After getting off a long flight, we were introduced to our tour guide, who took us who took us to the hotel where the Spanish national team stays. It is an incredible place with snow capped mountains in the distance and a perfect setting for the week. Actually the u19 Spanish National team women’s team are here with us and the U17 Mens team also arrive this week. When we arrived we were all tired so we either decided to sleep, play pool or video games. We then had a light training session on a perfect stadium field which got our bodies going again. After the session we had a few hours to rest before going to dinner. I fixed my hair nice for dinner, (it was glowing in the sunlight) and we walked up to the mall where we could choose whatever we wanted to eat. Some of us like my group were wise enough to pick Alan and Omar to come with and not let us make a fool of ourselves. We all tried our best to order in Spanish and of course Braedy had to try and holler at our waitress. While looking for some chichas we found Juan flirting with some girls. FYI: he got a kiss! After a good day we finally went back to the hotel and passed out.
After staying up for 35 continuous hours and sleeping for 11... I woke up tired but hungry and ready for the day ahead of me . I went down and ate an excellent breakfast. It consisted of; eggs,ham,bacon,and cocoa puffs. Then we went for a tour downtown Madrid. We had a fantastic tour showing many historical sites and we went for some free time in our squads. My squad had Alan, Omar, Oliver, and Tavion. We saw some great street entertainers. There was one guy who was popping out and was scaring everybody. It was funny! Then after touring and eating and all, we went back to the hotel. While at the hotel I took a nice nap. Trust me it was well needed. Then from there dinner was served. Dinner was spectacular I ate; pork, rice with shrimp, and salad. It was amazing! Well right after dinner we left for the Atletico v. Valencia game. The game was spectacular being my first European soccer game. The final score of the game was 1-1. All of the goals came from the opening 6 minutes of the game. It was nice watching them play and a good learning experience for me. But now I am currently on the bus back to the hotel. Exhausted but excited for tomorrow’s training and our first game.
Today we trained with the Spain international coach. It was a training session that had a style of the most common type of play in Spain. It was based on quick play and playing 1 touch, the way you are facing. Afterwards we went to the mall for lunch. I went to the best restaurant there called "Mel’s". Afterwards we went back to the hotel and had a much needed siesta. After that we had a pep talk with everyone and coach told us what we were going to be seeing in our games today and showed us some excellent video clips. At the end of the session we took the bus to our match v Rayo Vallecano. When we got to the game it started hailing like crazy! We played a great game v the #3 team in the country. We got off to a nervous start and found ourselves 2-0 down in the second half. Alan scored a great goal for us and we didn’t give up. We had chances to tie but we fell just short. It was a great experience and we played with good confidence. Coach was very pleased with the performance and we played really well as a team.
Fusion vs Rayo Vallecano (Day 3)
Day 3 continued:
We left the hotel about 7:30pm to head down to the field next to the hotel to warm-up before the game. I was super nervous because I had heard from some of the coaches that these teams were some of the best in Spain for their age group, so I did not really know what to expect. We were the second team that played today. We started the game well, pressuring a lot and moving very well. Within the first five minutes, we almost had a goal. I honestly think that this team did not expect much of us, so the first half we had a big advantage. Only in the second half did things start to really pick up. We definitely had more shots on goal in total than the other team did, and we flowed very well. In the end, we tied it 0-0, but that was a great game and we showed that team that Americans can play great soccer. They thought that they had it in the bag, but we definitely surprised them.
On Tuesday we had another brand new experience, we got to train with the Spanish coaches again and we had a match that day. We also visited the National Federation museum with a vast history of Spanish Futbol. We were able to admire the many trophies they have won over the years along (including the world Cup and European Championships) with the earliest of Soccer’s history. At the hotel we bumped into the Spanish National Team coach Del Bosque and had a group picture with him. After a siesta we left for our games. The 1st group team lost 2-1 in a competitive match. The team was not as skilled as the team we played the day before, but they were bigger and faster and still skilled, the team lost in a late goal that was questionable. However all together it was a fun day, we got our pictures taken and we got a certificate that the Spanish coaches gave to us, also being a highlight besides the game. We are having a great time in Spain! We miss and love all
Tavion walked into a tree and told everyone his pin number on his card, make sure to mess with him when we get back to the states
Day 4 Continued:
Today we played Club Chamartin. At the beginning of the game we presented them with our club crest. They were a very skillful team and were very good at handling small spaces with close pressure. Unfortunately, we had many things going against us this game. We were very tired from having an extremely hard and well fought game the night before, waking up to train, then going into tonight’s game a few hours later and playing on a very small field. We had a few moments where we would find ourselves arguing with our own teammates because we were mentally tired, but we fought hard until the end of the game. Although in the moment it felt like we were not playing as well, I watched some of the match video and realized that we did not play as bad as I felt during the game. We ended up scoring two goals and had many more chances. The goals were scored by Taariq and Juan. The first goal was scored by Tariq off a corner kick in the first ten minutes of the game. The second goal was scored by Juan and was scored later in the second half. Both were nice goals. We lost 5-2 to a team that did a good job of finishing goals off our mistakes. At the end of the game, we shook hands and joined together to take a group picture.
Fusion vs. Club Chamartin
At about 9am we left for the Real Madrid training complex outside of Madrid which we were all excited about. After we arrived at the Real Madrid complex the players received authentic Real Madrid Jersey, shorts, socks, and Real Madrid water bottle. After getting all the cool gear we had our first training session with Real Madrid coaches and split into the two teams we have used all week. Next we went to a great lunch in the cafeteria at the complex, which was a well deserved meal. After our good lunch we headed back out to the fields and did some shooting drills, and finished with a scrimmage which we all enjoyed. In the evening we headed to the famous Bernabeu for the Champions League match between Real Madrid and Galatasaray. The atmosphere was electric and it was a once in a lifetime experience. Real Madrid won 3-0 and I won 20 euros for predicting the correct score!.
Real Madrid Training Real Madrid Press Conference
The boys had their final training session with Real Madrid this morning. Attached is a group photo of the boys with their coaches. The staff at Real Madrid were great and made the training sessions enjoyable for the boys.
After eating lunch, we were off to tour the Real Madrid Stadium (Santiago Bernabéu). It was a great tour. We were able to see the stadium, museum, both locker rooms, bench areas and more. Our last day is tomorrow for touring and we have enjoyed this once in a lift time trip. They have treated us better than I could have imagined, but I am looking forward to getting back to the family. Have a great evening and enjoy the pictures!
Today we had a very good day at training and at our games. Even though the outcomes were not what we expected, our day was still a good day. After breakfast we traveled to Real Madrid for another entertaining and funny training. Ending the training was the best part since we were doing penalty kicks and the challenges got harder and harder. After training we went to lunch and back to the hotel to have down time and hydrate before our games. The premier team game was very challenging considering it was an under 18 team and the outcome was not to bad. We did not give up and kept our heads and stayed calm throughout the match. The final score was 2-1. We got closer and closer to scoring but could not get one in before the final whistle. We are having the best time and are very exhausted but still having fun!
"The pink and red warriors"
When we arrived at the field for warmups, we soon found out who our competitors were. They were very tall and looked almost as if they didn’t play soccer. One thing that really brought attention to the other team was their pink and red kits. I think this threw off many of our players. Once the game started we realized they were a very good team and possessed the ball well. They wore us out and won 5 to 0. On the bright side, we did manage to throw a couple chances back at the other team. Dylan Dixon played forward and made a breaking run forward that split the defenders and chipped the goalie but the defender cleared it out before it crossed the line. Bryce played center forward almost the whole second half and almost scored off a corner hitting the post. All in all, we played a hard game on a bad day but we still kept our heads up and were ready for what was next.
So we kicked off the day with our 4th and final training session with Real Madrid coaches " Nacho & Pipi." It was the lightest session we had all week but the best one I’ve had in my soccer career; Real Madrid’s A and B team were training at the same time and place we were , what a once in a lifetime experience! After the training session we headed over to the cafeteria were we were all craving for a sip of a soft drink: something we couldn’t have this whole week. Lately after lunch we headed over to one of the best stadiums in the world, Santiago Bernabeu. When we got there we were all thrilled to see the stadium once again, but without the enormous crowd. The atmosphere was spectacular, although there wasn’t any game going on, we got a feeling as if we were watching a live game; yeah that’s how amazing the stadium is. We went completely around the entire stadium and got to see very exclusive and historical things. After the inside tour , we went on to the pitch and sat on seats were Real Madrid players sit during games , that I will never forget. Once we finished with the tour, we thought it was the end, but we thought wrong. The tour ended with Real Madrid’s official 3 story Adidas shop. It was amazing, there were so many cool gear that you would want to buy everything. Although the gears were sweet, it was very expensive, but worth it. After the legit tour, we headed over to hotel and relaxed for a while until dinner. It was a night where we had freedom and could eat whatever we wanted, could this day get any better! Well it actually did, my group Tavion, Oli, and B Man were on a special mission to get the ladies. Well B man succeeded on getting rejected several times, but all that hard work payed off after his 10 attempts. Right when it was time to go back to the hotels, B Man caught some pretty chicas chilling by the meeting point. So we went over and started talking to them. We stepped up our game and it all went smooth, we got a picture with them and of course B Man got some smooch " on the cheek." After that we headed back to the hotels and called it a night.
Today we went on a tour to the historic city of Toledo. It was really cool and very fun. Toledo is the old capital and was a place where all religions lived together. When we were there we had alot of free time to buy stuff for ourselves and family and we also ate lunch. We went in groups of a minimum of 3 in my group there was Cameron, Austin, Nick, Faisal and Tavion. We ate at a pizza buffet that was really good and cheap. When we left Toledo we went straight to the Real Madrid vs Levante game. It was it really good game and we all enjoyed ourselves. There was sexy goal scored by Hugiun that had no chance of being stopped ad the final score was 5-1 Real Madrid. It was a blow out. We came back to the hotel and had some burgers and fries for dinner. The last dinner in Spain.