Wet, cold weather, crummy public transportation system, high crime rate and expensive accommodations.
Sounds a lot like Los Angeles on this rainy Monday, doesn’t it?
But that’s also a good description of South Africa during the World Cup (it will be winter there, don’t forget). And with ticket buying beginning in earnest now that we know where and when each team will play in the wake of Friday’s draw (more U.S.-based fans have already purchased tickets than any other country in the world) I thought I’d provide the travel basics in Tuesday’s column.
Before I do here are a couple of things to gnaw on:
*North Carolina Coach Anson Dorrance shut down Stanford’s potent striking tandem Sunday (Kelley O’Hara, the nation’s leading goal scorer, was sent off for a second yellow, a foul drawn by Rolling Hills Estates’ Whitney Engen, while Palos Verdes Estates’ Christen Press was narrowly shut out) and the Tarheels made off with their second consecutive NCAA Cup.
Turning point? O’Hara’s second half challenge on Engen led to her sending off (AP Photo).
*I hope to chat at length with new Chivas USA Coach Martin Vasquez and take a look back at their season for next week’s column, but the blog No Short Corners asked me to essentially do an abbreviated version you can read here.
*Finally, the U.S. women opened their final camp of the year Saturday at Home Depot Center. Forward Alex Morgan, one of the stars of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, received her first-call up to the full national team to replace Sol defender Brittany Bock, who is suffering from nagging ankle and foot injuries. The camp runs through Dec. 15.
The rest of the camp roster:
goalkeepers – Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
defenders – Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
midfielders – Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Leslie Osborne (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
forwards – Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Casey Nogueira (North Carolina), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)
Updated: U.S. Soccer announced an extensive series of camps Monday for elite players at various age levels including a U-23 camp at the HDC featuring Stanford striker Christen Press of Palos Verdes Estates and Portland goalkeeper Kelsey Davis of Thousand Oaks. Full roster here.