World Cup Diary
Ready to roll in D.C.
Posted: Wednesday June 30, 1999 01:25 PM
Kristine Lilly is the alltime appearance leader and third alltime leading scorer for the U.S. Women's National Team. The midfielder from Wilton, Conn., won a gold medal with the U.S. at the 1996 Olympics and played on four national championship teams at the University of North Carolina. Check out Kristine's World Cup diary, updated regularly on CNNSI.com.
Tuesday, June 30
WASHINGTON -- Well, as you all should know by now, we are in D.C. getting ready for our quarterfinal game vs. Germany. We're in the second round and this is when the tourney gets rolling. It's do-or-die and we are ready. We arrived here on Monday and found out that practice had been cancelled, so we had a team workout in the pool. It was a blast and a good thing for team chemistry and morale. Basically, we jogged in the pool, skipping side-to-side. We split up on each side of the pool and we each alternated, going from one end to the other, one after the other. No race, no nothing -- at least that's how it began. However, our team is competitive and even our easy workout in the pool turned into a race. Fun and funny. We ended the workout by throwing our trainer, Sue Hammond , and our sports psychologist, Colleen Hacker , in the pool. Sorry guys.
So that leaves me with Tuesday. Practice as usual. I was a little burned out at practice. I think the wear and tear of traveling -- this is our third week on the road -- just got to me. But I took some time today to relax, so I'm feeling a lot better. The team is doing well and is healthy.
Team update and tidbits:
O.K., a couple of stories for you all. For those of you who saw the game against Nigeria, you know the Nigerians were very fast. Well, when the first half was just half over, Julie Foudy turned to me on the field and said, "Lil, switch. Come on the left side because this girl is [by] running me." So I shifted and the first time my new player got the ball, I closed on her. Then, on her next touch, she blew by me. When the play was over I turned to Jules and I say, "Is that what you were talking about?" and we both laughed. It was one of those moments on the field that break up the game and make you realize everything is all right.
Who saw the Nigeria game? They were a very good team and after they scored on us in the first minute, it woke us up. We didn't get all nervous and scared, we just got mad. We all realized we needed to start playing USA Soccer. So from then on we scored seven goals and came out with three points. My Grandma, who sends a buck whenever I score, owes me another dollar.
Then came our game in Boston. Since we had already made it to the second round, we had the chance to rest some people. However, we still needed to win because North Korea's destiny was in their own hands -- if they had beaten us, then they may have been seeded first and us second. So we needed to get the three points and also find ways to rest as many people as we could.
That's what we did. We had great performances from several players who haven't seen a lot of playing time. Tish, Christie Pearce , Tiffany Roberts , Sara Whalen and Shannon. We knew as a team what they could do and it was great to see them put on a show for all those fans out there. I was happy for all of them and proud. When the time is yours and you step into a game and have all those nerves and just play great, it just makes you feel even better.
We are psyched for our game on Thursday. Now that it's do-or-die, this is when the confidence in our team comes through. It's also time for us to play our best soccer. We have been playing well, but not for a full 90 minutes. We know Germany is going to be strong so we are preparing for them. My roommate here is Tish (the gymnast) and we're having fun just chillin' together. I hope everyone in the D.C. area has tickets for our game at 7 p.m. That game is going to be great and then at 9:30, Brazil and Nigeria play each other -- so two good games in one night. Can't beat that.
Well, I'm signing off for the night. I'll be in touch hopefully a bit sooner. This is the part of the tourney I get psyched for and this is when we start to step it up even more. Tune in your TVs if you're not at the game because the ratings definitely help the sport grow. Wish me luck and I hope you all are doing well.
Remember to keep your eye on your goal and give what you have in your heart.
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