Monday, March 8, 2010

The Rapids arrive in London; visit Arsenal training ground

We’re here…

Greeting from merry old England. The Rapids arrived in London this morning for the second-leg of their preseason preparations outside of Colorado amidst a long travel day.

The team’s day began on Sunday at 11 am Mountain Time when the squad boarded a bus at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park headed to Denver International Airport for their 2 pm flight. Following a minor delay leaving the Mile High City, we landed in Chicago for what was to be a 45 minute layover. Luckily for us, our connecting flight was only a few terminals down at O’Hare Airport, though our hold-up in Denver resulted in a very quick plane switch before we were up in the air once again.

We touched down in at London-Heathrow and made our way through customs around 9:30 am local time. After 10 hours of flight time, you could see the same hazy look on everyone’s face, as they tried to re-establish their bearings and at the same time were happy to stretch their legs and be off a plane.

We were welcomed at the airport by members of Arsenal TV, who will be documenting much of our week here in London for an exclusive special.
From bus ride, to domestic flight, to international flight, and back to a bus, we next made the 30+ minute trek to the Arsenal Training Centre. Once there, the team gathered for a light jog and stretch. While the brisk workout helped wake up their sleepy bodies, the biggest ‘good morning you’re in London’ came from the freezing temperature and bone chilling wind cutting through the grounds.

As the Rapids got their first workout in of the week, the group of Arsenal U16 and U18 players practiced on an adjacent pitch and the Arsenal first team had a brief walk through session on their training field ahead of their Champions League match tomorrow against Porto (which we will be attending!).

After lunch at the grounds (or breakfast depending on your internal clock), the team finally arrived at the Village Hotel.
The group’s schedule for the rest of the day only includes a team dinner. The hotel sits in a small business park not far from the Training Centre. One thing that always stands out about hotels in England is that the double beds in each room are about five inches apart from each other.

Make sure to continue checking back all this week on all the Rapids’ digital platforms for the latest London updates, including tomorrow’s match against the Arsenal Reserves.
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4 comments:

FC Denver said...

Very exciting stuff especially for the guys making their first trips. Look forward to more reports. Thanks!

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