal down off of a PK and put in that good ole Midwestern mindset, we came back and won 2-1. Right after our game we headed straight for the airport to fly back to St. Louis. We were in such a rush we all had to change into our khakis and polo's in the vans. I felt sorry for the people setting next to us on the plane...no showers, not good! We got to the airport just in time to make our flight and we were on our way back to the Midwest!
Overall this was a great trip. I think it helped our team bond and I think we may have figured out some formation issues. Four points from our last two games, that's pretty good. I'm excited for the start of the second half of our season.
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