Hey guys, sorry I didn't get a chance to catch up with you last week, it was just so hectic, especially with me playing for the U-20 national team. As I mentioned in my last column, my U-20 team played against Brazil last Wednesday. Even though we lost 2-0, it was still a good game. Our team played really well against them; we even out-shot them. I think we just needed a little more time to play together as a team. We only trained for two days and the Brazilian team had been training for quite some time.
They had the fortune of playing together in two other tournaments and I think that was a big factor in their win against us. Brazil is simply one of the best in the world and hopefully some day our teams can reach that level. Overall I enjoyed going back to Florida, where I actually lived with several of my U-20 teammates for two years. It was cool to see them again after such a long time.
The past game against San Jose was a real disappointment. I felt we played pretty well throughout most of the game. After [Jeff] Parke tied the game 1-1 our playing level just diminished. On the other hand, San Jose increased their intensity and scored two additional goals. It was really frustrating to be unable to match their energy and to know that we let the one point slip out of our hands.
Fortunately we were able to gain three more points after defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy. This was definitely a big win for us. Even though we were missing nine players, most who are key starters, a lot of the guys stepped up their game and made a great impact. We played as a team and were able to outperform our competition. The winning goal by Mike was HUGE. It would have been very disappointing if we only got a tie. He demonstrated his incredible ability to score. My teammates and I were so happy; it's always nice to win in the 90th minute. Now we just have to make sure we keep this up.
Wednesday's game against the Galaxy will be a very interesting game, especially since we just played them. Knowing that they weren't happy with the results of this Saturday's game, we expect them to play with a higher intensity level. We just have to make sure we match it and raise our playing level as well. It's really weird playing the same team back to back but we've already demonstrated that we can beat them and hopefully we can get another win.
So back to answering some readers questions:
Kraziguy14 who is currently the captain of his soccer team wanted some advice on advancing his soccer career. You have to continue working hard and practicing everyday. Make sure that you touch the ball as much as you can. Go to the park and practice your dribbling and passing. Continue to work hard and if you put your mind to it, your dream will come true.
Erica DeMedici from North Arlington, N.J. asked since I play left midfield, which foot is my dominant one and what side do I feel most comfortable playing on. I don't really have a dominant foot. I'm comfortable using either foot, especially since I've extensively worked on both my feet. Also, as long as I'm on the field, it doesn't really matter what side I play in, I just want to be out there helping the team.
For those of you who might be interested, I just heard that our staff is holding a fantasy soccer camp. It sounds really cool. You guys actually get your own locker in Giant Stadium, get to practice in Giant Stadium, and receive your personalized MetroStars jersey. I definitely wish I could have had this experience when I was younger.
I also wanted to say hi to all the kids who attended this Saturday's Mighty Metros autograph session. It was really great to see so many kids there and to see how much people really care and support our team. My teammates and I really appreciate it.
For those of you who don't know what the Mighty Metros are, it's a fan club that gets all these cool events, including autograph sessions and sometime soon there's going to be a party in the ESPN Zone for members only. Hopefully I can get to meet some of you guys at future Mighty Metro autograph sessions. If you guys want to join, there's a link on this website and I've also asked my editor to add it at the end of this week's column.
Well hope to meet you guys soon.
Take care & God Bless,