U.S. Soccer Under-20s: Postcards From Trinidad
March 15, 2001
Release Courtesy of Forrest Iber, U.S. Soccer
Postcards from Trinidad
I've been lucky enough to travel the world playing soccer, but I've never been to Trinidad before. From what I've seen so far I love it. The people seem very friendly and the food has been great so far. My first thoughts after almost a day here is that it is a lot like Jamaica. It's a different place than what we are used to, but I really like it here. The fields aren't as good as they could be, or as good as we are used to, but it brings a little bit more hype to the training sessions. It makes it more exciting because you realize you are in Trinidad for World Youth Championship qualifying. Qualifying is something I've done before (with the Under-17s) and I look forward to doing it again here. I think we are ready and I just want to get the show on the road.
It is really hot out here, but I think that everyone is in really good shape right now. It will be more of a mental battle against the heat and I think that if we can get ourselves mentally prepared for the heat and for the atmosphere we are going to be in, we should do well as a team. If we don't step up to the challenge mentally then I think it can take a toll of us. I think that where we are at right now in training, we should do very good in this atmosphere. I like qualifying on the road, because the best teams in the world perform home and away, and because we are here it allows us to show where we are as a team. As long as we can step up to the challenge, I feel that we are prepared and we just need to show what we are all about as a team. I think it is necessary for us to take this challenge and to move further on, going on to Argentina and further on in our careers.
I look at this situation a lot like Jamaica, where we had qualifying with the 17s. The fields aren't going to be that great, it is going to be hot and there are going to be people rooting against you - but I enjoy it. It makes me play better and I enjoy playing in pressure situations. I think our team will thrive off of it and instead of getting scared I think people will enjoy it and step up to the task that is ahead of us.
Countess was the starting goalkeeper on the U.S. Under-17 team that advanced to the semifinals of the 1999 World Under-17 Championship.