Monday, April 17, 2017

Final Day: Girls & Boys ODP Day 7

Our final full day in Berlin started cloudy and rainy. The boys' groups got some much deserved time to sleep in while the '03 girls prepared for their final match with the '01 girls accompanying them to cheer them on. Their opponent was Berilona Mitte and the club invited the local town official to welcome us and host us in their wonderful facilities. It was the most competitive match for our '03s this trip and it was some wonderful back and forth action that saw our opponent come back from one goal down to steal the victory. After the match, the grill was fired up as we were treated to some wonderful food and socializing with our hosts in their wonderful clubhouse with music in the air and smiles all around.

Federal Republic of Germany
The boys' groups enjoyed a wonderful walking tour of the great historic sites Berlin has to offer. Our tour took us to Museum Island, the Telecom Tower, the Martin Luther Reformation Church, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Berlin Wall. After the tour, all groups headed to the Berlin mall to shop for some wonderful gifts for their families to prove they were thinking about them before going home. Most of the chocolate and gummy bears may not make it home though, because it may get devoured.

We are all packing tonight to get ready for an early flight tomorrow as we say our goodbyes to our wonderful host nation and it's wonderful people.

Berlin: Boys ODP Day 6

Both boys teams had a little time in the morning to sleep in before embarking for their 4th and final game. The host this time-Viktoria 1899 Berlin. Upon arriving at the palatial facility they had a chance to see the Virginia girls play their two games against the host club.

The boys '03 Virginia team were firing on all cylinders as the US visitors came away with a much deserved victory. They played the ball around well, kept possession, and created some quality chances. The '02s also knocked the ball around and battled extremely hard, but came out on the short end after giving up a couple on set pieces. Coach Lima praised the boys in the locker room and complimented them on their growth as players and maturity as young men.

Site seeing at the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and shopping are on the agenda for Saturday.

Berlin: Girls ODP Day 6

An early morning greeted us today as we prepared to depart for matches against Viktoria Berlin. The 03s played the first game against the U16 VB team and played a wonderful match with some attractive attacking play that led to a 5-1 win over their opponent. It was a consistent, competitive display both halves and the team looked like they had been playing together for months, not days. The 01s faced stiff competition in the VB women's 2nd division team as they got a taste of what professional level soccer in Germany is like. The opponent was organized and efficient and provided our girls a challenge they would not soon forget. Lunch was provided by the club as that afforded the girls the opportunity to mingle and chat with their opposition. After the match, we returned to our hotel and and then boarded the bus to central Berlin for a wonderful guided tour by the lovely tour guide.
Museum Island

She showed us Museum Island, the Telecom Tower, the Martin Luther Reformation Church, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Berlin Wall. A wonderful day of soccer and world history followed by a train ride back to the hotel to enjoy dinner and rest. A day off awaits the 01s while the 03s look to finish off the final match for our entire delegation on a high note.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Berlin: Boys ODP Day 5

02 & 03 Boys at Brandenburg Gate
The teams started out the day with an impressive tour of the US Embassy where they were greeted and addressed personally by Colonel Anderson. After the tour, they visited the Brandenburg Gate, the famous German Reichtag and a memorial to Soviet soldiers who died in WWII.

After lunch, the boys traveled to play their 3rd game against Empor Berlin. Both teams came up short with the '03s losing 6-3 and the '02s succumbing to their host by a score of 3-1.

03 Boys
Upon returning to the hotel, the teams then walked a couple of blocks through Berlin to a local family owned restaurant and devoured their meals before heading off to bed. The players are playing against very skilled opponents and are battling and improving every day. They are tired, but thoroughly enjoying each other's company, the learning process, as well as all the experiences around them.

Tomorrow brings their 4th and final game.