Tuesday, March 31st
Today started with an eagerly anticipated tour of Stamford Bridge, home of the Chelsea Football Club. We got to walk through part of the stadium and go through the daily routine of the Chelsea players. We visited the home and away locker rooms, and took pictures by the individual lockers of the Chelsea starters. We were also able to take pictures in the press room where José Mourinho, Chelsea's First Team Manager, and his man-of-the-match sit and answer questions for reporters. After the tour we walked through the Chelsea Megastore and the Chelsea Museum. It was a great experience!
After a bite at Frankie's Pub, a famous pub in Chelsea, we traveled to Kingston University's Sports Ground for our next match.
Game number two for us boys from the USA was against Woking Football Club whose first team plays in the Vanarama Conference.
Unlike Monday, today's game was being played on a natural grass field. This was a great and fast surface to play on, but the very strong 40 mph end-to-end wind made it a game of two very different halves.
Our team came onto the field with the wind at its back and played more inspired than the day before. Midway through the half, we found ourselves a goal up following a long wind-aided punt that was chipped over the head of Woking's goalie. Soon after we were two up from a well executed free kick from the edge of the box. We wondered, was two goals going to be enough going into the second half?
We all realized very quickly that we had to change the way we played from the first half. Woking put pressure on us from the first whistle now having the wind at its back. The first goal came pretty quickly for Woking as did a few more and, once again, our team found itself on the wrong end of victory.
On the bus ride back to the hotel, we kept in mind that we had been told upfront that our first two games were going to be a tough test for us. Given that, although we all would've liked the win, we looked forward to and were optimistic about our game on Wednesday against the Corinthian Casuals as we finished the day watching England play Italy on TV in an international friendly match that ended in a 1-1 tie.
Check the blog tomorrow to see how our players fared against the Corinthian Casuals.