Editors Note: UNC Asheville head women's soccer coach Michelle Demko is assisting the U-23 National team in Spain for the next few weeks. She will be blogging about her experience as an assistant coach with the team. This is her second blog as the U.S. team prepares to play Norway.
"I sit at the end of the day, on the eve of our first game, and feel really good about our game plan for tomorrow. We have prepared, talked about our personnel and now we get to sit back and watch these athletes go out and represent our country and do what they came to do...COMPETE. The past five days have led up to this game tomorrow, and I think we are ready. There is nothing left to teach, so it is time to see what this group can do. I know I am excited to get these games started because we came to WIN and continue to prove to the rest of the world why other countries view the US as a soccer powerhouse.
We just finished dinner, then a meeting reviewing our game plan and going over a scouting report on Norway. They show up to these meetings with their notebooks and are diligent about listening and writing down things to later study that will give them any kind of edge to get ahead individually and collectively. With that kind of commitment, it's no wonder why they are among the best in the world in this age group. There are six players on this team that will play in the women's new professional league so they are used to all the insight and information. The U-23 U.S. Women's National Team is the last stop before trying to make the full U.S. Women's National Team roster. Some of these athletes will have an opportunity to compete for a spot on the next Olympic and World Cup team. They are amazing athletes, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to be part of their environment.
I am writing from my room and have found myself starring out the window looking at the city. We are so close to the Mediterranean Sea I can almost touch it. The view never gets old. Check out some pics on our team Facebook page, search UNC Asheville Women's soccer. I will continue to get more pictures up as the trip goes on to share this experience.
To the players back in Asheville...keep working hard. I appreciate your support for me and taking the opportunity. I am proud and honored to coach you! I want to encourage everyone to get out to Greenwood Field Saturday on UNC Asheville's campus to cheer on the Bulldogs as we take on The Citadel. Kickoff is set for 1pm. The men's soccer team will play after our game, as it is a double header. Get out and support Bulldog athletics. We are working hard and would love to see you at the game.
Fingers crossed for a great result for USA. Miss all you Bulldogs!"