The circus hits town on Sunday. Even Bob Sansevere has taken notice. I made it over to the Minnesota Thunder's practice yesterday at the Metrodome. I only caught a few minutes of scrimmage action, but this squad looks pretty impressive. Sebastien Le Toux and Hugo Alcarez-Cuellar, in particular, looked menacing.
In addition Metro columnist Scott Schneweis was training with the squad, apparently for a future piece. I can report with all honesty that he's got a rocket of a shot and seemed to acquit himself reasonably well. More impressively, Schneweis proceeded to change from his sweat-soaked practice clothes directly into a stunning three-piece powder blue suit (complete with matching shoes).
Brian Quarstad and I interviewed some of the players about the match. He's posted a complete audio report over at Blue Sky Soccer, but here's a few quotes:
Left-sided midfielder Dayton O'Brien was acquired earlier this month in a swap with the Atlanta Silverbacks. Last season he played in 19 games and scored one goal for a squad that advanced to the league championship game.
On the trade: "I couldn’t be happier to be here. With the new ownership group coming in and meeting new players and the guys already on the team and the coaching staff, it's a fine time to be a Minnesota Thunder player."
On playing against the most famous footballer on the planet: "It's great for the Minnesota Thunder. It's great for the community around here to get the word out about the team here. It's important for us to have a good showing to build a fan base for next year. It's going to be fun. It's a challenge for us. I'm sure we'll make it a challenge for them as well."
Defensive midfielder Jeremiah Bass just completed his first year with the Thunder, logging nearly 2000 minutes and scoring a goal. He also works as a mutual funds researcher at Ameriprise Financial.
On the possibility of marking Beckham: "It's going to be fun. I'm sure the initial feeling is going to be, wow, there's David Beckham. But then after that it's just going to playing. Anytime you get to play against a team like this, with so many stars, it's fun. It's just kind of like an adventure."
On how the squad, which is sort of a USL First Division all-star team, is coming together: "A lot of these guys are good players. They're easy to play with. That's how it goes. It's always easy to play with good players. It's been fun. It's been a lot of fun this week. I think everybody's enjoyed themselves. We're looking forward to Sunday."
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