June 15, 2009

Yanks Abroad
Less than ten hours to match time, and it is an absolutely perfect day for soccer in South Africa's capital. The sky is blue, the weather is crisp like a northeastern day in early fall, and the stadium is ready to go. I'll arrive at Loftus Versfeld with plenty of time to spare so as not to be bothered by the unusual traffic patterns of the capital, especially on the first match day here. FIFA has pulled out all the stops at the media centers, and it is quite easy to just lounge around here all day and communicate, which is, in fact, the job at hand.

That said, a few final thoughts on US-Italy before the match gets underway this evening.
June 14, 2009

Yanks Abroad
It seems more like a party than a soccer match at Ellis Park today. The stadium in downtown Jo-burg is surrounded for miles by jubilant South Africans in an array of their national colors (they have plenty to choose from on their rainbow flag). An hour and a half to game time though, and the stadium is still about half empty, and filling slowly. Still, the homemade horns and colorful outfits and chanting of the crowd, combined with the steep design of the seating here make it seem full already. I can't wait to see how the crowd reacts when South Africa and Iraq take the field in about an hour.

The US v. Italy
June 13, 2009

Yanks Abroad
Spain Training

I took the opportunity today to run up the road to Rustenburg to catch the press conference of the Spanish national team, and a bit of their training. I can say what I saw for an hour or so watching the Spanish side train was incredible. They spent the first forty-five minutes playing a ten v. ten game of of keep away in a 30x20 box, and the decision making is so crisp and clear on all levels, it blows the mind. I think our youth coaches should watch a tape of Spanish training sessions before they even begin to train kids. If six-year olds were playing in tight spaces instead of full sided scrimmages weed be in better shape soon. But that is redundant by now.
June 12, 2009

Yanks Abroad
Pretoria, South Africa Friday 12:00 AM Local Time

The Weather
June 9, 2009

The US will have stiff competition in South Africa
The US is headed to South Africa. And Yanks Abroad is going too.

Not for the World Cup - not yet. But the upcoming Confederations Cup, which begins Sunday, will prove a big test for the Americans after a harrowing week of qualifying and travel.
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With Jesse Marsch and David Wagner at the helms of teams in the top flight, YA will cover their exploits this season.
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Yanks Face Relegation in England
Tale of Two Young Yanks in Europe
Wagner Nears Premier League Goal