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.
Bobby Clark’s game report from the first match on the trip …
Match # 1
HB Koge 2 – Notre Dame 1
The trip is now officially underway now that we played our opening game against HB Koge, a Danish Super League team. We were led to believe that we were playing their U21 team but ended up playing against their SAS Super Liga team which competes in the top Danish division. This was not what we had expected but it was a challenge we enjoyed. Although we went down 2-1 it was a fun experience in front of an interested group of Danish supporters. There is no question that had Steven Perry’s shot in the 87th minute hit the other side of the goalpost, then we could have left the Danish team with red faces.
The game was a good test. We gave away quite a lot on the count of experience as Koge’s ages ranged from 20 – 28 and this was something that we found a little different but we soon adapted and settled into the game. Phil Tuttle played 60 minutes in goal with Will Walsh taking the final 30 minutes with each `keeper losing a goal. Steven Perry got our goal after some good flank play that saw Jeb Brovsky releasing overlapping Greg Klazura who then played in a great cross for Steven to prod home. As previously mentioned Steven had an opportunity to get a second but his shot squeezed past the Danish `keeper but hit the post and went behind for a goal kick. All in all, an excellent performance against a very experienced team.
We are now back in Sweden in our base camp. We are situated just outside Malmo and with easy access to the bridge that separates Copenhagen and Malmo we can play games in both Denmark and Sweden. The bridge is quite an amazing structure that is half a tunnel and half above water and really has brought the two Scandinavian counties together.
Tomorrow it will be ice baths wading in the Baltic and then getting ready to play our second game on Saturday against FC Copenhagen’s U21s – at least that is what we have been told. I hope it is not their 1st team as they have just been crowned Super Liga Champions and, if you remember, they gave Manchester United a good run for their money in the Champions League a couple of years back.
Greg Klazura’s (Jr./D) first blog entry from the trip …
The trip started without a hitch…As usual the entire team was told to be in the locker room unnecessarily early. It’s hard to run a soccer program unless people are constantly hurrying up to wait. During this time before departure we also received BJ’s (assistant coach BJ Craig) dictionary sized handout on Scandinavian history, culture, and soccer. I know I read the manual cover to cover but the rest of the team seems to have conveniently lost theirs.
Once we arrived at the airport everyone made it through security and we hopped on the plane for Copenhagen.When we finally arrived in Copenhagen instead of bursting into the center square and taking the city by storm the entire team was sequestered onto a bus and shipped to the remote southern tip of south Sweden near a town called Trelleborg. The coaches mysteriously disappeared while we arrived at our accommodations for our two week stay.
The name of the “resort” is Pensionat Maglarp fully equipped with a soccer mini put course, three soccer fields, a tennis court, a pond, and a killer Great Dane. While the team was busy playing soccer, mini put and wandering the Swedish Countryside, the coaches “attempted” to find Maglarp but claimed that they got lost. Although they claim that they were lost I am not convinced.
That night we enjoyed some traditional Swedish pizza and then headed to nearby Trelleborg to see what was happening. The town was nearly completely empty. It was as if they had been notified that a group of Americans led by an old Scottish man were about to raid the town and they had battened down the hatches and locked the doors. Despite the lack of people the entire group enjoyed taking pictures of the town’s water tower, cobblestone streets, and exotic bird park at the center of town. The town had hens, peacocks, turkeys, geese, swans, and an array of ducks just wandering around the park in the middle of town. We hit the sack that night early ready to start practice the next morning.
Here is the match schedule for the Fighting Irish during their trek to Sweden and Denmark …
May 20 vs. Hoge (Danish D1)
May 22 vs. FC Copenhagen ( Current leaders in Danish D1)
May 25 vs. Naestved (Danish D2)
May 26 vs. Halmstads (Swedish D1 – featuring former Notre Dame players Michael Thomas & Ryan Miller)
May 28 vs. GAIS (Swedish D1)
May 29 vs. AaB (Danish D1)