Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Greetings From Jo'Burg

After just under 15 hours of fun on the flight from the Big Apple, the MNT bloggers and other team staff touched down in Johannesburg. For those keeping score at home - especially those that have to call us - Pretoria is six hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time. Only a minor hiccup at the arrival lounge: after 45 minutes, there were still three trunks to be located. Not the important ones really - they just contained all the uniforms and boots! Not to worry, though. Everything and everyone arrived safe and sound. The airport is decked out in signs welcoming guests to South Africa for the tournament, and there are special lines at customs for ticket holders and delegation members. Clearly they are excited to be opening their doors to the world for the next three weeks.

It's about 45 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport to the team's base in Pretoria. From there, we took a 25-minute trip to the training site at Pilditch Stadium for a site inspection. The field looks in great shape, and the grounds are charming if a bit antiquated. From the folks we met, easy to tell it's going to be a great home base for the U.S. team.

We're back at the airport waiting for the team arrival, the flight from Dakar now scheduled to be nearly 90 minutes early! Let the games begin ...

6 comments:

Rosie said...

any benny & sacha podcasts this time around? :]

Tutul T. Rahman said...

Awesome! I'm headed to Pretoria on Friday to come watch the games.

Do you know if there will be any US Supporters gathering or watch parties out in Pretoria? If so, we'd love to take part.

Allee said...

I know! We are practically begging for the Benny and Sacha podcast!
PLEASE THE FANS lol!

Kate said...

About the only thing that would make me happier after my weekend in Chicago would be a Benny and Sacha Show.

Keep up all the good work guys!

Milano said...

Bob: these games will be tough, and a great test. I guarantee you won't give up a goal if you play Luis!

-Nick

Christopher said...

Guys, Coach, you had a good showing in Chicago. Congratulations on the hard fought win. You had me feeling DeJaVu their for a minute. I do not want speak negatively when the outcome was favorable, but, that back line needs to figure out how to wake up sooner. The creativity and technical expertise of Italy, Brazil, and Eygpt are not going to be nearly as forgiving as Costa Rica. They will come with the intensity to mock and embarass U.S. With Onyewu size and skill he should be dominating the back line, sort of Boca's hitman, with Bornstien and Spector the clean up crew. That back line has to get more surgical on getting that ball out of the back and up the line with clean passes and looks to the front. Build that sense of where everyone is at, visualize the creativty of your opponent before it happens, it is chess on the pitch, you can not wait for the obvious, but, move before they do to where they are going. It is tough, but, you guys can do it. The Mid-field was great. I think the combination of Beasley, Clark, Kljestan and Torres keep a pace that is hard for others to keep up. This will definately be "required" in each of the Italy, Brazil, and Eygpt games. great pace, good control, and touches. But do not take away from your games, you guys, work well together and can do so much better. The control needs to be more spot on. The touches are good, but, some got away. Each ball is a different one, so you can not let one get away, or make one bad pass. Sharp, fast, and then move forward for the next one because it is coming right back to you. Donovan, dude, why anyone post comments for you to read is beyond me because you just don't give a d---. Your game is your game and you are indifferent to anyone but yourself, so it seems. I am not sure what nickname the Mexican Fan's are using for you right now, but, they should just call you "El Cuchillo" aka "The Knife" because like a knife you have no emotion about your duty, you know what you can do, you do it or you dont, no excuses, and surgical with those goals. Awesome! All I can say is Dude! F------- cut more, if that is what you do, then stay true to form and stab away, every chance you get. Dempsey, dude, good showing, but, not your best. You definately got more and you know it. Looks like you were over thinking things. Play your game, make us Texans proud. Nacogdoches is around the corner from here and as real as rain. You did not look as creative as i have seen you in the past. Your intensity was not 100%. Fix your head man, Italy, Brazil, and Eygpt? Dude, are you kidding me! Who'd of thunk it! Play your heart man, that is when you play best! ! ! Altidore, good game and great passion. Keep to the grind the stone as the hard work is looking good. More creativity, more strategy and intensity, the passion is there, just move around for more chances. You will not find it in a text book, but, in your head, see the things others don't. It is chess on the pitch, make eahc move count. Overall guys, thanks for the win! ! ! Keep you heads up and each game, every game, every ball, bring it! ! ! And I will be sitting in the sidelines cheering you on until I go hoarse!!! And then all those other fans who crowd our stadiums with their colors, will very soon bleed, RED, WHITE, and BLUE! ! ! God Bless. OXC69