Morgan Proffitt: Nordic Cup Update 1
June 3, 2016
This blog update comes from Marquette senior women's soccer player Morgan Proffitt, who is currently competing with the United States Under-23 Women's National Team in England.
Cheers from the UK!
It has been a great few days here. After an eight-hour flight Saturday, we arrived into Manchester Kingdom around 3 a.m. US Central time/9 a.m. UK time. We went through customs half-awake.
I found it amusing that my customs officer asked if I was famous (we were wearing US soccer polos). I told him no, but he laughed and said, “Sure you are!” I guess we do have a security person traveling with us and we also have given autographs to younger players so maybe a little fame has come with this trip.
Instead of going back to sleep, we got to the hotel and headed out to the fields. We have been practicing at a place called Lilleshall National Sports Center. The area we are practicing/staying in is very remote and rural. We are in the countryside so the view consists of many hills, fields, sheep, cows, and more sheep. It is really pretty though!
It’s kind of funny not seeing a McDonald’s sign anywhere. The cows are much bigger than the cows I’ve seen in the US, so I’m sure the burgers are great! (Apologies to the vegetarians reading this).
Speaking of burgers, the meals here have been pretty good! Not too different from the U.S., but it is funny how the little differences add up. Our tour guide thinks we put too much stuff on our food: salt, pepper, ketchup, dressing, sugar, etc. I guess they eat their salads without dressing! So strange.. they also have porridge instead of oatmeal. We asked the waiters if they thought we eat a lot being Americans and all. They said yes, we eat just as much, if not more, than the boys’ teams! However, there is a bright side, we eat a lot, but a lot of healthy foods.
Every morning, we are required to urinate in a cup to get tested for how hydrated we are. It’s different, but good for our trainer to know. Trainings have gone well. Some are more demanding than others. We are also required to rate each practice in terms of how hard it was (RPE’s). The scale goes from 1-10, 10 being physically exhausting. RPE helps our trainer/coaches gauge what is too much or too little for us.
Each day has pretty much been set up the same, but differs in the conversations and jokes made. I am learning a lot from and about these girls. It is cool to hear how other schools do things and what kind of stories people have. Most of the girls here are used to making the NCAA tournament and making it far, so that definitely sparks motivation to help Marquette get back to that. My roommate plays for Duke and they made it all the way to the National Championship last year.
We beat Sweden yesterday! 3-1. I got my first international cap for the USA! It was an awesome experience to put on the US uniform, almost unreal. The games are at St. Georges Park in Burton upon Trent, which is about a little over an hour from where we are staying. The park is England’s national teams practice facility. Words can’t describe how nice and big this place is. They have a hotel right on site for camps, huge dining areas with flat screens, autographs on the walls outside the locker rooms, and pictures of the faces of England footballers everywhere.
The game started the same way they do on TV. They place the flags of each country on the field, and the starting eleven cross the field for the national anthems. A photo is taken, the teams’ captains exchange flags, and the beginning whistle blows. The game was very competitive, but our scouting report proved very helpful and we took advantage of the opportunities we had. I find myself learning every day, which I hope to bring back to school. It makes me really excited for this summer; I will be able to work on the things I know I need to improve on. There is always room for development even at the highest levels.
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