Friday, November 16, 2007


What they call 'rain with ice' here in Jo'Burg...

The team arrived at Ellis Park just before 4 p.m. local time for their final pre-match training session, and almost as soon as the balls were rolled out dark clouds started to hover over the stadium. The warm-up went on as planned despite a slow drizzle and a few flashes of lightning in the distance. But as the sky increasingly looked more ominous, Bob Bradley decided to pull the plug and have the group wait in the tunnel for the weather to pass.

And that's when the fun started.

First, the rain picked up. Then it looked like snow was falling, which seemed a little odd in a place where the temperature has been in the mid-80's everday. And that's when we heard the first thud off of a Gatorade cooler that had been left outside. To the amazement of the group, sheets of hail were pouring down in the stadium, some of the chunks bouncing 8-10 feet after hitting the concrete. Even more amazing was the fact that team equipment manager Tim Cook (seen here), decided to sprint out to the midfield circle and back (turns out it was based on a dare. Smart kid...). As the guys huddled in the hallway and swapped soccer-related weather horror stories, the storm remained unrelenting, covering the field in a blanket of white. And just as Clint Dempsey declared that the sky appeared to be clearing up, a massive thunder crash sent Deuce scrambling for cover. With the field unplayable and Zeus tossing thunderbolts, Bob called it quits and put everyone back on the bus.

Have to say, haven't seen a 'hail out' of a training session before. Que pasa lo que pasa.

No comments: