Finally we are home, after almost 36 hours of transfers, We are finally home and what a reception we received at DFW. A 5 hour bus ride to Stockholm, a quick 2 hour nap in the terminal, then a flight to Philly, 4 more hours of layovers, and finally our last flight to Dallas and we are home.
Tired, worn out, sick of traveling, but we are excited to see our family. We actually had 7 kids get stuck in the revolving door trying to get to the baggage claim area, what a riot. Personally, Anita, Charles, Lennart, and myself are wiped out and will need several days of rest and sleep to catch our breath and get back on track.
I think I am finally kicking my illness I picked up in Sweden but what a long process. Even until the end we had kids doing push ups. Would you believe that we actually had the majority of our group visit Burger King while at the amusement park and some of them even had cokes. A few push ups later and I hope they are reminded. Some of them will never learn while I am sure we have touched a few that will last several years.
All in all, it was a fabulous tour. We spoke with the kids about our rules and guidelines and expectations and tried to reason with them in hopes that they understand more. Not sure but I think some of them actually nodded their heads. I think I actually heard one of them say, oh I understand, but not quite sure.
Our end of tour awards are listed below, and the only one that needs explaining is the John Koutoupis Award. John was a player and later a coach for SnS and was the ultimate ambassador for the American player. John always was focused and ready to play and always willing to try new things and visit new areas. His respect for our hosts culture separated him from the rest of the players and in his honor we have named this award for him. It is the highest honor we can bestow on a Stars n Stripes player.
I hope you all have enjoyed reading these journals and I have really enjoyed writing them. I hope I have given you a slice of what our tour is like. It is a very special experience and one that I am personally very proud to offer our players. We all have grown on this tour, I can promise you that and I look forward to our soccer paths crossing again in the future.