Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Youth National Team Takeover: Chris Pinkham

My name is Chris Pinkham and I play as a fixo for the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 boys National Team. This is the first time I have left the United States, more specifically Concord, N.H.

Traveling to a different country has been a fantastic experience so far! The people of Toronto are very friendly and love their hockey. The most fascinating part of Canada and Canadians has been to experience their customs and traditions.  They act a certain way, talk a certain way, and even have different money than Americans, which I thought was cool!   Toronto as a city is very clean and enormous! I would compare it to Boston, Chicago, or New York. 

The first day of the trip we all got settled into our hotel, The Ramada. We got to introduce ourselves to our teammates,  We also got to meet all the wonderful coaches, who have already taught me so much and will continue to do so. I am very grateful for these coaches because they are here to help us improve and teach us new things -- but not only do they make us better players, they make us better people.

The second day we trained with our respectful teams at the Pan Am Sports Centre. The employees at this wonderful facility were pleased to give their assistance and help in anyway possible. During training Coach Tozer taught us new patterns to run off the ball, how to fortify our goal using our defensive shape, and how to use the fifth attacker if needed. 

The third day was the day everyone was waiting for: game day. This was the time to show everyone what the USA was about, what we all had been working so hard for. The time had come and everyone was ready to take on the opposition. Before the game we all walked out together and stood before the crowd to showcase ourselves and listen to the American and Canadian national anthems. We then proceeded to the game. Everyone was so excited and prepared, it was a great feeling and atmosphere to be in. In the first half we had a dream start -- we did everything right and were all working for each other, and the scoreboard reflected that at 9-1. During the second half we didn't have the same attitude toward the game. We had a big lead so we were more relaxed. The end result was 17-3, a good start for the team. The major key to our success was that we played as a team, everyone played for each other and with a passion for the love of the game.

We are all looking forward to the next couple of days, to play some more futsal and win!

Chris Pinkham is a member of the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 Boys National Team. He resides in Concord, N.H.

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