Yes, we are just hours away from our first (of many!) elimination round matches.
The start of the #USAvBEL match cannot come any sooner.
I am ready!
One Nation. One Team.
And, I have lots of (remote) work to do today and the Argentina vs. Switzerland match to keep me distracted until the 17:00 (or 5:00 pm) local time kick-off of the USA bout.
So, to keep me focused (and before I dive into my next major work item), I thought I share the amount of flying we did to catch all three USA group stage matches these past two weeks.
As many of you have likely read, Team USA endured the worst travel schedule of any of the teams in the World Cup. From their base of operations in São Paulo to the three cities in the north, the USMNT tallied about 8,900 miles. Interestingly, our opponent for the match later today earned the honor of traveling the least amount for the group stage.
Maura and I came fairly close to equaling this long distance achievement (we did not have the "luxury" of flying back to São Paulo after each match, like the USMNT did), racking up nearly 6,900 air miles on our own journey through the first phase of the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil.
I can actually feel the physical toll and impact of multi-legged journey to Natal, Manaus and Recife.
Here are our vital stats:
São Paulo to Brasilia - 540 miles
Brasilia to Natal - 1,099 miles
Natal to Manaus - 1,721 miles
Manaus to Brasilia - 1,208 miles
Brasilia to Recife - 1,027 miles
Recife to São Paulo - 1,301 miles
For a grand total of 6,896 miles!
We actually flew more air miles than Team Belgium did to get from their home nation to their camp in São Paulo state (approximately 6,000 miles).
Yeah, it was brutal, but so worth it!
And, I think we would have made the trip up north to Salvador for today's match if we both weren't swamped with work and just completely wiped.
Nevertheless, I'm hopeful our big investment will have more than a little impact on the team's performance later today...where we will make waffles out of them Belgium!