Jan. 31, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. - Just over a month after helping Florida State to its first appearance in the national championship game, freshman Sanna Talonen was back on the pitch. But this time she wasn't donning the Garnet and Gold but Finland's Blue and White.
Talonen represented her native country as she played with the Finnish National Team at the Four Nations Tournament, January 16-20, in Guangzhou, China. Joining Finland in this year's tournament was the United States of America, Canada and host China. Finland posted a 0-2-1 record over the five day tournament earning a 1-1 tie against Canada in the final day of competition.
The freshman forward earned three caps for Finland as she started all three matches. Talonen began the tournament playing 80 minutes against China, while she played the entire first half in her second match against the U.S.
Talonen will rejoin the Finnish National Team in March as Finland will travel to Portugal for the Algarve Cup, March 3-13. Finland is one of 12 teams that will compete for the cup as all 12 teams will be divided into three groups of four. Following pool play, which will consist of three games each, the top eight teams will compete for the championship. This year Finland has been paired with Germany, Sweden and Denmark. Denmark and Sweden finished in second and third place, respectively in the Algarve Cup a year ago.
Recently, Brittney Marriott, a student-athlete on the Florida State women's soccer team and student assistant in the Sports Information Office, sat down with Sanna for a question and answer on her experience at the Four Nations Tournament.
Q: Which four Nations played in the tournament?
A: Canada, United States, China, and Finland.
Q: How did your team do in the tournament?
A: We lost to China and United States, but we tied Canada. I thought we played well for the amount of time we had together.
Q: How did your team prepare for the Four Nations Cup?
A: We arrived in China two days before the first game and it was actually the first time we had met all year. The other teams had more preparation for the tournament because they arrived two weeks before the tournament started. They also had national camps in the beginning of the year. I think we played pretty well considering we all just got back from winter break.
Q: What was your favorite part of the tournament?
A: The games. The first game we were very composed. Even though the score was 2-0, I felt that the game against China was equal.
Q: Which team was the most exciting to play and why?
A: Canada because it was the first time I have ever played their National team. We were up 1-0 and they tied it with 10 seconds left to go. We dominated most of the game.
Q: Did you visit anywhere interesting during your stay in China?
A: Yes, we went shopping as a team. It was a lot different then a normal shopping mall because there were tons of people everywhere. It was so crowded that we couldn't fit into many of the stores. The stores were all very narrow and long and crowded together. We also noticed that the clothes were all made for smaller people.
Q: What kind of food were you served in China?
A: We ate at buffets. There was a lot of different food. They had cow stomach and chicken claws. It looked so disgusting that I did not try any of it! Our team ate mostly pasta and rice while we were there.
Q: Did anything stick out to you about the difference in customs while you were there?
A: There were a lot of hotel workers and they were running everywhere. If you asked them to get a towel they would actually go run and bring it back to you. Everyone was really nice and friendly there.
Q: What advice would you give to a young player that aspires to be on a national team?
A: Train, train, train. But always remember to have fun while you're on the field!