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.

Berlin: Girls ODP Day 5

Today brought about breakfast at our new hotel with different food offerings and more foot traffic. Our central city location afforded us the opportunity to visit the US Embassy and a lovely presentation from a senior official. After the tour, the group visited the Brandenburg gate, the famous German Reichtag and a memorial to Soviet soldiers who died in WWII. 

01 Girls
That afternoon, the 01 girls traveled to play their 3rd game against Union Berlin while the 03s trained at the same facility. The 01 match was a competitive back and forth match as the Union Berlin girls showed strong technical abilities and challenging tactical formations to deal with. The 03s trained in preparation for their match early tomorrow.

Once the teams returned to the hotel, they walked a couple of blocks through Berlin to a local restaurant and enjoyed dinner before heading off to bed. Tomorrow brings the final game for the 01s while the 03s prep for their last two matches.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dresden: Boys ODP Day 4

Today, after being provided with a guided tour and historical perspective of the old town of Dresden, the two boys teams embarked to play their next opponent. Upon arriving at the famous Academy of Dresden FC, they were greeted with dignity and class by our German counterparts.

After a challenging first game, the teams were determined to make adjustments to move forward.  Both teams looked like entirely different sides as their strategy to improve was deemed successful. The 03's were better than yesterday as they managed a tie with the skillful opponent. While the older boys, being technically out played, hit for two on the counter and managed off the victory.

The teams then hit the road for the two hour jaunt to Berlin and the excitement of the 2nd leg of the tour. The boys are in high spirits clearly looking forward to their Embassy visit in the morning.

Dresden: Girls ODP Day 4

Today brought about some colder, rainy weather as we spent our last day in Dresden. The morning started with our traditional German breakfast followed by a wonderful walking tour of the Dresden city center.
Girls in Dresden city center
Beautiful historic buildings and churches surrounded us, the town was lively, and our group was treated to a wonderful rendition of the US national anthem by a local trumpet player.

After our tour, we were treated to a wonderful Italian lunch at Atavola.  After lunch, we boarded the bus to head to Berlin and karaoke began as the coaches joined in and brought many of the kids to tears with their wonderful song and dance.

Dinner in Berlin was at a wonderful traditional German buffet before the girls retired to their rooms to get used to the new hotel in downtown Berlin.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tiplece FC: Boys ODP Day 3

After consuming the German breakfast prepared by our head chef Wolfgang, our boys teams boarded the team bus and headed south for the hour drive to the Czech Republic. There, in the historical town of Tiplece, they were given a private tour of the stadium of the 3rd largest club in the country-Tiplece FC. Not only were they provided with access to the field but they also were also given the chance to see a private viewing of the first team's professional training session.

After the tour they walked to the old town where the were treated to a wonderful lunch in an old renovated theatre/restaurant. Upon completion of the culinary treat, they drove to the large field complex where both boys teams kicked off simultaneously against the academy teams of Tiplece FC. 

Vs. Tiplece FC
The '02's played in the small stadium while the 03's toiled on the adjoining field. Both teams lost but got better as the game wore on. The nervousness and first game jitters are normal and evident. However, they battled well and provided a lot of good aspects to build on for the upcoming slate.

Tomorrow, it's a visit to old town Dresden and then on to play the academy teams of Dresden FC.
No injuries to report. No sickness and everyone is having a good time.

Czech Republic: Girls ODP Day 3

After another hearty German breakfast, the girls boarded the bus headed to Tiplece in the Czech Republic. The first stop was the stadium of the Czech first division side named after the city; Teplice FC. 

Vs. Czech Republic Regional Select
Our hosts provided us a stadium tour and access to the field as well as a first person view on observing the first team training session. After the tour, we walked into the town center to a wonderful historic theater building that was converted into a restaurant. After lunch it was off to the rural town of Modera to play our matches. 

The 03 girls played a regional select team while the 01 girls played the women's team and both teams faired well in competitive fast paced matches. 

The bus ride back to Dresden was full of karaoke singing on the bus that turned competitive and promises to be continued the rest of the week.......

The Walk of Messen: Boys ODP Day 2

Both boys teams, after a hearty breakfast, took to the training field for a recovery session after the long day of travel. The magnificent Sport Park was provided to us by the German professional team of Dresden and the sun-filled 70 degree weather was a welcome site.

After training, all four teams went on a tour of the old historical town of Messen. They walked the old cobblestone streets, visited a castle that overlooked the river Elba and some even purchased gifts for those back home (hopefully you are one of them). The girls teams then left to play their first match while the boys went into old Dresden for a fun filled German dinner. 

The boys leave for the Czech Republic in the morning to site see and then play their first match. Everyone is healthy and eager to play today and experience another country.

Auf Wiedersen.

Game Day, FFC Fortuna Dresden: Girls ODP Day 2

After a restful nights sleep, the girls enjoyed a wonderful German breakfast at the hotel and headed off to the Sport park Ostragehege via a 10 minute walk. At the park the teams stretched their legs and went over some tactical preparation ahead of their evening matches. The teams then departed for a local town named Mason to sightsee and grab lunch and walk around to enjoy the wonderfully quaint German town. 

FFC Fortuna Dresden
After lunch it was off to Mickten-Dresden to play against FFC Fortuna Dresden U14/15s and U16/17s Women's teams. Both matches were competitive and a wonderful start for both teams to match up against German competition. Fortuna Dresden was kind enough to host the girls for dinner in their clubhouse and the girls were able to mingle with some of their opponents and share some food and laughs. After that it was off to bed after a full day. 

Day 3 is on the horizon as all 4 groups will be in action tomorrow. Auf Wiedersen!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

We have kicked off the tour. [Blog Day 1: Boys and Girls]

VA Girls ODP Checking In
On a wonderful day right outside outside our nation's capital, 72 of Virginia finest youth players gathered with excitement at Dulles airport to prepare for the 2017 VYSA ODP International trip. Checkin went smoothly and the group was off to Frankfurt before reaching their final destination in Berlin. 

The weather was sunny and beautiful upon arrival in Berlin and two coach buses awaited the group to take them to the world famous Olympiastdion in Berlin. The group was in for a treat as they were able to take in a Bundesliga match between home side Hertha Berlin and Augsburg. Prior to kickoff the players were able to walk around the stadium and buy some souvenirs and enjoy some local sausage and pomme frittes. Over 43,000 spectators were in attendance to see the home Berlin side cruise to a comfortable 2-0 victory. This included an opening goal from US MNT, John Brooks. 

VA Boys at Hertha Berlin Match
After the match the buses transported the group to the hotel in Dresden where the players enjoyed a nice dinner and headed up to their rooms for some much needed rest. Tomorrow brings about matches for our two girls teams and some training time and sightseeing for our boys teams. 

Auf Wiedersehen for now!