While the trip represented an opportunity for D.C. United to get some final on-field action in 2019, it also served as a chance to showcase the Black-and-Red in front of a new audience in a vibrant location. The island of St. Croix were hospitable and excited to have a team from Major League Soccer on the island as they look to revitalize sports tourism and make it a destination for teams across the world.
Wednesday, Nov. 13
The team departed Washington, DC and arrived in St. Croix after a brief layover in Miami. D.C. United and the Bermuda National Team arrived on the same flight and were immediately greeted by the smiling faces from the people of St. Croix. The Black-and-Red had their first glimpse of the island as the bus headed to The Buccaneer Hotel located on the east side of the island. After players enjoyed the sunset upon arrival, the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted a reception for the two teams to interact and give stakeholders from the U.S. Virgin Islands, D.C. United, Bermuda National Team and the numerous sponsors a chance to introduce themselves.
Players and staff from both D.C. United and the Bermuda National Team enjoy a reception dinner at The Buccaneer Hotel in St. Croix
Thursday, Nov. 14
The following day, D.C. United had their first training session on the island at the Bethlehem Soccer Complex. After a brief bus ride, the team utilized the U.S. Virgin Islands' facility to train in front of local spectators. Following training, players signed autographs then headed to local restaurant favorite Harvey's in the town of Christiansted to enjoy lunch. Harvey's authentic cuisine is a favorite of former NBA star Tim Duncan who grew up in the island and the intimate atmosphere combined with local and fresh food was a treat for the entire team.
Griffin Yow gets prepared for the first training session in St. Croix
Players arrive at the Bethlehem Soccer Complex for training
Frédéric Brillant, Steven Birnbaum, Chris Seitz and Ola Kamara eating food at the famous Harvey's Restaurant
D.C. United players and team staff pose for a photo with Harvey and his staff in front of the restaurant
Friday, Nov. 15.
The Black-and-Red returned to the Bethlehem Soccer Complex for their match against the Bermuda National Team on Friday. The kickoff was set for 6 PM in front of 1,200 fans from the U.S. Virgin Islands. It didn't take long for D.C. United to take the lead when Ola Kamara smartly finished his opportunity in the third minute. Midfielder Gordon Wild then added a second goal for the Black-and-Red in the 26th minute. Bermuda battled back and scored two unanswered goals to level the score at 2-2. Homegrown Player Griffin Yow, who was a bright spot throughout the match, latched on to two efforts to secure his first career brace for the Black-and-Red and win the game 4-2 for United. Following the match, players stuck around to sign autographs for fans and give away D.C. United jerseys, shirts and additional apparel.
- D.C. United - Ola Kamara - 3' (1-0)
- D.C. United - Gordon Wild - 26' (2-0)
- Bermuda - Zeiko Lewis - 36' (2-1)
- Bermuda - Osagi Bascome - 45' (2-2)
- D.C. United - Griffin Yow - 49' (3-2)
- D.C. United - Griffin Yow - 65' (4-2)
D.C. United starters against the Bermuda National Team. From Left to Right (Top Row): Ola Kamara, Joseph Mora, Russell Canouse, Donovan Pines, Steven Birnbaum, Chris Seitz. From Left to Right (Bottom Row): Gordon Wild, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Griffin Yow, Antonio Bustamante, Emmanuel Boateng
Dave Kasper, D.C. United General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations, presents jerseys to Sports Parks and Recreation Commissioner Calvert White (Left) and Governor Albert Bryan (Right)
Saturday, Nov. 16
After the match the previous day, players were given the opportunity to explore the island on Saturday. Players and staff were given an in-depth tour of St. Croix by a local guide who provided St. Croix's history and background while traveling to the various destinations of significance across the island. The players met a group of local kids at the St. George Village Botanical Garden before heading to Island favorite, Armstrong's Homemade Ice Cream and Deli, for scoop of their famous ice cream with local flavors. Players then branched off individually to explore the various activities and tourist spots on the island. Midfield duo Russell Canouse and Gordon Wild took a boat to Buck Island, a National Park, to snorkel and see local marine life while Steven Birnbaum and Chris Seitz got chance to play a round of golf at the hotel's picturesque course.
Players and staff pose for a photo with Teri Helenese, the territory's director of state-federal relations and Washington representative reporting to the USVI's governor in Frederiksted, St. Croix on the West side of the island.
Players gaze at the blue waters off the coast of St. Croix
Players pose for a photo with young soccer fans at the St. George Village Botanical Garden
Midfield duo Russell Canouse and Gordon Wild take a photo before snorkeling the coral reefs off Buck Island