Thursday, April 24, 2014

Let It Go!

By now you have been swamped with stories of your daughter or son's adventure in Belgium and Holland. What a trip! The life long lessons, the experience of travel in Europe and of course, the futbol.

Before coming home, Girl's ODP had a day off to shop last minute and enjoy Eindhoven's taste of gelato. On Sunday, we had a pain free day of travel with "Frozen" being the top movie of choice. Still have that song stuck in our heads...."the cold never bothered me anyway!"

Got some great pics from the trip... please send them to our office.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Final Match & Home For Boys ODP (Day 9 & 10)

The 2000 and 1999 boys played their final game against RPC Eindhoven at the home side's complex.
The 2000 boys battled well but missed four opportunities to put the game away against the much more physical side. And succumbed in the end 2-1. The lone VYSA goal was scored by John Collucci.
Trent Bailey, John Collucci and Paul Bangura played well for the 2000's.
The `99 boys started their game out slowly but with a few personnel and tactical changes at the half by coach Badiee, got on top of Eindhoven and won 3-1. Sean Norman scored twice, with Will Boinest potting the single.
The boys then traveled into the town of Eindhoven for a little gellato ice cream and final shopping.
The next day the boys teams took the hour and 1/2 ride back to Brussels for the 8 hour flight home.
It was nice to see all the families at the airport to greet the young men as they came back with all their stories and exploits of this 10 day European adventure.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Michael Jordan

Our final competition day for VA ODP Girls started with a top quality breakfast and a workshop with Dr. Dan Friegang. Dr. Dan is a Sport Psychologist who has worked with VYSA for years, on staff for US Soccer and was with the USA Women’s Ski team at the recent Sochi Olympics. Great chat on how to maintain focus and attention. 

After an afternoon street-soccer competition with the coaches’ team behaving like an orchid (starting off flowering and beautiful, then wilting and dying), the teams made it over to FC Eindhoven.

FC Eindhoven is an affiliate of the World Famous PSV Eindhoven. In the main hall of their offices is a sign that has the Michael Jordan quote, “Talent wins Games but Teamwork and Intelligence wins Championships.” A taste of Americano here….

2000s are well rested and desire the opportunity to finish the tour on the front foot. Our speed of play is good right from kick-off and we finish our chances early and efficiently. The game finishes 8 nil with the 2000s in possession, we turn teacher after being a student in our previous match.

A tough matchup for the 1998s as they take on the club’s women’s side in the night game. In freezing temperatures our squad creates a few chances and the host does likewise. They cancel each other out well into the wee end of the game, the ‘98s show what they are about and secure a late winner to finish the tour with the 1 nil win.

Off to Eindhoven on Saturday for our last full day. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rest, Recovery and History

A day of recovery with a morning recovery stretch after a fantastic breakfast--this featured made to order omelets and fresh cafe for the coaches. We set off on a day of site-seeing in Amsterdam.

First stop, the Amsterdam ArenA (the home of Ajax). A bit of goosebumps walking into this World famous futbol stadium. History all over the walls of former players and Championships. Our tour was kicked off with a stop in the Ajax Fanstore (gifts for selves, family and friends).

Last stop of the day was down town Amsterdam for more gifts for selves, family and friends. History and bicycles dominate the afternoon. Fantastic architecture and more bikes than people.

Last game tomorrow in Eindhoven.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Number 10

We traveled today to Holland and after a late night at the Anderlecht match. It took a bit of cajoling to get the team into breakfast, stretched out, packed and onto the coach to Den Haag for our third match. 

Greeting us at the stadium were the host’s coaching staff all dressed in KNVB (Dutch) National team gear. Upon discussion, we confirmed that we are playing the Dutch Regional Team today. Tall order considering yesterday we played Belgium. 

Slow possession by both sides kicked off the 2000 match with the Dutch side slowly gaining control and we concede the opening goal on a free kick. Minutes to first half time, we bundle in a corner to tie the match. In the 2nd half, the Dutch side went high pressure and we don't cope well... Giving up 2 goals to drop the match 3-1. 

Grit, it is such an important factor in player development and from the kickoff-our 1998s are defending and trying to counter. On the Dutch team is the future of the European Women's game. The flair, personality and skill on display is breathless. Every time their #10 gets the ball, you feel something special is going to happen. She receives a 60 yd pass-settles it in one touch and rifles it into our bottom corner. 1 nil at half. Brilliant Dutch possession play with their #10 causing problems. However, the 98s counter efficiently and chances go begging. A late goal for the home side and we lose 2-0. 

Tough games back to back, rest needed as we will spend the day in Amsterdam. ADO Den Haag treat us to nice dinner and we settle into a top quality hotel for the remaining stay. 

Off to the Hague

Day 5-Off to The Hague


The two boys teams took the morning to clean up their rooms, finish a little shopping and eat a hearty lunch before their 1PM departure to Den Hague. The normal 2 hr bus ride turned into to a 3 1/2 hour one due to construction enroute. The Hague is of course famous as the home of the World Court where all international disputes are settled.

The 2000's took the field against ADO Den Hague's 2000 boys team for the 5PM kickoff. Note: Den Hague's parent team plays in the Dutch 1st division against the likes of the world famous Ajax of Amsterdam. Their players were very technical and extremely skillful. However, our boys started out a lot better than they did in the first 15 minutes of game 1 and seem to be learning and adjusting along the way. The game ended up in a 0-0 tie but if not for the strong goalkeeping of Everaert, the score would have been larger. In fact he stopped a penalty kick deep into the 2nd half to thwart Den Hague's repeated offensive thrusts. The young players of Den Hague strike the ball very clean and are very tactically savvy as they (hopefully) move up the ladder to becoming a future pro.

Ethan Stewart, again, played a strong game terrorizing his opponents up and down the flanks. Captain, Tate Rusby-Wood was a solid and commanding force at the back. And Alec Taitague provided the opposition with more than they could handle.

The Den Hague club was kind enough to provide dinner for both Virginia teams in their clubhouse before getting back on the road to their new hotel in Eindhoven.

Tomorrow: Game 3


Gordon MillerVYSA Technical Director

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Big Time Feel

The boys spent the morning shopping in Brussels and buying gifts for their Moms and Dads and hopefully staying away from the decadent Belgium waffles. After lunch they traveled the 1/2 hr outside of Brussels to the Belgium National Training Centre to watch the 2nd match of the VA girls.

The training centre was beautiful in it's appearance with two artificial fields, one full sized indoor field and three immaculately groomed outdoor playing surfaces. This is the location where players like Kompany, Hazard, Lukaku and Felanni train in preparation for this summer's World Cup. The boys watched and cheered on the 2000 girls as they battled to a 1-1 draw with the U-14 National side. (Note: The older '99 girls also tied their game 1-1).

They then piled back in the team bus to head to dinner before setting off to the evening's big pro match. Upon arriving at the stadium of the Anderlecht team they were quickly immersed into the chanting crowds making their ways through the streets. The anticipation of the game between the second and third place teams created a buzz that was only enhanced when they entered the sold out venue. The 0-0 scoreline did nothing to dampen the consistent singing and chanting of the feverent fans. And our boys looked like they enjoyed every minute of it.

After the game they visited the fanshop where more than a few euros were spent. By the looks of the bags, calls will be made back home in order to increase the limits on the ATM cards.

Tomorrow will be the bus ride to the Dutch city of Den Haag with a quick stop through Antwerp. They kickoff of at 5:00 pm tonight in their 2nd match against one of the top youth sides in Holland.