Postcards from Trinidad 3
March 18, 2001
Release Courtesy of Forrest Iber, U.S. Soccer
Today's postcard is from forward ... Landon Donovan
Trinidad is a very interesting country to say the least. We have been able to see a little bit of the country so far and hopefully we will get a chance to see some more before we leave. Our hotel is located up in the hills, which is real nice and we get to see a lot of green. Every day on our way to practice we get to see rivers and some water on the way down the hill. The people here have been wonderful. They are very nice, very cordial and friendly and always willing to help us out.
The heat has been a little bit of a factor in the middle of the day, but in the evening it hasn't been too bad at all. And luckily we are playing in the evening, so that should help us out. We saw the field yesterday and it looked to be in pretty good shape. It is flat and definitely could be a lot worse, so it is something we should use to our advantage. The stadium is nice and hopefully it will fill up tomorrow for the opener and create a good atmosphere tomorrow.
Today was our last day of preparation before our opening game tomorrow against Guatemala, and we had a light practice this morning that went pretty well. We went over restarts and last-minute things like that, just basically trying to get mentally prepared for tomorrow's game. We had the afternoon off and got some much deserved and much needed rest.
This evening we attended a function at the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago's residence, and the team really had a good time. We were there with the three other CONCACAF teams - Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago and Costa Rica - and the West Indies youth cricket team that just won the world Under-15 cricket championship. It was a real nice evening. We didn't stay too long, but we stayed long enough to mingle and interact with some of the people of Trinidad and talk with some of the other people who were there. We also listened to a couple of speeches, including one from Jack Warner, who is the FIFA Vice President, and one from the Prime Minister. Then we came back to our hotel and just relaxed. Some of the guys played cards - "hearts" has been huge since we got here. It seems like some guys are always trying to get a game together.
After the team has spent all this time preparing the past year, I know everyone is really waiting to finally step on the field. We are just looking forward to hearing that whistle and going out there and getting a win tomorrow against Guatemala.
Donovan was named the Gold Ball winner as the tournament's best player at the 1999 World Under-17 Championship after leading the U.S. to the semifinals. He was named Chevrolet Man of the Match after scoring a goal and tallying an assist in his debut with the full Men's National Team in a 2-0 win against Mexico on October 25, 2000.