Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kia Ora New Zealand

After nine months of preparation this year, the historic 2008 FIFA Women's World Cup is almost ready to kick off and the U.S. team has arrived in New Zealand to put the finishing touches on its preparations. The squad arrived in Auckland early on Oct. 25 after the overnight flight from L.A. and were greeted with an extremely warm New Zealand welcome (see Morgan Brian (L to R), Mandy Laddish and Alexa Gaul above) as well as an efficient escort through customs, baggage claim and onto the bus. The team took a scenic 90-minute drive through the New Zealand countryside (whoever said this was the greenest country you'll ever see was absolutely correct) down south to Hamilton where it will play its first two group C matches. The team checked into the hotel (see Kate Bennett (L) and Jen Pettigrew below), got settled and then had lunch before enduring a tough few hours of staying awake until leaving for training. Oh yeah...Kia Ora is Hello in Maori. The Maori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.

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