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U.S. soccer team sets up camp in Sao Paulo, holds first workout in Brazil before World Cup

U.S. soccer team sets up camp in Sao Paulo, holds first workout in Brazil before World Cup

Posted by Liliana Castaño on June 10, 2014

Brazil’s largest city features high-rises as far as the eye can see and a tangle of highways that slows traffic to a slug’s pace. Wedged in here, Manhattan would be a quaint neighborhood.

Amid it all, the U.S. national soccer team has staked claim to an oasis — a collection of training fields and support facilities that will serve as base of operations for its World Cupinitiatives.

At Sao Paulo FC’s immaculate grounds, there are fields featuring different types of grass, a fitness center, pool, sleeping quarters if naps are necessary and a fully staffed kitchen. There are bird feeders supplied with fruit and lovely landscaping. The driveway off the main road is draped in a canopy of trees.

And there are peacocks roaming the property. Yes, peacocks, which are named after former SPFC players.

The birds were not part of the welcoming party when the Americans arrived for their first workout late Monday afternoon. Everything else, though, was in place on a cool, gray day in the Barra Funda district — including Sao Paulo’s notorious backups.

“It’s been fantastic,” goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “We haven’t had any problems, other than the traffic.”

The Americans, who will play their first match next Monday against Ghana in the northeast city of Natal, were eager to stretch their legs after two days of travel: from Jacksonville, Fla., where they completed a three-game send-off series with a 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Saturday, to Miami and then an eight-hour overnight flight to the world’s ninth-most populous city (12 million).

 

 

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