Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dinner with the US envoys

Almost two months back I was invited for a dinner hosted by the US Embassy. Read here and that's me in blue (foreground, second from left), listening to former Hertha Berlin and US international defender Tony Sanneh's speech.

Sanneh gives his speech (pic US Embassy)

Sanneh formed the three-man (one man, two women, actually) entourage that offered footballing tips to Malaysian youth through the US Sport Envoys program in February. Read herehereStreets report and another Streets report

 Mr Scott Rauland, the embassy's Counselor for Public Affairs, played gracious host that night. FYI, he has served in Germany, Afghanistan, Ecuador, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Russia...

Former hurdler Datuk Marina Chin was among the guests. The principal of Bukit Jalil Sports School, Marina renews ties with her former Ohio university mate Cheryl Bailey, while Sanneh, Danielle and US Ambassador to KL, Paul Jones, look on

 Sanneh denies Messi the space

And teaching the kids to utilise space

If Sanneh could stop Messi in his tracks, that did not mean he would enjoy the same luxury here...a kid managed to outfox him... 

Being seated face to face with Sanneh, I took the opportunity to break the ice by asking him who did he think was the best player at the moment.

"I don't quite rate players who play from the flanks. I admire Xavi," Sanneh said.

"What about Messi? Ronaldo?" I asked, innocently.

"They play from the flanks, cut inside and score but people tend to forget those who make others play from the centre."

"Hmmm, personally that is why I miss the presence of players like Zidane, who placed team ethics above his personal interests," I gave Sanneh my two sen's worth.


 Winners of the trivia contest pose with Danielle, Sanneh and Cheryl

The five-day program served its purpose to promote mutual understanding through sports. Whether or not Malaysian football can produce its own version of Hope Solo, only time will tell.

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