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Stormy Start

U.S. national team players began gathering in Miami today for the start of a brief training camp leading to Wednesday's World Cup qualifier at Guatemala. Their stay there, however, will be shorter than expected.

With Tropical Storm Fay bearing down on the Keys and South Florida, the team has decided to get out of town early Monday on its charter and get settled in Guatemala City. France-based Carlos Bocanegra and Ranger-to-be Maurice Edu will meet their compatriots in Guatemala sometime tomorrow.

All is well here in Guate City on a quiet Sunday. Schlotszky's Deli, Champions, Hooters, Domino's, McDonald's and Pizza Hut are within a few blocks of the upscale hotels in the southern section of the city. I passed, and instead went for the gorgeous Hacienda Real steakhouse in the Zona Viva, where the pepper steak was tender, the tortillas hearty and the Gallo cerveza icy cold.

I will provide more updates late tomorrow and file a Guatemala feature for Tuesday's print editions.

By Steve Goff  |  August 17, 2008; 9:38 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Monday Morning Kickaround


Ooo, Schlotszky's has awesome flat bread pizza's!

Posted by: Ameobi | August 17, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Goff, will be interested to hear of any of that Central American hospitality that usaually welcomes our boys to town...3am fire alarms, radio stations broadcasting from loudspeakers at all hours of the night outside of the team hotel, etc. Keep us posted and C'mon U.S.!

Posted by: YanksMarching | August 17, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Senor goff,

Out of curiousity, do you speak spanish ?

Posted by: pigman sweet | August 17, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

thanks Steve.
you are a lucky guy, I hope your having some fun.

Posted by: dadryan | August 17, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Will you go to all WCQ away matches 3 days before the match?

Sounds like some nice working vacations.

Posted by: Concacaf traveler | August 17, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, color me green with envy.
Enjoy and keep us addicts in supply of our junk.
Will Edu arrive with Beasley? Or did Beasley arleady arrive in Fla separately? Would seem that them spending time bonding would benefit the US and Rangers squads.

Posted by: marksman | August 18, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

hey Goff, skip the zona viva altogether as it is -- pretty much as you noted -- just a Central American take on Rosslyn or Bethesda (no offense to Rosslyn or Bethesda residents). Instead, grab a cab to Cuatro Grados Norte. It's a reconditioned street of restaurants and bars up to the north of Zone 10. Great place. Or, go all the way up to the Centro Historico. The cafe next to parliament is where Guatemala's business really gets done. Man, I miss the place...

Posted by: troy | August 18, 2008 2:26 AM | Report abuse

by the way, that Hooters is the one that Carlos Ruiz went to when he skipped the all star game.

Posted by: troy | August 18, 2008 2:28 AM | Report abuse

I kinda wondered if Fay would disrupt their plans...Thanks Goff.

Posted by: sitruc | August 18, 2008 3:04 AM | Report abuse

i know you mentioned it in another post, but make sure to visit antigua. it's a really neat historic spanish colonial city. my favorite place to eat was frida's.

Posted by: hokie soccer fan | August 18, 2008 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Miercoles is setting up to be quite the soccer night . . . United v Revs @ 1930 US v Guate @ 2000 . . .

Going to have to bring two jerseys . . .

Posted by: delantero | August 18, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Goff, you are blowing your travel budget with all those fancy meals! If you would eat more often from the McD's Dollar Menu, and just stick with the free ice water you could travel to more places! jk... ;-)

Posted by: Ron | August 18, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Gallo cerveza? Have those people from Modesto, CA invested in Central America?

The description of Hooters, McDonalds, et al. makes it sound like DC's so-called Chinatown. (Has anyone ever seen Lawrence Kasdan's film from about 20 years ago called The Accidental Tourist, or read the novel on which it was based?)

GER-BRA is on MSNBC at this moment (the commercial-infested version of MSNBC, unfortunately). The Canarinhas are up 3-1 early in the second half.

Posted by: tri-village | August 18, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see Germany getting hammered as badly by Brazil as the USA did in last year's WWC. 4-1 currently after another amazing individual effort by Cristiane.

Posted by: Ash | August 18, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

I'll take Marta and Christiane over EJ and Ching every day of the week. I realize Bob Bradley wouldn't - wouldn't want players with flair and creativity that take on defenders and produce up front. Much safer to have timid kickballers that have mastered the back pass to the fullbacks on top.

Posted by: Hmmm | August 18, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse hit the point about BB.

Posted by: td | August 18, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Steak, tortillas and cerveza. Glad to see you have your priorities straight, Goff!

Yes, I'm very jealous.

Posted by: Dave | August 18, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

IIRC, the Guatemala beer industry is run by one family, and strictly limits competition...

Posted by: RK | August 18, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

SR. Goff

Wow you are truely the luckiest man right now, who needs enjoy that steak and tortillas...BTW how are you going to get to Cuba for that qualifer?

Posted by: Homesick! | August 18, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Cerveza Gallo was the main beer when I lived there as a kid in the 70's. Gallo means rooster in Spanish. I assume has nothing to do with Gallo Brothers the American wine makers.

Goff, are you going to do some serious reporting down there? I want to know if the Bigfoot story is for real.

Tenorio says he's going to pull a Louie Crayton move to get into the Post starting lineup!

Posted by: garbaggio | August 18, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

the Guatemalan beer industry has opened up in recent years with InBev (yes, the Belgian / Brazilian company that just bought Budweiser) muscleing into the market with their lousy beer Brahva. Most of the beer in Guatemala, including Gallo, isn't very good but Goff could have the chance to visit the home country of DC United sponsor Pollo Campero and compare and contrast versus its US offerings.

Posted by: diego r. | August 19, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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