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July 25, 2008

The Schedule is Set - The World of Soccer: Brazil

The tentative itinerary for the The World of Soccer: Brazil has been released. The trip includes learning about the different types of soccer that is played in Brazil, visitng a nursing home and orphanage, spending the day on some of the largest sand dunes in Brazil and playing 4 games including a full match against the "Junior Team" of ABC Futbol Club.

August 6 (Wednesday)—Arrive in Natal at 2:25 p.m.
Check in and room assignments
6:00 p.m. dinner
Introduction meeting at hotel conference room/exchange money if needed

August 7 (Thursday) --- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
8:30 a.m. Practice at ABC
12:00 p.m. Lunch
3:00 p.m. Practice at ABC
6:30 p.m. Dinner
Walk to local souvenir shops and Praia Shopping Mall

August 8 (Friday) --- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
9:00 a.m. Beach Soccer
12:00 p.m. Lunch
3:00 p.m. (Minnesota vs. ABC U-17)
6:30 p.m. Dinner

August 9 (Saturday) --- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
Game (Minnesota vs. FACE-X) Indoor Soccer-9:30 a.m.
12:00 p.m. Lunch
Afternoon at the beach
6:30 p.m. Dinner
Visit to Midway Mall (Bus)

August 10 (Sunday)--- Brunch 10:30 a.m.
All-day dune-buggy trip to the Dunes of Genipabu
Fun soccer at Genipabu Beach (pick-up game)
6:30 p.m. Dinner

August 11 (Monday) --- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
8:30 a.m. Practice at ABC
Souvenir shopping at ABC Club Store
12:00 p.m. Lunch
3:00 p.m. Beach Soccer
6:30 Dinner

August 12 (Tuesday)--- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
9:30 City Tour
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Visit to Lar Feliz Orphanage/Nursing Home
6:30 p.m. Dinner

August 13 (Wednesday)--- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
8:30 a.m. Practice at ABC
12:00 p.m. Lunch
Time TBA Game (Minnesota vs. Federal University)
6:30 p.m. Dinner

August 14 (Thursday)--- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
8:30 a.m. Trip to the South Beaches
12:30 Lunch
Friendly Game TBA
6:30 p.m. Dinner

August 15 (Friday)--- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
8:30 a.m. Practice at ABC
12:00 Lunch
Free afternoon
6:30 p.m. Barbecue at the hotel

August 16 (Saturday)--- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
Morning of relaxation at Ponta Negra beach-optional
11:00 p.m. Lunch
Leave for Game at 12:45 p.m.
1:30 p.m. Game (Minnesota vs. ABC Juniors U-20 at ABC’s main stadium (Prelim game)
4:00 p.m. Watch professional game (ABC vs. CRB) at ABC Stadium
Dinner after game

August 17 (Sunday) --- Breakfast 7:00-8:15
Beach / last minute shopping
12:00 Lunch
1:00 p.m. Leave for airport
3:30 p.m. Depart Natal to Sao Paulo Tam Flight 3301
10:45 p.m. Depart Sao Paulo to Miamia Tam Flight 8090

August 18 (Monday)
Arrive in Miami at 5:55 a.m.

Every evening we will have classroom sessions

July 18, 2008

UMM soccer players get trip of a lifetime

On August 5, 2008, a group will depart Minnesota for Brazil, land of a record five World Cup championship and undoubtedly the premiere soccer hotbed in the world.

The trip is a bona fide UMM study abroad opportunity, billed “Soccer: A Brazilian Experience?—in which four credits can be earned towards students’ academic totals.

A snippet from UMM’s official course description states that “This course is an opportunity for current or past soccer players, coaches, or fans to immerse themselves in learning about the world of Brazilian soccer and thus gaining a glimpse of Brazilian society.? Also, the academic portion of the trip includes “various readings about Brazil and soccer in Brazil, Blogging during the experience, conducting interviews with people of Brazil, and completing a final paper using the experience to answer the question posed above.?

In anticipation of the trip, Harper feels that “most of the team will be looking forward to having the opportunity to play soccer on foreign soil against professional youth teams…it’s the type of thing that most kids never get a chance to do.? Harper is also anticipating “being in a country where soccer and not football or basketball is the number one sport.?

The trip will be helmed by UMM faculty member and Men’s Soccer Coach, Christian DeVries, who currently teaches courses in Sports Management at UMM.. DeVries is quite qualified to lead such a group, having achieved a USSF “A? license, a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and a Brazilian “C? license during his career.

Coach DeVries had these comments about the upcoming trip: “I am looking forward to taking the team to Brazil this summer, as we are going to get the opportunity to learn soccer from the best in the world. The playing experience the team will have will only be rivaled by their cultural experience of being in one of the top soccer nations in the world.? DeVries also hopes “that each player will return from Brazil with a great appreciation for the sport they love.?

As far as improving UMM’s soccer teams as a whole, Harper is excited to “be trained by professional coaches and put through the same drills as all the pro players in Brazil…not to mention playing the professional youth teams who will most likely be superior to us and force us to step up our game in order to compete with them.?

The trip also comes at a key time in UMM’s soccer development. Says Harper: “After coming off the best season in our program’s short history, every team in our conference will be after us, plus the fact that our pre-conference schedule will be much more difficult than previous seasons.? As a result, “the experience we will gain from training and playing against teams in Brazil could bring us a lot closer to reaching our #1 team goal: a trip to the NCAA tournament (which UMM soccer is now eligible for).?

Zach Koening contributed to this story