Fluminense

Posted: December 2, 2013 in Brasil 2013

We started early today driving an hour north of Rio De Janeiro to the training grounds of Fluminense. It’s a large compound with clubhouse, dorms, several practice fields, a stadium field, grounds and maintenance buildings and a very large guest lodge.

We were brought out in the fields to meet with their coaches and watch their training sessions for the U19s, U17s and U15s. Watched patterns with the 15s for the classic Brasillian up, back, over and serve – all performed 1-touch. 17s worked on small group possession and 19s played 7v7 in one team’s defensive 1/3.

The club makes a living by identifying, building and selling players. We were given a 1-1/2 hour powerpoint presentation on their science of player identification and how they track the biological age of their players so that they don’t miss late bloomers. The presentation in Portuguese with an interpreter was excellent. A lot of discussion on pre-puberty, puberty and post-puberty traits and how to protect the late blooming player.

Some of the more interesting science is their use of monitoring pupil dilation given visual stimuli as an indicator of players’ speed of problem solving. Really fascinating. Lots of other testing to predict the players’ mature height and weight. Their annual club expense is something like US$4M. But one elite player can return the club over US$5M.

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Maracaña Day 2

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Brasil 2013

We got very lucky and picked up some tickets for another game at Estadio do Maracaña. The home team Vasco De Gama played Nautica. I enjoyed this game more than yesterday’s. Vasco played a more thoughtful game with much more midfield play. They played a 4-2-3-1 with a superb holding midfielder from the Argentine national team. Vasco won 2-0. Crowd was intense with 55,000 attending. This was much more than last nights game with 40,000.

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Copacabana Beach

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Brasil 2013

Walked the length of the Copacabana beach and got my feet wet in the ocean. This is a very beautiful beach. The weather is very overcast with a light rain. Watched a beach football game and some very intense beach paddle ball. Had a late breakfast on the beach too.

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Maracaña

Posted: November 30, 2013 in Brasil 2013

Made it to the Maracaña today – maybe the most famous soccer stadium in the world. Watched Fluminense play Atlético MG to a 2-2 draw. They are fighting for last place to avoid relegation. This was the LOUDEST sporting event I have ever been to.

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Flamenco U15s

Posted: November 30, 2013 in Brasil 2013

Very late night getting to our hotel and an early rise to go to the Rio De Janeiro U15 Championship between Flamenco and Vasco. Vasco came in with a previous 1-0 win and there were no goals in this game. Vasco claims the U15 championship

Game was fun to watch. Players are very talented, but still doing the same things that our 14 and 15 year olds do at home. Crowd was much more interesting and lively than our youth games.
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T-2 Days

Posted: November 27, 2013 in Brasil 2013

So here comes another football trip. We leave for Brasil Friday morning. A group of about 10 (I think) coaches will travel to Rio for a week of games, training sessions and clinics.

Looking forward to Thanksgiving with my family and then the flight Friday.

Segovia

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Spain 2013

We met up with Beatriz’ mom Isabel Thursday night back in Bilbao. We enjoyed some wine and pintxos together and said our very sad goodbyes.

Friday morning, we checked out of our hotel and traveled 3-1/2 hours to Segovia. Segovia is an old city with roman, moorish and Christian artifacts. A roman aqueduct from about 100 AD marks the south side of the old town. A beautiful Cathedral from 1500 is in the middle of the city and a boat shaped castle, the Alcazar of Segovia is at the northern tip. The Alcazar is built on top of ruins on top of ruins… The existing structure dates from around 1100.

Our hotel, Casa La Mudejar, is built on top of an ancient Roman spa. They have built an underground spa in top of the roman spa. There are several areas of the roman spa exposed to the interior of the current day spa. We spent Friday night in the spa.

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