After arriving in our rooms at 2 am this morning, our first full day in Canada began with an unmercifully early 8:30 team breakfast at the University of British Columbia Cafeteria. The team immediately returned to our rooms for more sleep before our 11 o’clock jog and stretch with our trainer, Goku. Once we got most of the jet lag out of our legs, we returned to the cafeteria for our pregame meal. Then we had a team meeting and we hopped on a school bus bound for Surrey.
We prepared for the match and warmed up as usual, but we were told that there would be a small ceremony before the game. The ceremony consisted of the usual international walk out, except this time we were led diagonally across the pitch to in front of the distinguished guests area for the Surrey Tournament. Pictures were taken and the teams announced. We found that each of them knew one of our teammates, Ranjot Sangha and another special announcement was made to the approximate 2,000 spectators
We started out confident in our first game against the Canada U21 team. The Canadian’s physical and aggressive play caught us off guard and we found ourselves behind at halftime 5-0. We gathered ourselves and produced a more encouraging second half with the help of Paulie Singh’s tip goal off a short corner and Austin G’s composed shot from the top of the circle, both assisted by Aki K. Unfortunately, we were unable to narrow the deficit. The final score was 9-2.
The game highlighted some key areas where our team needs improvement, but some small corrections we discussed during our team meeting will make a drastic improvement in our performance. We will not dwell on the past, tomorrow we move forward with a match against Chile and we plan on producing a much better result.
Alex Grassi #10
Aki Käppeler #11
Pre Game Ceremony