US Soccer has done such a great job taking care of the families down here ... it has been a great trip thanks to their work. Today they have set up a four hour bus tour of São Paulo. Now São Paulo is so amazingly large that it would take 4 weeks to cover it by bus - but I am sure you can see a lot in 4 hours. Stephen and I are in complete agreement about this outing on two points: (1) It is a great thing that US Soccer has organized (2) we are not 4 hour bus tour guys. Our plans are not quite yet solidifed (which is no different than any other day of our lives) but we will be going to the Parque and Stephen has been wanting to jump into a pickup soccer game there. Beyond that we will see where the wind blows us today. (I should point out in case the President of my company is reading this that I will be putting in about 9 hours of hard work today as well).
This USMNT has a quality that becomes tremendously clear when you get a chance to see them interact off the field. I've been around sports teams all my life and my observation is that this team is very close to each other - being around them you clearly see the respect and genuine affection that they have for each other. It is a close team and teams that have that characteristic seem to be more likely to get that late goal or be able to grind out a result when things are not all going their way.
Today the team heads up to Manaus and the families follow tomorrow. Every night in the middle of the night the U.S. Soccer Fairy slips a sheet of instructions under the door. That sheet tells us about the program today and the program tomorrow along with other good information. Last night the Fairy's note let us know that tomorrow's travel day to Manaus begins at 6:45am.