After leaving RFK Stadium at 5:30 p.m. Sunday night, we finally made it to our hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia at 4:30 p.m. TUESDAY evening, but not before a 12-hour flight to Abu Dhabi, a seven hour layover where Michael Seaton reassured the fact that he is still a teenager, showers in an Abu Dhabi airport lounge that brought life back to those I thought we lost, that eight hour flight to Indonesia where you ran out of the good movies to watch, so you settled for Monsters University (don’t knock it until you try it) and that lovely rush hour drive in Jakarta. All-in-all, we are still in one piece and happy to finally be here.
You learn a lot about a team when you spend every second together on a trip like this. So far, I have learned that Joe Willis is tall, and you should try to avoid sitting next to him on any flights over five hours. I know, most people already had that figured out, but I also realized what kind of guys we have on this team— ones with great character.
It was pretty obvious when we initiated the “I-haven’t-seen-you-in-a-few-weeks” hugs and handshakes in the locker room before we left, but it really hit when we arrived at our hotel and everyone had an equipment bag on their shoulder, a smile for the camera and a gracious thank you for owners Will Chang and Erick Thoir as they were there to meet us off the bus. And yes, I even got a few of them to talk to media after a day like that. It must be the holiday season!
No day is riddled with down time in this trip, but tomorrow may take the cake for a non-travel day. We start with breakfast and a pool session (not to shabby on the eyes), which is then followed up by a press conference with several members of D.C. United and the Indonesian media, a coaching clinic in Jakarta, a trip to the U.S. Embassy for several players to work with youth from the area and it finishes with dinner with the U.S. Ambassador. Not bad for day one. Actually, that’s not bad for any day.
We will make sure to keep you updated, but now it’s time for us to catch up on some much needed sleep as we prepare to go to bed at 10 p.m. Tuesday night, a.k.a. Tuesday morning for all you back in the states.