Take a look at photos from our trip posted on MKSC's Facebook page!
Thursday, March 26th
The long-awaited trip to London started early for one of our families who just couldn’t wait so they departed 24 hours before the rest of us. They arrived in time to catch the England European Championship qualifying game at Wembley Stadium against Lithuania. England came away victorious with a 4-0 win in front of 90,000 fans including three from Milwaukee.
Friday, March 27th (night) & Saturday, March 28th (morning)
The rest of the team (and some family members who chose to join us) met at O’Hare. We had one player, Sam, who was going on his first flight ever and enjoyed his first encounter with a Boeing 767 including strong tailwinds that made us arrive almost an hour early at London's Heathrow Airport. We excitedly grabbed our bags and met our Generation Adidas International tour guide and bus driver. After a brief 20 minute scenic ride to the Hilton Cobham, we had a short team meeting and lunch.
Saturday, March 28th (afternoon & night)
After lunch, we headed to the Surrey Sports Park to practice on one of its sport turf fields. The purpose of the practice was to keep us all awake and to get our blood flowing to our muscles after a seven hour flight. The parents who came with us to the training facility were very happy that a Starbucks was within walking distance from our field. After practice was over, having completed our itinerary for the first day, we went back to the hotel for dinner, a brief meeting and then to bed.
Sunday, March 29th
Following a traditional English Breakfast (consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage, fried bread, baked beans and mushrooms) or continental choices of pastries, cereal and fruit, it was off to Fulham FC for a practice session with two of their academy coaches.
Our training was held in an inflatable dome structure that was scheduled to be taken down in a few days now that Spring arrived in London. We were put into two groups and each group was coached for 90 minutes - focusing on when to press, when to drop and the importance of being in a triangle formation. We all enjoyed the sessions and eagerly anticipated our next stop - Emirates Stadium where we were going to watch Brazil battle Chile at the home of Arsenal F.C.
We arrived with a little time to visit the Arsenal Mega Store (where all things Arsenal are sold) and had the perfect seats to watch the game, upper deck behind the goal! The game consisted of lots of dribbling vs. attacking and Brazil won with the only goal made by Brazilian player Roberto Firmino. During the less exciting parts of the game, a Mexican fan tirelessly tried to get everyone watching to do the Wave. After 10 attempts, it worked. Excitement was also provided when three spectators decided to exit the facility by running across the pitch. One man made it to the edge of the penalty box, one just over the fence (only to jump back again) and one made it to midfield. All three were taken away by the facility's security guards.
After lots of fresh air and a day of soccer excitement, we took a quiet bus ride back to the hotel as we were still trying to overcome a bit of jetlag and prepare for the full and fun days ahead.
More to follow from across the pond soon . . .thanks for sharing our experience!