Day Off Diary from Sao Paulo
At last, time for a rest.
After 14 days in camp and little down time, U.S. head coach Jurgen gave the team – and the staff – the day off Tuesday. So what do most players do?
As it turns out, a lot of taking it easy – they are here for work, after all. But they also took time to explore the city. There are plenty of shops and cafes dotting the tree-lined streets in the neighborhood of the hotel, and the players were free to walk about. Several sampled the acai – here, the popular berry is often served like a parfait with granola. Smoothies are also common. Several coffee shops in close proximity were also a popular choice.
A group players and staff visited the Sao Paulo FC fan shop at Estadio do Morumbi, looking for gifts for their kids. They were treated to a private tour of the stadium and got to walk out on the field. There’s also a great football museum that documents the history of the sport in Brazil, including the 1950 FIFA World Cup and the famous win for the United States against England in Belo Horizonte.
Mostly, the players just relaxed. Treatment and massages were available, and several found their way out to the pool with a good book or hung out inside and listened to tunes, caught up with family, and played games in the player’s lounge.
The evening brought the second team excursion for dinner, this time to a traditional and famous Brazilian churrascaria, otherwise known as Brazilian barbecue. It’s served rodizio style, which if you have been to a Fogo de Chao you know what that means. Basically, the servers continuously bring out a plethora of different kinds of meat – everything from filet mignon to the very popular picanha – and if you say yes, they slice a chunk off for you and move on. You have a marker with one side green and one side red. As long as you leave the marker on green, you keep getting meat. It is truly delicious, and can also be truly endless.
Stuffed and satisfied, the team rolled back to the hotel, ready to work off the calories during Wednesday’s session.