Final journal entry - well we are finally home after 28 hours of bus rides and airplanes, exhausted and tired but eager to be home and be with our families. Lots of tough goodbyes at the airport as you can imagine and I am sure a lot of you are getting some stories, at least bits and pieces, from our trip. I hope the kids kept a journal but most of them did not, neither did I for that matter, so I am just as guilty. A few final thoughts from me as we end this tour.
All in all, a great tour as we had some great kids and some really funny moments. We experienced a lot of highs and some lows as is expected, but a lot more highs than lows. We walked miles and miles and never used the elevators, except to bring our bags down on the last night. Our legs are stronger than ever from this tour, I can assure. We ate very well and we limited our snacks, which is something that I recommend for all players and families to do. As athletes, we need to fuel our bodies with the proper nutrition so we can maximize our abilities.
We saw some great sights off the field including the little man peeing in Belgium, the Fortress in Sweden, the medieval city in Germany, and the great swimming pool in Denmark.
We saw some incredible plays on the field including Beanies goal in Denmark, Emmet's goal in the final, Eddie's goal in Sweden, Bam Bam's goal in the final seconds in Sweden, Trevor's goal vs. the Brazilians, Connor's saves in the final, Hannah's saves in the Pks, the boys celebrations after the girls won in pks, the girls cheering during the finals in Denmark, AJ's sliding sliding save vs. Scotland, watching the Brazilians play at Heden, and so much more.
And who can forget the fitness session in Sweden, the pushups from AJ and his shirt being untucked, situps on the bus, and Coach Ed catching everything, Always!!!!!!!!!
The opening ceremonies have to be a top highlight and it is hard to remember that is for a youth tournament. What a great experience we all had and just a quick warning to all moms, be careful when you open the bags as some of our clothes smell really bad, we ran out of Fabreeze.
Thanks to all for your support and most importantly thanks to all of the kids for their efforts, commitment, and passion these past few weeks. They truly deserved all they received and hopefully we are all better from this experience.
Yours in Soccer,
2008 Stars 'N Stripes Tour Awards
Player of Germany - Boys A Player of Germany - Boys B
Player of Germany - Girls Player of Dana Cup - Girls
Player of Dana Cup - Boys A Player of Dana Cup - Boys B
Player of Gothia Cup - Girls Player of Gothia Cup - Boys A
Player of Gothia Cup - Boys B Player of Tour - Girls
Player of Tour - Boys A Player of Tour - Boys B
Most Improved - Boys A Most Improved - Boys B
Most Improved - Girls Golden Boot Award
Most Goals Scored - Boys A
Golden Boot Award Golden Boot Awa
Most Goals Scored - Boys B Most Goals Scored - Girls
John Koutoupis Award - Boys A John Koutoupis Award - Boys B
John Koutoupis Award - Girls Leadership Award
John Koutoupis Award - In recognition of a players attitude, conduct, discipline, and ability to be an Ambassador of USA and Stars 'n Stripes throughout the tour.