Around 12:00 p.m. Saturday, March 2 we landed at the Murcia airport. We deplaned, went through the very small airport to customs and then proceeded to baggage claim where there was only one carousel. We all were shocked when we grabbed the last bag and noticed that many girls didn’t have their luggage. US Soccer travels with around 30 bags alone, which include: uniforms, balls, training room equipment, etc. Overall, 34 bags were missing; 10 girls didn’t have their luggage, and the rest was training equipment. Unfortunately, nine days before the same thing happened to the U-23 Women’s National Team and it is just do to the lack of space on the small aircraft.
We then got on a bus, which was waiting curb side for us and we drove around 25 minutes to our hotel. The La Manga Club is a five-star hotel with a large golf course on it here in La Manga, Spain. Once we dropped our bags off we went and got lunch in our meal room on the first floor.
The meals are good! Breakfast mostly consists of eggs, cereal, oatmeal, bacon and toast. Lunch has salad, veggies, pasta, some sort of meat, a type of fish and a different kind of soup. Dinner is very similar with a dessert that is usually a unique cake and each meal has fresh fruit, yogurt and bread.
The soccer facility is right on the resort, so after lunch we went as a team to watch the U-23’s match against Sweden. The weather was about 60 degrees and sunny and they won 6-0, they played very well, and after that our team training was right on the same field that consisted of a light jog and stretch to try to get the jet-lag moving. We all had swollen ankles (also known as cankles) from the long flight. After that we had dinner, and an introductory meeting scheduled at 8:30 p.m. to try to keep us from falling asleep too early since they want us to get acclimated to the time change as soon as possible.
The next morning we woke up, had breakfast at 10 a.m., then got our training gear and were off to training at noon. The weather was about 50 degrees and cloudy with a few drizzles of rain fell. We had a light training due to the long flight and time change with some 3v1 keep away, a bigger 5v5v5 keep away game and then concluded with some finishing. We then had lunch, study hall and went to our second training. This time we did some passing patterns and a 7v7 game with targets. After, we went to change, had dinner and a stretch with our trainer Elysia to try to help our legs and make sure we stay awake as well.
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