Work in Sports
Mistake is in the past
Men's captain Czechs out Australia, falls prey to jokers
Defender Brian Dunseth is the captain of the U.S. men's Olympic soccer team, which heads Down Under hoping to do what no other men's team has ever done: make it out of the first round alive.
Dunseth, 23, left Cal. St. Fullerton early to join Major League Soccer and the New England Revolution, where he has now played four seasons. Check in with Dunseth on CNNSI.com throughout the Olympics.
September 10, 2000
How would you describe your Olympic experience leading up to the Games?
The experience I've had with this team is like no other. When we first got together as a team back in '98, Sydney was something far off and not in our immediate minds for many reasons.
First, because it was not until after the new year of 2000, and we weren't sure if the end of the world was coming with it, and because we had so many games with our club teams, it sometimes felt like we'd never get together. We did get together as often as possible, but mostly kept it to the offseason, January and February before the preseason started for MLS.
Then, when this year came around, we knew that it was not still for sure that we'd go to the Olympics, because we still had to qualify and go through teams like Canada, Honduras and Guatemala. We knew that as a team, it wasn't going to be easy, but it was something that we knew in our hearts that we would accomplish.
Midway into the second half of the second game of the tournament against Canada, I received a red card ejection for retaliation, as did the player from Canada. Have you ever made a mistake and instantly wish you had the opportunity to make the decision again? Well, this was the mistake I made, and there was no way I could take it back, so I had to sweat it out and hope that I hadn't cost my team and country a chance to go to the Olympics.
Well, we won and qualified and now we're here in Canberra, the site of our first match, against the Czech Republic.
How is Australia so far?
So far Australia is all that I had hoped for. There's kangaroos jumping about and the birds... I've never heard anything like them. You just catch yourself looking up to the sky and checking them out.
My roommate is Joey DiGiamarino from the Colorado Rapids, and what's kind of interesting is that we grew up playing against each other since we were 10 years old, went to the same college -- Cal St. Fullerton -- where we were roommates and took many of the same classes, and now are together again, even though he's always singing and dancing around the room to N'Sync.
The flight over here wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, mainly because I slept for 11 hours and only had to be up to eat and go to the bathroom. I haven't had any problems adjusting to the time difference because I've learned how to get my body going after such a long flight... let Clive Charles, our coach, run us after we get off the plane.
How have practices been?
The practices so far have been great. There's a vibe among the team, and the boys are happy to be together again. I personally been working through some groin and adductor problems, but will be ready for Wednesday.
How much do you know about the Czech Republic and what do you expect out of them?
Our coaches have scouted the Czechs and are setting up video for us that we'll watch tomorrow.
Any other interesting encounters?
This is a team of pranksters, so you always have to be watching your back. The boys got me before we even left the States by having some random lady call our press officer's cell phone to ask me questions for a fake interview with Jane magazine. Everyone knew about it by the time it was over, and they had set up all these questions about going out on a date with a girl and what I'd do...
Like I said, they got me really good; the whole team was laughing and I was really embarrassed for a good ten minutes. Then I realized that I'd gotten so many people, it was my turn.