Monday, August 3, 2015

Pura Vida Futsal - Felicia Knox in Costa Rica

By Felicia Knox, Captain of the U.S. Youth Futsal Girls U14 team
Pura Vida! One week ago while packing my bags I was wondering how my upcoming trip would compare to the Toronto, Canada trip last year? With it being such an amazing trip, I questioned how could the Costa Rica trip get any better?
When we arrived at the hotel after the long day of traveling we had a meeting letting us know what was going to happen this week. Coach Tozer was going through the schedule and showed all the teams a motivational video. I think it got the players excited to play! After he went through all the rules and expectations he let us know who was going to be the captains for each team and age group. As coach Tozer was calling the names I didn't know what to expect. As he came to the u14 girls I heard my name called I couldn't have been more excited to have the privilege to be the captain once again for the u14 girls team.

Tuesday July 28th was excursion day. The day was filled with great activities. We were able to go to a fruit stand and taste all of the bizarre fruits that were being sold; and after that we went zip-lining and whitewater rafting! Not only was it a good way to start off the trip but it was fantastic for team bonding. At the end of the trip I really thought this is what tied the team together and really got us to be able to play as a team and get to know each other as much as we could. 
On Thursday July 30th was the first game day. I didn't know what to expect. I remembered from last year that competition was really good. I had no idea what was coming, all I told myself was I guess I will just have to wait and see. Before our game we had the opportunity to visit a daycare right near the gym we played in. There we got to play soccer with the little kids for a bit before heading to the market where we got souvenirs for ourselves, friends and family back home. After buying a t-shirt we arrived back at the hotel and got ready for the game. I could tell everyone was a little nervous but also ready to play. After warming up and listening to the two national anthems the whistle was blown to start the game. We had a special play to start the game it was called "mango" we ran it just like Coach Ty asked and we scored in the first 5 seconds on the game. it was the best feeling ever! On Thursday the 30th - Saturday the Aug 1st, most of the players spent their days at the futsal court. While playing it was always fun to hear "USA! USA! USA!" chanted in the background along with all the students for the school there watching you play. It felt great to play in a full gym! After every game we would always get a pictures with the other team and socialize as best we could. They were all so welcoming and friendly. It was also really fun to interact with all of the students as we walked around their campus going to and from the buses. Costa Rica was a trip that I will always remember and I loved how we got to experience their culture hands-on, which was so amazing! I am not only honored to have been selected to represent USA for this trip but I was also able to do it along side my brother Roman who played on the U16 boys team. Not many siblings are this fortunate to share an experience like this together. A huge thank you goes out the amazing people that made this trip happen. GO USA!!!

Knox (left) with Annie Stauffer and Tiffany Bernot

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