Thursday, January 1, 2015

Youth National Team Takeover: Madallyn Peveler

Happy New Year! My name is Madallyn Peveler and I play pivo for the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 Girls National Team

It has been a great week for the U.S. Youth Futsal National Teams. This trip to Canada is a major step in sharing the game of futsal with our country, and the four teams made a great showing. Each team played with heart and showed a true passion for the beautiful game of futsal. Speaking of beautiful, Toronto is an amazing city to visit! Along with its many restaurants and shopping, this trip provided us with the opportunity to play in the brand new Pan American Sports Centre. The facility was top notch and we received a warm welcome each day.

The first day was a great opportunity to get to know our teammates and coaches. When I arrived at our hotel, The Ramada, I got to meet my roommates: Raleigh, Riley, and Amber. We had a team meeting with our coaches and reviewed the schedule for the week. It was obvious a great deal of planning and effort went into this trip to make it a great experience for all players. You could feel the excitement in the room!​ We had been waiting months for this trip and couldn't wait for the chance to step on the court.

On Sunday, each team trained with their coach to go over strategy and get a feel for playing with our teammates, who came from every corner of the country. The training was very intense and helped us prepare for the upcoming matches with Coach Tozer and the other U.S. coaches helping to improve our knowledge of the game.

Matches began the next day! I think it was an amazing experience to be able to walk out in front of a crowd with USA across our chests and hear our national anthem and the Canadian anthem play. That is a memory I won't ever forget. Our first match went pretty well. We came out with a strong win against Canada with a score of 7-3. This was the very first win ever for our U16 national team. Our second match, we came out strong with a 5-1 lead in the first half, but a break down in the second half led to a tough 7-6 loss. However, this inspired our team to come back and prove that the USA never lets a loss keep it down. We came back with a 15-0 shutout against the Lady Futsalers. This was the first shut out of the week. After every game Coach Jason Miller had our team give ourselves grades for several different aspects of the game and Coach Ty Stauffer shared his observations.   Overall, I think this week was a great opportunity to play internationally as well as a learning experience for our team.

Wednesday was a very special day for all, since all the teams came out to support each other. The atmosphere was exciting as we screamed out chants to support whichever team was playing. The entire section of fans and players shouting, "I Believe That We Will Win" and "USA" was so awesome! Each team came out with a win on that final day of competition, which was a huge accomplishment and so fun to watch and be a part of.

Over the course of this week, social media has been a huge part of spreading the word about futsal and what went on here in Canada. Coach Daniela as well as parents and players tweeted, posted pictures on Instagram, and updated Facebook statuses to show everyone this historic event for the game of futsal and the USA. It allowed our family and friends and other futsal programs to see what was taking place here.

Some of my favorite memories include playing in our intense matches, going out to eat with the team, watching hours of The Kardashians with my roommates Raleigh and Riley while laughing hysterically and the farewell dinner at the Pickle Barrel!

All in all, this trip is one I will never forget!  I will definitely remember it as one of the best futsal experiences of my life. I would like to thank all the coaches for making this trip possible and helping me continue to play the game I love at a high level. Also, thank you to all my teammates for making this week unforgettable. Playing for the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 Girls National Team was a true honor and something I hope to continue in the future.

Happy New Year, safe travels and best wishes for  2015!

Madallyn Peveler is a member of the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 girls national team and a resident of Kentucky.

Madalyn Peveler

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