August 14, 2008

Changing Men - Coach DeVries

It is Wednesday afternoon (August 13, 2008), and I decided to bring my computer the training session at ABC FC in order to write my thoughts of the last few days as Beto takes take the guys through their routine. As I sit here I am still amazed at the love for the sport that the Brazilians have. We started our session as the ABC FC senior team was going through a post game workout. While ABC FC was practicing the must have been 20-25 people that showed up just to watch the practice. The most fascinating thing about this was the fact that they stay long after ABC FC was done to watch the young Americans from Minnesota complete their practice. My time here with the team is more then I could ever expect as a coach. I have sat back and watched every single one of these young men be changed somehow. They are all leaving this incredible country better men – I feel it is best for you to read of their transformation then me to write of them – enjoy – Coach DeVries

Some much needed relaxation - Day 9 – Scott Turnbull

Some much needed relaxation - Day 9 – Scott Turnbull

Usually practice is not a day at the beach but today it was. We spent the morning with a light training session on the beach near our hotel since we had a long and hard day yesterday. The mood was light and fun and once training was finished we enjoyed the big waves and some beach soccer with some of the locals. The Brazilians love to show their individual skills and try to one-up each other while they juggle the ball and do tricks to fake each other out. It was a great way to spend the morning after our victory yesterday but the sun took its toll on many as there were several red faces and backs by this afternoon.

It was back to work as usual in the afternoon as we returned to ABC’s training field for a spirited workout with Coach Beto. We began practice as ABC was winding down their training and there were about twenty ABC supporters that came to watch their practice but stuck around to watch us as well. It still amazes me to see the kids climbing walls and perching atop them to catch a glimpse of the teams practicing. The metal gate at the west end of the field is open to a dirt road running past and always has someone stopping to watch as they make their way down the road. One such individual stopped and watched our entire practice today. Once again proof that everything in Brazil stops when there is soccer going on

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A day filled with emotion! - Day 8 – Scott Turnbull

We started the day like any other, with a great breakfast at the hotel. We then boarded the bus for a morning filled with culture and giving. We travelled to the north side of the city to see the original fort the Portuguese built when they founded Natal in the 1500’s. It is built where the mouth of the river empties into the ocean, a very strategic point for defense of the city. The view from the fort gave a great vantage point for viewing the city skyline.

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Chris Blahna

Today we visited a Brazilian orphanage. It was really nice that we were able to help them out by bringing them some toys and clothing for them to wear. The looks on their faces when they saw all the stuff we brought was amazing. There was the cutest 2 year old boy there and lots of people got the chance to hold him. I was the last of the line. When i had held him and gotten a pic with him i tried to set him down and he struggled and tried to stay in my arms. I didn't want him to cry to i passed him off to a lady that worked there much to his dismay. It was amazing how in such a short period of time of being shown love and care that he could pick up on it. It was probably one of the saddest things i have seen so far on this trip. The kids have almost nothing and we have so much back home. It really makes me thankful for what i have and the opportunities i have been given throughout my life.

Ryan Bender #4: Game at City Stadium

Today was our first preliminary game of our brazil trip. Our opponent was the America professional development team which we played at City Stadium in Natal. The stadium seats 66,000 people and is absolutely incredible.

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Brendan Harper

Tonight we had the opportunity to play under the lights in professional stadium against America Football Club’s 17s team, we pulled off a 2-1 victory. It was a game that many of us will be able to play forward and backwards in our mind’s for many days to come as we were all taking in and cherishing every moment of this rare occasion.

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Greg #18

Today was a day full of emotion. From the orphanage to the game in city stadium everything seemed to have more meaning and emphasis on it. No words can describe the emotion that was in the orphanage. From the tears running down Miguel’s face to the smiles upon the children it was hard not to feel a sense of compassion and appreciation for what we have. Though we were only there for a short period of time the affect on those kids hopefully is as long lasting for them as it will be on me. It puts things in perspective seeing how those kids lived and what they have gone through in their lives.

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August 10, 2008

Dear Diary, (Kevin Daly)

Today was a very exciting day at the sand dunes. We were picked up by several different dune buggies which can be best described as a souped up go-kart.

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The Dunes - Jeff Lind

The team woke up just in time for the 9:30 breakfast and to jump into the dune buggies.

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Brazil is a beautiful country. The people are carefree and even though they don’t have money they make due with what they have. People in America might think that just because they don’t have nice cars and clean houses they would want to be more like us in the first world, they don’t need the material distractions of our culture that have numbed our souls, Brazilian ginga is all they need.

Amber O'Connor

The boys played futsal today! I thought they played really well together as a team, and their attack improved a lot! We all will be able to take home new attacks and formations that most Americans have never played against, which will make us even stronger.

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What soccer means to Brazil - Detti

Soccer is everything to this country. In America most college athletes, after graduation, go on to pursue a career in something other than sports. In Brazil, the ultimate goal is to play professional soccer in Europe. That is not only most everyone’s dream but for some it is also their way out of poverty.

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Waking up with the Surf - Day 5 – Scott Turnbull

For the second time on this trip I was awoken by someone banging on my door.

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Tody Glaser

We have now been in Brazil for three amazing days and my outlook on how soccer impacts this society is way bigger than I would have thought.

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David Reich

Four days in Brazil, and all have been fun. What you have heard about Brazil, that soccer is life, is absolutely true.

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