Day 3 of the Women's World Cup was by far my busiest day. Calling two games can be a challenge, but I always think that if you can do one game, what's one more? Some people wonder if it's difficult for your voice, but knock on wood, I haven't had those issues. Also, with 3 in the booth, there is less talking for the play-by-play announcer.
The difficulty lies in the preparation. I study for the two games in reverse so that the first game I studied for was USA vs. Australia, which was our second game. At some point during the night before, I have to put away that USA folder so that I can focus on the first game. Even though the USA game was the most important match of the day, if I worried too much about that one, then I would not be ready for Sweden vs. Nigeria.
Our group traveled from Edmonton on Sunday morning – which called for a 3:30 a.m. wakeup call to make a 6 a.m. flight – to Winnipeg. It was the start of a very long day with all four teams in group D holding training sessions and press conferences.
By FIFA rules media are only allowed to watch the first 15 minutes of training. With four teams participating, this really stretched our day.
Our team dinner in the evening didn't go according to plan. We hoped to be in-and-out of the restaurant in an hour-and-a-half, but we were off (extremely slow service) by 90 minutes. After two hours of homework, I shut it all down at 1:30 am, knowing that our busy Monday was fast approaching.
We arrived at the stadium at 12:30 p.m., and left around 9. It was a very eventful day. I was impressed with the speed and never-say-die attitude of the Nigerians, and less impressed with the performance of Sweden in the first game. I thought Sweden would win this game by at least a 2-0 scoreline.
As for the USA game, it's a good first game, but that's all it is. Playing as they did yesterday will not win them a World Cup.
Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo were the big stars for the U.S. who need to pick it up a notch each and every game in order to get to the final. It was good to see Alex Morgan make a return to the lineup as a late sub. We had not seen her in a USA uniform since April.
Another plus was the near sellout crowd in Winnipeg. Most of it was red, white, and blue with fans coming in from long distances.
I ran into some Floridians both at our hotel and at the game. It’s always great to see this kind of support for our National Team.
The American Outlaws were there as well lending their strong support. Even though these games are in Canada, it sure felt like we were calling a game from a U.S. stadium.
Today is a strange day in that we actually have a day off. For me, a day off means taking care of laundry, exchanging emails, and doing more prep work for upcoming games, so day off might not be the proper term.
Our next games are on Friday which is another doubleheader with Nigeria meeting Australia and the USA taking on Sweden.
My next blog entry will also come from Winnipeg, after we see how the USA does in an all-important second game.