All the routes for the 23-player travel roster for the U.S. Men’s National Team led to Chile, but they took slightly different directions and presented a rare challenge for team administrator Jon Fleishman.
As a starting point, there weren’t enough seats on one plane for the nearly 12-hour flight from Los Angeles to Chile to accommodate the U.S. delegation. So the group was divided with 12 players and the backroom staff flying from LA with a layover in Lima, Peru (which required a 90-minute layover for refueling, plane cleaning and the addition/subtraction of passengers, all without the MNT de-boarding the plane). That contingent arrived around 6:30 a.m. in Santiago and took the 25-minute bus ride downtown. Meanwhile, a group of 10 players actually left earlier than the LA group, heading to Houston for a change of planes before heading south. Ironically, they would touch down nearly three hours later than the LA departees, pulling into the hotel in time for a late breakfast.
So that adds up to 22 players coming from the United States. The 23rd? That would be DeAndre Yedlin, who was summoned by Jurgen Klinsmann late Thursday after discussions with Tottenham Hotspur management. His travel route from across the pond had him arriving in town Sunday morning from London via Paris after a flight time of 14.5 hours. Special thanks to the Chilean Federation for making this an incredibly smooth journey for the team.
Needless to say, after a light afternoon session it will be lights out early for the MNT with kickoff just over 72 hours away.