Rookies in Germany: First impressions

Real Salt Lake rookies Kenny Cutler, Jay Nolly and Jamie Watson are spending two weeks in Germany training with Bundesliga side Hannover 96. Below is the first in a series of diary entries that the young professionals will send home. Be sure to check back frequently for a full update of how they are progressing.

Hello from Hannover, Germany! My first impression of Hannover is that it is a small town similar to Salt Lake City.

There are only a few tall buildings and it does not take a long time to get from the hotel to the stadium where the first team practices. The weather is unseasonably mild right now - it was about 65 degrees and was not raining. Our guide, Nick, took us to the stadium where we met several of the players on the team and also several people who work in the Hannover 96 front office.

We visited the first team practice and it was a lot of fun to watch. Hannover has several international players and the practice was intense from the start. The team is not doing well in the Bundesliga so far, and you can tell that the coach and the players are desperate for a win.

After practice, we went to the town center with Hannover 96 co-captain and U.S. men's national team defender Steve Cherundolo. The town center has a lot of shopping areas and there were a lot of people out shopping and enjoying the nice weather. Cherundolo had to go to an appearance after our trip downtown and didn't have time to show us the way back to the hotel. He just pointed us in the right direction and left us to figure it out.

Of course, having never been to Germany, we get lost. Jay Nolly is driving and I am sitting in the front passenger seat trying to navigate as we continue to get more and more lost. Jamie Watson was no help at all because he was asleep in the back seat. Fortunately though we found our way back to the hotel and we can now get some well-needed rest.