Quoting Quigley (Blog No. 9): Follow along as Salisbury men’s soccer travels to Spain

Click here to view photos of men's soccer's trip to Spain

 

Senior Adam Quigley is in his fourth year on the Salisbury University men's soccer team. He graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md., and is a native of Laurel. As a defender, Quigley has been a mainstay on the Sea Gulls' back line throughout his career.

He has registered four points in 31 total appearances for the Sea Gulls. This past season, Quigley helped Salisbury win the Elmer Lord Classic by scoring the game-winning goal of a 1-0 victory over Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

This August, Quigley's blog will give fans a behind-the-scenes look as Salisbury men's soccer travels to Spain. The Sea Gulls are scheduled to play four matches, take in tourist attractions, and train with a professional soccer coach.

Blog No. 9 (August 13)

We have officially touched down in Philadelphia and made it through customs successfully. After waking up at 7:15 a.m., and getting breakfast, we got onto the bus and left for the airport. Check in and security was smooth and easy.

Many of us spent our last few Euros on gifts, take homes, and as much food as possible to bring on the plane. The plane ride was pretty smooth and was equally as long as the flight to Barcelona. Madrid is closer to America. But flying west takes longer than flying east. The movies on board were the same as the ones on the way there, but we were able to keep ourselves occupied.

The trip was great for the team and has shown us the Spanish culture, the food, the soccer, and let us see some of the world's greatest soccer stadiums. Preseason is soon and we are more than excited for the season to start. Again, please check out the link to our fall 2013 schedule and come out to support us.

It's good to be home!

Blog No. 8 (August 12)

MADRID, Spain Our last full day in Spain has been an awesome one. It started early with a 7:30 a.m., breakfast. We are still trying to figure out the eating schedule since we eat breakfast early and dinner around 9:30 p.m. But eating tapas is apparently the answer. After breakfast, we had a training session with a guest coach from a nearby club. He had a full coaching staff with him, which was great for more eyes on us for tips.

We had a game tonight, so the morning session was a technical one with very little strenuous activity. Some new drills were learned and as a team we added to our level of chemistry. Once the session was over, we headed back to the hotel for showers and to grab a bite to eat in the train station next to our hotel.

The afternoon was great with a trip into downtown Madrid to go to El Corte Ingles, which is a department store that is basically a combination of Macy's, Kohl's, and Dick's Sporting Goods. The store had everything, but we were there mainly for their soccer department. They had all of the newest gear from Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Real Madrid, from cleats to full jerseys. They also had all of last year's gear ranging from 10-to-50 percent off. People bought a variety of jerseys, shirts, and training tops.

After we left the store, we walked over to Estadio Santiagio Bernabeu, the Real Madrid stadium. There was a full tour with a museum, various panoramic sites of the stadium, interactive TVs to look through goals and highlights of the past seasons and players, and many trophies (not as many as Barcelona though). Overall, the Barcelona tour had more to offer, but Real Madrid's stadium was awesome as well. Bernabeu apparently is louder and the fans are crazier than the Barcelona fans. Either way, both clubs have incredible histories with much for us to learn from.

After we left the stadium, we were off to our fourth, and last, game against EF Siete Picos. We played a younger team, but they kept the ball well and were very technical. We had a few close chances in the first half before breaking through when Tanner East settled a flick into the box that a defender hit with his hand. A penalty kick was awarded, which Stephen Poorman put past the keeper.

Siete Picos tried to keep the ball in the back quite often. One pass back to the goalie was challenged by East and was deflected to feet of Jake Perry who put a shot on frame that ended up in the back of the net after a whiffed clearance by defender. Through the first 45 minutes, the defense held sturdy and the scoreline at the half was 2-0. Shortly into the second half, Taylor Groginski was taken down in the box and another penalty was awarded. Trevor Sharpe took this one and put the Sea Gulls up 3-0. After about 15-to-20 more minutes of back-and-forth play, a counter with good ball movement put East into the box after a well-placed ball in from Sharpe. East put the ball past the keeper off of his first touch.

Eventually, Salisbury goalie Drew Staedeli made an impressive save to keep the opponents scoreless. The scoring ended once East found Sharpe in the box who settled the ball and put away the final tally of the match. A 5-0 finish was accomplished through great team play that everyone was proud of. 

The bus was ready for us to head back to the hotel and we were back in no time. Dinner was served and we are now free for the night to see the city of Madrid for one last time. We have an early wake up with a 7:15 a.m., breakfast. Departure from the hotel will take place around 8:30 a.m., and we will soon be on the plane back to Philadelphia.

I would like to thank all of you for following this blog as we traveled the great country of Spain and learned a lot. We became more cultured, more understanding of others, and have come closer as a team. I understand that you all live very busy lives in the USA, but I, as well as the other guys on the team, truly do appreciate your interest and support of the team. This has not only given you all the chance to stay in the loop of what is going on here, but it has let me put together a day-by-day journal for us to keep and remember the great times.

Please check out the link to our fall 2013 schedule and come out to support us. Pre-season starts on Friday and we are very excited to welcome the rookies to the team. Adios y muchos gracias!!

 

Blog No. 7 (August 11)

MADRID, Spain - Today was our first full day in Madrid. We ate breakfast at the hotel and shortly after headed into a part of downtown called Sol (El Centro). We were given the opportunity to see the National Spanish Art Museum, the Art Walk (a long set of trees, benches, and small architecture in between two parallel streets), a flea market, and Mercado San Miguel, which is a smaller flea market with a variety of Tapas, drinks, and other Spanish foods.

There was also a large park with a lot of trees and shade to sit under. We walked around the city all day and experienced all that Madrid has to offer. In our small groups of wanderers, we stopped at different places to eat lunch and hang out for the afternoon. Besides many restaurants, there were a few malls, an awesome Futbol Mania store and many street performers to watch.

After a long afternoon in the city, we got back onto the bus, headed back to the hotel to grab our soccer stuff, and we left for our third game of the trip against CD Real Carbanchel. They are in the second division of La Liga that Real Madrid's B team plays in. It was a 7 p.m. game so it was a little hotter than our past two games.

Carbanchel was a very skilled team and good at keeping the ball. They had a few good chances and were eventually able to put away a defensive mishap to go up 1-0 late in the game. Throughout the whole game, we played well with many promising chances that unfortunately did not fall our way. Overall though, we continue to become a more cultured, closer, and better team.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Spain before we leave for America on Tuesday. It should be an unforgettable last day though. We have a practice in the morning with a guest coach. We will then visit a huge department store with many great deals on soccer items, take a tour of the Real Madrid stadium, and play our fourth and final game of the tour. Wish us luck!

Blog No. 6 (August 10)

MADRID, Spain - Today was another long travel day. We woke up at the hotel in Zaragoza, ate breakfast and headed north to Madrid.

It was about a three-hour bus trip. Once in Madrid, we stopped by our hotel on the outskirts of the city and then went into downtown Madrid for a three-and-a-half hour tour by our Madrid tour guide, Frederico. We went to the Christopher Columbus square where there was a large memorial to his four voyages and a monument in the nearby circle with Columbus, King Ferdinand, and Queen Isabella.

We also were able to drive by the Real Madrid stadium that we will be touring on Monday. Other memorials, squares, and monuments were all over the city of Madrid and there was a lot to learn about them.

Plaza del Toro was the Madrid bull fighting stadium that was pretty cool. The tour guide took us by the Royal Palace and Royal Opera, as well as an Egyptian temple memorial that has similar temples in New York City, Amsterdam, and Rome. They were donated by Egypt after receiving funding from the four countries.

After the tour, we were given about three hours to wander around, get some tapas, and see the city of Madrid for ourselves. Dinner was eaten at the hotel and we now wait for tomorrow's sun to rise. We are going to see a park, a market, and have our third game of the tour. Should be a fun, yet relaxing day. Only a few more days left, but it should be a great last few days with a lot planned.

Blog No. 5 (August 9) 

Zaragoza, Spain - Today was a fairly "touristy" day. The morning included breakfast at the Santa Susanna hotel before we left to see an Espanyol training session. The session was interesting to see because it made our understanding of Espanyol's style full circle. We have now been trained by an Espanyol coach, seen an Espanyol game, and observed an Espanyol practice session. It was cool to see the first team practice on a field right next to some of their youth development teams.

After Espanyol, we began the trip to Zaragoza. We stopped at a roadside restaurant after about two and a half hours of driving. Then we had another 40-minute drive into the city of Zaragoza where we had the afternoon and evening on our own to experience the city. There was a huge basilica and cathedral with loads of history. There were many stores and shops. After we reconvened, we came back to the hotel to eat dinner and go to sleep. In the morning, we are off to Madrid!

Blog No. 4 (August 7 & 8) 

Santa Susanna, Catalonia, Spain - Wednesday was a laid-back day. We had the morning off to sleep in until we had lunch at the hotel. We took about an hour bus ride into the medieval city of Girona. Some took a tour of the old cathedral, some went to the old Jewish quarter, and others walked around aimlessly. We were told that the best way to experience the city was to get lost and wander.

Eventually we hopped onto the bus to head over to FC Girona's stadium to see an exhibition match vs. Espanyol, which is a club that is in the top division of La Liga. Espanyol won 2-0 in a fast paced, entertaining game. After the game we went back to the hotel for the night.

This morning, we had a quick hour session in the morning to get the blood flowing and talk about a few things before our second match this evening against C.F. Palafolls. After the practice, we had three hours to nap, go to the beach, or walk around Santa Susanna. We left for downtown Barcelona in the afternoon once we ate lunch at the hotel.

Barcelona is an amazing city; one of the top 5 most visited cities in the world. We toured and learned about the Sagrada Familia which is a cathedral that has been continuously built larger and larger for about 130 years. It is expected to be done during the year of 2026 but they are not in any rush. We then took a bus tour of the rest of the city of Barcelona including the city hall and Barcelona square, which is the center of the city. Before we left the city, we were given roughly two and a half hours to wander around La Rambla street. The street, miles long, is full of local shops and restaurants.

Eventually everyone met up and we were soon on our way to our second game at C.F. Palafolls. Game time was set for 8:30. The "surprise" sprinklers went off again, but we were ready for them.

We came out in the first half ready to go. Our feet were finally under us and the jet lag had worn off. Trevor Sharpe received a pass into the box and opened up the scoring within the first ten minutes off of a good pass into his feet in the box. A quick second goal was scored by Stephen Poorman after beautiful combination play with a final pass from Tanner East. After a few minutes of back and forth play, the Sea Gulls found a third goal off of pure hustle by Michael Feeney to pick a defensive back pass off and beat the Spanish keeper into the right side of the net. This was his first goal in the Maroon and Gold. After a few close chances from Palafolls, East was played through behind the defense and beat a player and snuck a low shot near post.

During the second half, Palafolls came out flying. Chances were continuously stopped by defenders Kyle Westbrook, Jeff Byrnes, Zach Johnson, and Logan Becker. The tough defensive play eventually turned into a quick counter attack with a great ball through by Zach Johnson to Elliott Crompton, who played a ball into the box for Billy Fowler to put away his first goal in a Sea Gulls uniform. Eventually the tough defensive play would be broken through on a tough penalty call to signal a kick from the spot for the home team. The player put the ball away low right and lifted Palifolls to break the shutout effort by goalkeepers Niall Krach and Drew Staedeli. As the home team scored, a bunch of little kid fans ran up and down the sidelines yelling GGGOOOOOAAAALLLLL, which lightened the mood after dropping the strong shutout effort, to a 5-1 final.

Tonight is our last night at the hotel in Santa Susanna and we leave for Zaragoza after observing an Espanyol training session. Santa Susanna, the beach resort town, has been an incredible time for the team. Off to Zaragoza and then Madrid. Adios amigos!

Blog No. 3 (August 6) 

Santa Susanna, Catalonia, Spain - Today was a strenuous but very exciting day. It started with a delicious buffet style breakfast with quite the spread. We then had a training session led by a staff coach from the Spanish club, Espanyol. They have one of the best youth development programs in all of Spain. Enrique taught us a few new drills that would help with our play and knowledge of the game. Everyone definitely got something out of the session. He ended with a description of what he saw from our team and where we can improve. We will continue to work on the things he suggested throughout our tour of Spain and into pre-season to make the soccer experience for you fans even more enjoyable. Lunch was eaten at the hotel and we left for Barcelona soon after.

Camp Nou was INCREDIBLE. Similar to the size of FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins, but much wider since their field is a full 80 yards wide. The stadium holds upwards of 100,000 fans. There was a whole stadium tour beginning with the history and timeline of FC Barcelona's past accomplishments and heartaches. The timelines were present in the trophy room of the club. I have never seen so many trophies in one place. The club has been winning both Spanish and a variety of other championships since the early 1900's. The history of the club was followed by replicas of Lionel Messi's Golden Boot (leading goalscorer in the Spanish La Liga) and his Ballon D'Or awards (the best player in the world, which he has three). We then went down to field level where the teams sit (pictures will eventually be uploaded once the internet here is strong enough). The visiting locker room was open for us to check out, the media room where interviews take place was another stopping point, and the press box up above was our final stop on the tour. After the tour was over, which ends in the FC Barcelona Megastore (surprise, surprise), we were given the option to buy some FC Barcelona gear if we wanted.

After the tour, we walked a few blocks for a quick dinner before we headed off to our first match against CE Santi Celoni. Warm-ups were exciting since the hosts decided to use sprinklers on the field to wet the pitch. Other than that, the warm-up was good and we were ready for our first match.

CE Santi Celoni is a local club that has a regional professional team. They got a quick goal before we got settled down off of a midfield mishap that led to a counter attack. Our opponents got another goal around the 15th minute off of a deflected lobbed ball that unluckily got over Drew Staedeli in goal. The rest of the first half was a bit more balanced and we began to find our rhythm.

We came out flying in the second half and scored about 10 minutes into the half. A throw-in was done into the box, settled by Trevor Sharpe, touched to the top of the box, then switched wide, crossed in and Tanner East was able to put away his first tally of Fall 2013. The next 20 minutes was a battle between both teams until around the 70th minute when Elliott Crompton was able to put away another cross into the bottom left corner to even up the score, 2-2.

The rest of the game went back and forth with SU having more of the chances, some very, very close chances for us. The defense played very well and the shape of the team got progressively better. The game ended 2-2 and we were back onto the bus headed for the hotel.

Since the Spaniards eat dinner so late at night, we are able to get a bite to eat. Tomorrow is more laid-back with the morning off and the opportunity to experience an Espanyol vs. Gerona exhibition game. Since it is allowed here, I am going to eat a nice Spanish dinner past midnight. No more feeling bad for eating past 9 p.m.! Enjoy!!!

Blog No. 2 (August 5)

Santa Susanna, Catalonia, Spain - After hours and hours of travel, we reached Barcelona safely. Everyone met up in the Philadelphia airport, and we departed around 6:45 PM EST. We arrived in Barcelona around 8 AM (Barcelona time). The flight lasted a little under seven hours. The flight was very smooth with minimal turbulence. Before we knew it, we were awakened from our one, maybe two hours of sleep, by the flight captain saying we would be arriving within the hour and would start our descent.

After getting our luggage, we met up with our Excel International Sports Tour guide named Paul. He is originally from Great Britain and has lived on the outskirts of Barcelona for 14 years. Paul has been giving these Spanish tours for about six years.

We then got on our bus for the hour ride to Santa Susanna. Barcelona, for those of you that do not know, is the capital of the region called "Catalonia", which is somewhat of a sub-country of Spain. We were told that there is a different culture here than in the other parts of Spain, and a separate language, called "Catalan".

This small, vacation-type city of Santa Susanna is located along the northeast beaches of Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea. After driving through many hills, seeing different types of houses, markets, and soccer fields, we arrived at our destination, the Aqua Onabrava hotel. There is a beautiful pool out back with a view of the Sea. We were given an hour or so to wander the town and grab lunch at a nearby café or tapas restaurant. Tapas are similar to appetizers.

In the Spanish culture, the days start later, people wake up for work around 10 AM. They eat lunch around 1:30-3:30PM and eat dinner any time between 9 PM and midnight. Between lunch and dinner, once the workday has ended, people go to these cafés and tapas houses to have a bite to eat with a round of drinks with friends.

Once we were fed, we walked back to the hotel and walked over to the Futbol Projects, which are a couple of turf fields set up to host local soccer games and events. The session was hot, the turf was steaming, but the team had a great first practice. It was not the prettiest or smoothest soccer, but the thought and communication was there. Once we get used to the speed of play on turf, and straighten up our touch, our play should definitely come together. It was great to get back out there with the guys and start on our goals for this fall season. The energy was high and the air was full of excitement.

After practice, we were given the rest of the afternoon to hang out at the pool, take a nap, and walk around town, or check out the beach. The Mediterranean was clear and very refreshing, a little bit different from our local Ocean City, MD water. The sand was made of small rock pebbles instead of regular beach sand and the water was calm with very small waves that did not even break.

Dinner was served later that night at the hotel, a small buffet, and we then went up for a much-needed night of sleep. Tomorrow we will be having a training session led by a guest coach, doing a walking tour of Barcelona, visiting Camp Nou, and suiting up for our first game against CE Sant Celoni. It should be a full but exciting day. 

Blog No. 1 (July 30)

LAUREL, Md. – Hello, my name is Adam Quigley and I am a rising senior, from Laurel, Md., studying athletic training at Salisbury University. The Men's Soccer team at SU has been given the opportunity to travel to Spain prior to pre-season this fall to tour a country that lives and breathes soccer, or "futbol."

In the fall of 2010, the team traveled to Italy. Every four years, the team is given the option to travel out of the USA to experience another country of their choice. We will be able to learn about the culture, food, lifestyles of the people, and love for the game that we have learned to enjoy very much.

For myself, I have traveled out of the country a few times. I have traveled to both Italy and Argentina with the Maryland Olympic Development Program (ODP), as well as Israel and Poland through a Jewish youth group I was a member of in High School (BBYO).

The 18 players, along with our coaches and a few parents will be traveling from August 4 until August 13 to Barcelona, Zaragoza, and Madrid. We will be partaking in city tours, visiting Camp Nou (Barcelona's stadium) and Santiago Bernabeu (Real Madrid's stadium), training at various fields across the country, playing in four friendly matches against Spanish teams, having a guest coach from a professional club lead a training session, and hopefully being able to attend a professional game.

This blog will let all of you at home read and follow what the team has been doing, how our training and games have gone, and to hopefully let you readers experience this trip vicariously through our eyes. I will do my best to update this blog at least every other day with pictures and entries from various team members, and tweet about what we are doing each day.

If we have constant internet, you can follow me @aquigs6 on twitter and check out the hash tag #susoccerspain for tweets from all of the players. The team is extremely excited to travel out of the country, many for the first time, and to infuse ourselves into the cultures and environment of the world to help better ourselves as a team and as individuals. Spain has a lot to offer us and we cannot wait to get onto our plane in Philadelphia on Sunday to land in beautiful Barcelona the morning of Monday, August 5. Time to start brushing up on my Espanol!

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