Want to see more photos from the team's trip? Go to MKSC's Facebook page now and throughout the week to experience their trip along with them.
Tuesday, March 29th
Blog Entry By: MKSC Academy Player Colin Harris
Hello, my name is Colin Harris. If you haven't read my first blog from Saturday, I am a member of the MKSC Academy squad that was lucky enough to travel to England to train and play soccer at the highest level.
Today was an incredibly packed and exciting day. Originally, we planned on going to Windsor Castle for the morning. However, due to our busy schedule, we decided instead to take a trip to Cobham, Chelsea FC's training grounds. A former school teacher of Coach King's (for those of you not aware, Coach King was born and grew up in England) picked us up from the hotel and took us to the immense training area.
After arriving, we took a walking tour and were able to watch Chelsea's youth teams, specifically U16-17s and U8s, practice. What an inspiring experience to watch some boys our age train at the highest level. Not only the youth players, but we were able to watch some players not on international duty from Chelsea's first team practice. Some incredible, big-name players were there including Diego Costa, Alexandre Pato, Baba Rahman, Radamel Falcao, and American Matt Miazga.
After our trip to Cobham, we had a match of our own to play. Being our first game in England all of us were a little bit nervous. We played on a grass field with intense winds blowing end-to-end. The first half went well. We had most of the ball possession and had a few good shots. We were rewarded for our efforts roughly halfway through the half when a ball played in behind to Quinn Perry found his feet and he did some nice work out wide to bring it inside. His defender managed to stick with him and poke the ball away, but it ended up falling straight to my feet in the box and all I had to do was tuck it home.
Going into halftime, we had a 1-0 lead. The second half we had the wind in our faces and we struggled initially. For most of the rest of the game, we were absorbing pressure and clearing the ball. Eventually the constant pressure got to us and we conceded two goals in 5-10 minute succession. With roughly four minutes left in the game Zack Nebia played a good ball in behind for me to chase. Beating the defender with pace, I had a one-on-one with the goalkeeper and managed to score back post. The game ended 2-2.
Immediately after the game, we traveled to Wembley Stadium to watch England play the Netherlands.
We walked into a crowd of over 82,800 people in attendance! After the national anthems, there was a minute of silence for the one week anniversary of the attacks in Belgium and for all victims of terrorism worldwide.
The match kicked off and both sides started with a few good chances. During the entire 14th minute, in honor of the recent passing of soccer legend, Johan Cruyff, all fans in the stadium, Dutch and English alike, gave a standing ovation and applause for someone who revolutionized the game. The match ended in a 2-1 loss for England. England fans, some of us included, were pretty disappointed.
After the incredible experience at Wembley Stadium and amazing day overall, we went back to the hotel to rest and pack in anticipation of our trip to Manchester tomorrow (Wednesday).
Thanks for reading and sharing our experience!
England Blog #5 - Our players travel from London to Manchester to play against Orange Soccer Academy.