Saturday, September 15, 2007

Back to Shanghai

The U.S. team left the hotel in Chengdu at around 9:15 a.m. and was bid farewell by the great hotel staff, venue staff and security that worked with the USA during its stay. As is often the case during FIFA tournaments when changing venues, the U.S. team flew with an opponent, in this case, its next opponent in Nigeria. The interaction between the two teams was minimal, but cordial, although one player did ask Tina Ellertson (whose mother is from Nigeria) where her family hailed from. Sweden was also at the airport, but on a different flight as they are going to Tianjin to play North Korea. It’s always a bit awkward when you see the team you just beat at the airport, but the Swedes are a classy bunch (although they looked pretty tired). The travel day was a cinch compared to when the USA traveled last time from Shanghai to Chengdu (and had flight delays galore), although (shocker) the team bus did hit traffic from the Shanghai airport to its hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, where the USA spent eight days at the beginning of the trip, the team cheered. (It is a really nice hotel).

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