May 21, 2010
The Notre Dame men’s soccer team currently is on a two-week trip to Sweden and Denmark. Head coach Bobby Clark and certain members of the squad will be checking in with match reports and blogs from their adventures.
Andrew Luttrell (Jr./M/F) blog entry …
Andrew Luttrell here, substituting briefly for Greg Klazura on the blog front. After exploring the barren town of Trelleborg the night before we kicked off the next day with our beloved two-a-day. The first practice was more of the work session as we focused on back four defending. This is something that our defenders love as it is strictly defending for them for 40 minutes. The second session of the day was geared more toward attacking. We did various finishing drills and possession games. With these two-a-days and this trip in general we have spent plenty of time around each other. The popular activity so far this week has been giving each other nicknames. This has been done in true Chris Berman fashion with the first name-nickname-last name structure. Some are related to past events that a person has been a part of or for their physical features or in some cases their character. For example we have Craig “Stitch Knee” Krzyskowski, for his unfortunate encounter with a squat box in the weight room. We also have Danny “Rocky Toe” O’Leary (Pronounced Toe-Leary), for his Tasmanian devil attitude during 8v2 and his striking resemblance to Rocky Balboa. Other nicknames include: Grant “Stone Foot” VanDeCasteele, Philip “Caveman” Tuttle, Aaron “Slim Jim” Maund, Sean “The Shermanator” McGrath, and mine Andrew “Little Foot, Big Heart” Luttrell. As you can see we have way too much time on our hands. Aside from the fun and games with the nicknames there was dinner to be had. For our first team dinner we went to Casablanca and I am sure Boss is still convinced Humphrey Bogart was going to show up. It was a fantastic buffet prepared by Chef Ibrahim from Gambia. After dinner it was a race to the local market in Trelleborg for snacks and other various items as it was closing in five minutes. As most of the team arrived at the store they were greeted by a stone faced security guard who informed them that the store was closing. However, he was quite kind contrary to the rough exterior he showed and allowed the team to ransack the candy, excuse me, the fruit stand. Our second full day in Scandinavia would bring even more shenanigans….
Day two of my blog duties covering for Greg Klazura has concluded and it was a day that can only be described as an adventure. It started off with a pleasant surprise at breakfast as Dr. Moriarty was cooking French toast for the entire team. The Doc definitely deserves some credit for his effort on the stove. There was another practice session to go through before the adventures started and it was more of walkthrough or as we call it a “shadow” practice, mainly focusing on the build-up play. After practice and lunch the adventures started. For the first few days of this trip we have been without one of our teammates, Dillon Powers, who had to skip on home prior to the trip. His arrival was today and a team was assembled to snatch Dillon up from the Copenhagen airport. This group was eventually dubbed the adventure team (I know not so original). This team consisted of Assistant Coach Chad “Smiley” Riley, Strength Coach Chris “HUGE” Sandeen, Aaron “Slim Jim” Maund, Mike “He kinda looks like a sloth” Rose, my fellow blogger Greg “Killa” Klazura, and myself. The trip started with the GPS system failing and repeatedly informing us to turn into flax seed fields and the Baltic Sea. Aside from these delays we arrived at the airport and rescued Dillon.
We headed off to downtown Copenhagen to meet the rest of team at the Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid is a famous statue in the Denmark harbor, however according to Brendan King we were going to see a play. Brendan is consistently wrong. Since we were the adventure team we arrived at the Little Mermaid way before the rest of the team. Only to find out that the Mermaid was actually in China at the World’s Fair. However, we were kindly treated to a live video feed from China of the Little Mermaid in the Mermaid’s actual spot. Contrary to popular belief a live video feed from China is not as good as the real thing. Boss seemed particularly amused at the whole debacle. One aspect of Copenhagen that is awesome is their bike rental system. There are these random bikes around the city that if you find all you have to do is deposit 20 krone, unlock the bike and you are off. Well, Greg Klazura and I decided we should take advantage of this. We found two bikes and jetted off to paint the town of Copenhagen. As we were flying around we stopped and snapped pictures at various hot-spots. Most of the team managed to see the historic Marble Church, St. Alban’s Church, Kastellan Fort, Gefian Fountain, the Royal Danish Theatre, King Frederick’s Palace, and Nyhavn a well known shopping street full of tourists and old wooden ships. One thing, however, that Klazura and I failed to realize is that riding a bike around in Copenhagen is like trying to drive on the Beltway during rush hour. Following Klazura was a questionable decision in the high intensity bike paths as he consistently led us down the wrong direction and received a countless number of scowls. This paired with older women with baskets full of groceries ringing their little bike bells and blowing past us like they were in the Indy 500 caused a few speed bumps. Nonetheless the jetting around on rented bikes was priceless and concluded the day of adventure. Until next time remember to wear your bike helmets.
Dillon Powers (Fr./M) blog entry …
Dillon Powers here filling in for the lazy seniors…anyways this morning the smell of eggs ran through the halls of Pensionat Maglarp waking up the team. After making breakfast for the second day, Doc has grown almost too comfortable in the kitchen, whipping up breakfast this morning in his PJs. This gave Steven Perry and his band of the late risers some extra incentive to get out of bed and start the day. Chris Sandeen tired out the team as usual with his vigorous warm up which was perfect start to the pre-game practice. The morning session was “light” but sharp as we sorted out set pieces for the afternoon game. After some showers and a little relaxation the population in the kitchen began to grow. To the team’s surprise, lunchmeat sandwiches were put out for feasting.
Although the team was instructed to pack a sandwich for the road, Bill (athletic trainer Bill Agnew) was seen stuffing an entire pack of Swedish meatballs for the excursion. After a long drive, in which Boss (head coach Bobby Clark) constantly talked and the rest of the van constantly slept, we arrived at our destination. The game had been well promoted by the Danish Superliga team so there were quite a few fans to see the Americans play football. After a warm up and a quick talk consisting of Boss’ favorite pre-game proverbs, the game began. The opening minutes of the game we came out strong and had some great possession. As the game went on, both teams had some quality chances, HB Koge capitalizing on one of theirs making it 1-0 going into half-time. It should be noted that Bob Novak not only played well but fought valiantly against the largest player on the field, who was a kin to Andre the Giant. The Danish side added another late in the game but couldn’t diminish the Irish’s spirit. In the 82′ Steven Perry scrapped out a goal off a whipped cross from Greg Klazura. Perry almost equalized shortly after on a ball from Andrew Luttrell but barely slipped it wide. The game ended as a 2-1 loss for the Irish but was a solid start to the trip. After swapping jerseys, signing some autographs, and showering up, Doc led the team to a local Pizzeria.
This was no average meal. Not only did each player get four pizzas, but the waitress was not you’re average Dane, or should I say Dame…Steven Perry, Jeb Brovsky, and Craig Krzyskowski wasted no time in getting a photo with the blonde bombshell. Adam Mena even took a personal photo paying her back with an autographed headband signed Bonafacio Mena. Little did this unsuspecting waitress know, she was the first woman the team had seen in days.
I don’t know which was longer, the ride back from HB Koge or the flight from Chicago to Copenhagen. Boss decided he wanted to drive at a humble 75kmph although the signs suggested 110kmph. For those of you who don’t know, this translates to driving about 46 mph in a 68mph zone. When asked about it after, Boss went to his go-to-phrase “Festina lente,” which means Hurry SLOWLY. We arrived safely and had a quick team meeting before we broke up for the night.