Game day folks. The 2010 WPS All-Star Game is here. Not much more to be said.
8:30 a.m. – I wake up to some texts about things I need to get done today. Man, this is too early for me after another late night.
9 a.m. – Breakfast with Giovanni Albanese, WPS New Media Manager Amanda Vandervort and WPS COO Mary Harvey. As they finish up, Fox Soccer Channel broadcaster Mark Rogondino strolls in, only to be told breakfast is over. The staff here at the Embassy Suites Hotel has some real southern hospitality, though, so they help him out a bit with yogurt and a drink. The USA Today ran a piece on Abby Wambach with a small WPS All-Star Game tie-in and the two local newspapers, the Marietta Daily Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution also ran nice three and two page spreads, respectively. The AJC article took a big of a cliche approach for my taste. Most of it was about WUSA, then Saint Louis Athletica and Los Angeles Sol and then more about the All-Stars.
10:30 a.m. – Game Time! Well, for media and guests at least. Media members from tv, print and even public relations as well as some Atlanta Beat staff, honored guests, and yes, FC Gold Pride and Marta XI Head Coach Albertin Montoya jumped in on the game. Montoya, who played for Major League Soccer’s San Jose Clash before his coaching days, was definitely the best player on the field. I get the feeling he was going pretty easy on us, but he still smoked me quite a few times. I was already wearing red, so I actually was not on the team of Bloggers and New Media, but team TV and PR. That consisted of folks like Rogondino and Atlanta Beat Manager of Media Relations Christa Mann, who is only one year removed from playing with the Atlanta Silverbacks of the USL W-League. I was able to put a few in the back of the net, but Albertin was certainly the leading scorer of the match, which my TV and PR team won 8-6 (it was a 7-v.-7, so cut us some slack!). FC Gold Pride trained at 11:30 a.m., so the team made its way onto the other side of the field as we wrapped up. Montoya’s team had a corner kick and an uproar of laughs came when one player (I believe Candace Chapman) told Montoya to go into the box for a header, clearly taking a playful jab at his height. He took it in stride, though. Honestly, the match was competitive and extremely fun. Check out a photo of us all after the game here: http://moby.to/ty7m7y
12:30 p.m. – Back to the hotel for a quick workout since I am already disgustingly sweaty from the pick-up game. Not a bad lift session. Between that and the match, I got more of a workout in than I was expecting to today. Afterward, I ran into Brittany Taylor in the lobby again as we checked out those newspaper articles. We have some video diary type of stuff coming from her, although it may take a few days to get that up. The Kodak pocket camera is ridiculously slow to try to upload anything, but I promise you will see some of the inside stuff from her soon.
2:30 p.m. – Lunch at Panera Bread, just across the plaza. FC Gold Pride players and coaches are taking advantage of the proximity of Panera as well. By the way, get the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. Just trust me. Oh, and get that fresh hot bread on the side.
5:45 p.m. – Off to the stadium. We have had some serious Internet issues here on our stay in Atlanta, so I have headed over to the box early to do work here. It was not totally productive, though, as we are having some power strip issues. It’s close to game time and I am trying to get many things done, but to be honest the word “fun” comes back into play here. I’m looking to enjoy the game a bit. I will give you full content afterward. No worries.
More to come after the game, but I’m just warning that I might mean Thursday morning by that. As you can imagine, there is a lot going on here.
8 p.m. – Game time. What an incredible game. It was impossible to keep up with all of the action – from goals, to substitutions and everything else. WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci stopped by the press box at halftime and gave new updates on expansion and more.
12 a.m. – Two hours after the match ends, I am finally leaving the stadium along with some other stragglers. Media folks are always some of the last to leave. Stadium clean-up crew and workers are there later, though.
12:30 a.m. – The postgame party at Zucca’s in Kennesaw, Ga. It is great to have some of the best minds in women’s soccer in one place, and after three days of hard work it is nice to have that in a more relaxed setting.
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