March 6, 2001
Courtesy of Aaron Heifetz
The U.S. National Team arrived in Rieti, Italy Sunday night. They will face Italy on Wednesday, March 7, at 3 p.m., before traveling to Portugal for the eight team Algarve Cup. The young U.S. team, with an average of 19 years, met at Newark International Airport for the team flight to Europe that took them first to Lisbon, Portugal. A seven-hour layover before the flight to Rome was spent listening to music, eating, sleeping and even a bit of studying, as all the U.S. players are missing college, or high school, classes during this trip (except for Keisha Bell who is on spring break from Florida). They boarded the almost three hour flight to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, also know as Fiumicino (after a town nearby) after a short delay and landed in Rome just after 6 p.m. local time.The bus ride to Rieti took about an hour and a half and the exhausted U.S. players finally arrived at their hotel around 10 p.m., had a light meal and hit the sack for some well-earned sleep. Several members of the U.S. delegation had been traveling for 30 hours.
Rieti is the geographic center of Italy, located equidistant between the North and South borders as well as the East and West boarders, with a town square that the locals proudly announces lets you stand right at the center of the country. The U.S. players found Rieti to be a quaint and charming old town, with a conspicuous mix between the old and the new. The roots of the village date back 2000 years to the ancient Romans, but the town was built up around 500 years ago, and several of the many churches look as if they may have gone up during that time. A bakery and ice cream store located adjacent to the hotel, which sits on the edge of a small but bustling square, has proved popular to the U.S. team. A light rain enveloped Rieti on Monday night, leaving the cobblestone streets damp and putting premature end to the Rieti nightlife, which as far as the U.S. players can tell, consists of hanging out in the town squares, chatting with friends, eating ice cream, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. A bell tower next to the hotel at one of those ancient churches rings every hour on the hour, at 15 minutes to the hour, for reasons no one has yet to explain.
Several of the U.S. players have to write papers while abroad. Some of the topics: Divorce and its effect on children, an analysis of a historical film, insomnia and a research of family history. Goalkeeper Hope Solo must take two finals while in Europe, both of which will be proctored by her college coach at the University of Washington, Lesle Gallimore, who is serving as an assistant coach for the tour. Kristin Weiss, a junior at Walsh Jesuit High School in Ohio, used Monday night to diligently work on her American history homework that she had to e-mail back to her teacher.
Solo in earthquake
U.S. defender Katherine Reddick grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. For those of you who have never been to the Deep South, that's football country. The tackling kind. Fans love their college football in Alabama and Reddick is no different, except for one small detail - she's a Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs fan. Reddick's mom, Anne, went to Florida and her dad Phil, a Georgia alum, bleeds red and black. Although it has not been confirmed by the NCAA, it is likely that few 19-year-old women know more about football than Reddick. For each addition of the Daily Notes, Reddick will give her opinion on one segment of the college game. Today: The Florida State Seminoles.
"Chris Weinke was a great quarterback, but he didn't deserve to win the Heisman. He had way more life and athletic experience than the boys he was competing against for the trophy. I'd have voted for LaDainian Tomlinson from TCU, but my favorite was Drew Brees. What he did for Purdue last year was awesome. And another thing, Bobby Bowden is a great coach, but I think the game has passed him by and he just doesn't have control of his kids anymore. It might be time for him to step down."
Note: Reddick was
the quarterback, as both a junior and senior, for her powder puff football
team at Briarwood Christian High School. She won both games. She ran for
one touchdown as a junior and threw for one touchdown as a senior as her
team won 7-0.
on local tv
| COMMENTARY | US
TEAM NEWS | US
TEAM RESULTS | W-LEAGUE | UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES |