Friday, May 30, 2008
The team cleaned off the cobwebs of a day of travel and two long nights when they took part in their first training session in Spain. With 17 players on hand and grey clouds hovering overhead, U.S. coach Bob Bradley quickly got the team back after it with a 'head tennis' tournament to start the afternoon. Any concerns of down spirits quickly dissipated, as the games got quite ... competitive, shall we say.
After a passing exercise, the group moved into 7 v. 7 to big goals that also combined some functional training on team movements. The field portion of the afternoon ended with a finishing exercise that focused on the forwards creating space for themselves to get shots on goal. Stay tuned for highlights.
The team trained on the ground of C.D. Cayón a few minutes outside of Santander in Saron. In addition to a soccer field, there was also a tennis court and gym. There was also a mysterious indoor facility that had, at the center, a long and narrow sand pit that looked to be some kind of bowling lane. After observing the players for a few minutes, the MNT Blog went in and decided to have a try.
Turns out the game is called Bolo palma, a popular sport in the northern regions of Spain such as Cantabria (where we are) and the Basque country (where Bilbao is). One of the bowlers was kind of to explain us the rules and we were off (though not quite as effective with the ball as these guys). Despite jeers from Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo, we did alright in the end. Maybe we'll be back tomorrow to in some more practice.
Posted at 12:16 PM