As an Athletico Athletic Trainer, I recently had the opportunity to travel with U.S. Soccer’s U-16 Girls National Team (GNT) to Wildeshausen, Germany for a training camp. The camp had two scheduled friendly matches against Germany on September 12th and 14th. This camp was a great opportunity for the team to play together as well as compete against a top International team.
Wildeshausen is a small town in Germany that was excited to have the U-16 GNT come and stay. Upon arrival, the team was greeted by the Mayor and hotel staff. Then, we quickly hit the ground running with our first training session the same evening. All of the girls seemed eager to get out on the field and play together. The energy only continued to pick up as the week went along, leaving the entire staff excited for the friendlies to come against Germany!
On September 12th the team played their first match against Germany. The weather all week had been about 60 degrees with rain on and off, which did not stop on game day. The girls came out with the same energy we had seen during practice. Unfortunately, they suffered a 4-0 loss to Germany. Following the game, the team came together and re-grouped. The players were able to have a day of rest between games with some active recovery. Then, the team came out on September 14th and competed in front of a crowd with more than 3,000 spectators. This was the largest crowd most of the players had played in front of, and they certainly did not disappoint! The team put up four goals against Germany and left a blank sheet defensively. Everyone was thrilled to end the trip with a 4-0 win! It was unforgettable to see the determination and heart the girls came out with after suffering a 4-0 loss earlier in the week.
Following the game, the team and staff took a trip into Bremen, Germany where everyone was able to sightsee and visit some of the local shops. The architecture was beautiful, as it maintained a classic look and was something you do not normally see in the states. It was a great opportunity for everyone to take pictures, check out local tourist attractions and try the local foods.
Overall, being able to travel to Germany with the U-16 Girls National Team was an experience that I will never forget. Being able to work with such an incredible staff and team made the trip that much more memorable. I had the opportunity to work with some incredible young ladies who have extremely bright and successful futures ahead of them, as well as a staff who will continue to help these players grow. This experience has allowed me to grow personally and in my profession as an athletic trainer. I look forward to more opportunities in working with U.S. Soccer!
Click here to read other Athletico experiences with U.S. Soccer.