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U.S. vs. Brazil: Holding hands with Rômulo & Chatting with Donovan

As most of you know, my 10 year old attended a McDonald’s Soccer Clinic and was selected to be an escort for the U.S. and Brazilian teams at their game last night.

The day was a little crazy and I was overwhelmed by details – I didn’t want anything to go wrong. I checked and double checked that we had everything we needed – tickets, the uniform, money for the Metro, etc. Even when I was sure we had everything, I worried that we would arrive late, (we ended up arriving super early as a result), or that my son would spill something on his shirt, (he didn’t.)

Finally we were able to turn him over to the organizers from McDonald’s for a couple hours. The McDonald’s people were really awesome with the kids and I relaxed knowing that whatever happened now was out of my hands.

I think most of the kids were nervous – also, it was really hot, but they’re all so adorable.

After we dropped off our boy, we went to our seats and waited for the big moment. We knew we would be sitting in the upper level of the stadium but I wasn’t prepared for how high up it would be. Climbing the stairs to our seats felt like climbing Chichen Itza and I was very close to having an anxiety attack. It took a few minutes and some deep breathing but I calmed enough to appreciate our beautiful view.

So high up that a bird flew past my face.

The players came out to warm up and the escort kids were instructed to sit along the sidelines. Little did I know at that time that my son had actually had a chance to talk to his favorite U.S. players minutes before in the entrance hallway from the locker rooms to the field. He says he told Landon Donovan, “I’ve seen you on TV. You’re one of my favorite players.” Donovan reportedly smiled and said, “Thank you.” My son also said “Hi” to Tim “El Pato” Howard who responded in kind.

Once the players were finished warming up and the field was readied, the music began and the players returned with their escorts. My son got paired up with a Brazilian player, (Rômulo, #8.)

My sister texted me a few minutes after the anthems played and told me she saw our son on TV – She even took a photo.

Once the game began, Carlos went to retrieve him and we enjoyed the rest of the game together as a family. (This was our older son’s first time attending a soccer game in a stadium so he was just as excited as our younger son.)

Despite the US Team playing really well, ultimately the terrible reffing wasn’t in their favor. While I’m complaining a little, let me just say that the new uniforms make our guys look like Where’s Waldo.

In happier news, we were part of history. The crowd that attended the US vs. Brazil game at FedEx Field on May 30th, 2012 broke records – the stadium was definitely packed.

We ended up leaving the game a little early to avoid being crushed. Thankfully we made it to the Metro moments before a train arrived and we pulled out just as the station was starting to fill up with people. Within minutes our younger son had fallen asleep, the long day finally taking its toll.

Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. We were invited by McDonald’s to the soccer clinic and given tickets to the game. No compensation was received in exchange for this post and as always all opinions are my own.

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