Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Youth National Team Takeover: Candace Metcalfe

Today we made history. Okay, so actually we first made history yesterday, since that was our first game against Canada, but I'm blogging today so let's just go with it. As Coach Keith Tozer said, "We are pioneers." We are the very first ever U.S. Youth Futsal National Team, which is a pretty huge deal. Most likely some of you reading this just assumed that we are perfect or close to it because we're on a national team, right? Nope, we're not. Otherwise there would be no need for coaches! The point is we are all phenomenal players, but we are still honing our skills, so we make mistakes just like you. We put in our best efforts, work hard, communicate, but sometimes things just don't work out, and that's okay. 

Today we lost by one goal, and at half, we we were up by two. I'm not going to lie. I was a bit upset, as anyone would be, but I know that the game today will be a reminder tomorrow of why we have to work ten times harder, finish strong, and strive for excellence (tomorrow is our last game). A great man once said, "The greatest glory lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." So tomorrow when we step out onto the court, THAT'S what we plan to do. 

Over the past couple of days, I've had the amazing opportunity to bond and play with experienced and amicable futsal players. Everyone seems to gel very well on the court, despite the fact that we only had our first practice the day before our games began, which is probably due to all the time we spent hanging out during down time. Just the other day, when we were walking back to the hotel from dinner, the entire team broke out singing and rapping. Rock, our goalie, sang especially loud, and I swear she knew almost every word to the songs we were singing (she's kind of awesome like that). We weren't quite harmonized like Pitch Perfect, but it was definitely a show-stopper on the streets of Toronto. :) 

Oh, and I can't leave out the coaches. I would like to give a special thanks to Jason Miller, Ty Stauffer, and Keith Tozer for all their helpful input and taking the time to go over every little detail of the game so we would understand. I especially liked the very, VERY many meetings we had to breakdown the different aspects of the game. 

I'm VERY excited for our final game tomorrow. However, I'm not looking forward to breakfast at 6:45 and having to say goodbye to all my new friends. I wish everyone a safe trip home and a Happy New Year. See everyone next year in 2015 at Costa Rica!

Candace Metcalfe is a member of the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 girls national team and a resident of Florida.

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