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Norway heads north before USA CUP

07/15/2012, 7:35pm CDT
By Madeline Greene

Every team that comes to Schwan’s USA CUP, presented by PUMA has a different experience. Whether it is driving down the road to the games, staying a few states away or traveling half way across the world coming, to USA CUP creates memories that could not be made otherwise.

For the girls U16 team from Boler, Norway, their USA CUP experience began before the tournament even started.

Brainerd Blast Select, a club three hours north of the Twin Cities, hosted the team from Monday through Friday before the tournament began. This pre-tournament homestay allowed both clubs to experience a different culture and learn more about soccer on and off the field.

Fourteen players came from Norway and stayed with seven Blast Select families. When the team arrived to Brainerd, Minnesota on Monday they were greeted by a reception that celebrated their trip to USA CUP. Throughout their stay, both teams and the Brainerd Blast Select families participated in a variety of events that gave insight to American life such as miniature golfing, friendly soccer scrimmages, boating on Minnesota lakes, attending the beach and eating pizza.

Maddie Waters, a Blast Select player said, “It was very interesting to experience their language and see how they played soccer.”

Beth Lacey, one of members of a family that hosted Boler, explained, “It was amazing experience for everyone on the team. To have them, to meet them, it was just amazing.”

“It was a great experience to live with another family because you could see another culture,” said Boler forward, Hedda Holang Naess. “It is very different from Norway to stay with them because they live in another way, eat different food and they have such big houses. In Norway, we only have small apartments.”

Both groups would agree that the experience has allowed them to grow as players and as a team.

Boler coach, Morten Lund, explained the way this trip has affected his team. “This has meant a lot for the team and all of us because we have met incredible people,” said Lund. “The whole the trip has been incredible, it has been so big for us.”

Brainerd Blast Select players hope to attend Norway Cup in Oslo some time in the next few years and believe this experience will speed the process.

“We hope the opportunity we have now will open the door for us to go to Norway Cup in the years to come,” said Lacey.

Martine Lund explained, “It was a special experience to stay with the Brainerd team. They are good people, so good hearted. It was probably the most exciting four days of my life.” 

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Tag(s): July 15, 2012