LONDON - Cheers from London!
We arrived from our red-eye flight on Saturday morning at 1 a.m. EST, but 6 a.m. British time. Our first stop was in Windsor, England to look at the castle and get our first proper cup of tea. After getting our first UK experience, we went to shake off the jetlag by playing some footy under a local bridge in London. The session was short but intense and then we decided to head toward the hotel which happened to be attached to Chelsea's home stadium, Stamford Bridge.
Next we had a three-hour intermission where some people took a nap while others explored the local area. By this time some people had not slept in more than 30 hours so, to say the least, it was an experience. For our meal that night we went to a local restaurant where we had our first real taste of English cuisine. A lot of us had the local Byron burger and then immediately went to bed. Sunday morning, we ate the hotel breakfast buffet that consisted of beans, pork, and much more. Then we took the bus to Camden to explore a different part of London for the morning.
On our way to the Community Shield match we made a pit stop to see Arsenal's stadium. Once we got to Wembley Stadium, we went to Box Park for a pre-game celebration with the Manchester City supporters. The game was between Manchester City and Liverpool at a neutral site of the England National team. It was a great game that ended 1-1 in regular time. There was a lot of excitement. including goals and a goal line bicycle clearance. Manchester City won in penalties and we headed back to the hotel to grab a quick bite to eat at a local pub and then headed to our rooms for the night.
The next morning, Monday, we had breakfast at the hotel again and headed to the center of London for a river tour and sightseeing. We got to see the London Eye, the famous London Bridge, and Buckingham Palace. After some photos, we headed to grab a bite in Westminster and walked around the local stores. In preparation of our friendly match at 7:45 p.m., we got some rest in the hotel from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. and headed to the pitch. Our match was against Cricklewood Wanderers, a top semi-professional team based in London. The game was back and forth throughout and ended in a 0-0 draw. Afterwards we had a dinner at the stadium hosted by the opposing team. Overall, it was a great atmosphere and experience for the first three days.
Stephen Bishop, Brandon Bryant, Andrew Noll
Men's Soccer Team Members