The weekend in Sao Paulo started with a double dose of outreach activities surrounding the Friday morning session.
U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo hosted a public training session for fans in the U.S. diplomatic community, children and guests of Sao Paulo FC. The group was greeted by Consul General Dennis Hankins and U.S. Soccer Managing Director of Administration Tom King, and then watched the U.S. Men’s National Team work out for 75 minutes. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann addressed the crowd at the end and talked about the importance of building relationships in Brazil and giving back to all those who support the team.
Over in the outdoor patio area, the communications department hosted a reception for important members of the Brazilian media. Klinsmann again spoke with the assembled group, introducing the entire team staff and giving insight into the team’s preparation and plans for the World Cup. The traditional Brazilian barbecue was a big hit – especially the roasted wild boar!
The afternoon session took place in Sao Paulo FC’s well-equipped fitness center and hydrotherapy pool, and then it was off to a team dinner at a local Italian restaurant. The place sported absolutely stunning views of the city, in addition to amazing dishes. The group took the opportunity to celebrate the birthday of head athletic trainer Ivan Pierra.
Klinsmann and members of the staff had a 4 a.m. wake-up call as he led a delegation to visit two of the USA’s venues for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The first stop was Natal, site of its opening group match against Ghana. Following a tour of the hotel and training site, it was off to Estadio das Dunas where the progress in completing the stadium in the last month has been incredible. After checking out the facilities, Klinsmann had a simple reaction: “This place is absolutely gorgeous.”
The party then flew to Recife and checked out all the facilities Sunday morning for the USA’s final match of the group against Germany.
Back in Sao Paulo, U.S. assistants Martin Vasquez and Andi Herzog led the double-day, running the team through field work in the morning and a gym session in the afternoon. The competition on the pitch extended to the water for an intense game of pool volleyball. The team has a single session Sunday, prepping for its second closed-door scrimmage of the trip on Monday against Sao Paulo FC.
Make sure to follow the MNT on Twitter @ussoccer and Instagram for behind the scenes updates from Sao Paulo.