Postcards From Trinidad 2
March 17, 2001
Release courtesy of Forresst Iber, U.S. Soccer
Postcards from Trinidad
Today's postcard is from team captain ...
Defender Nelson Akwari
We qualified in Jamaica last time (for the 1999 World Under-17 Championship) and I think because of that a lot of the guys had an idea of what Trinidad would be like. I based my idea on that, and it has been a lot like I expected. Today we trained on the field we are going to play the matches on, and it is not the best field, but it is still playable. The ground is kind of soft and I think we will be able to play our game on it, as far as passing and playing the ball on the ground. The facility (The Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence) is very nice. The stands are great - they are pretty big and look real new. I think that this tournament can pull a big crowd there, and it will make for a great atmosphere to play in.
It was pretty hot today, but I think we are well adjusted to it. We trained in Miami for a week before coming down here, and that helped everyone get accustomed to the weather. No one is complaining about fatigue and we are pretty fit. When we wrapped up practice today, it was around 5:30, which is near our game time, and the weather was not bad at all. It was actually a little cool, so I don't think the heat will be a factor.
I think the team has really accepted the four new guys that have come in (Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Conor Casey and Bobby Convey) and we have all really bonded and come together as a team. Now we just can't wait to step out onto the field and get into it. We have been talking about this game for a long time now. We are just ready to go out and play and do well and represent our country.
Akwari was a captain of the U.S. team that advanced to the semifinals of the 1999 World Under-17 Championship.