Assistant Online Editor
While many students were getting ready to return to school in early August, the Springfield College men’s soccer team was packing their bags to head across the Atlantic Ocean to the home of soccer, England.
Sponsored by XL Travel, the team made stops in London, Liverpool, and Manchester, as well as Iceland throughout their journey. They departed on Aug. 5 and returned to the homeland on Aug. 16.
The Soccer Tours department provides soccer teams with an opportunity of a lifetime by letting them travel across the globe to experience the soccer craze in a different culture.
The relationship with XL Travel and the Springfield College’s men’s soccer team won’t end here, however, as the Pride will bring their team on this expedition every four years.
“It’s a really special experience and gives our players a unique opportunity,” mentioned head coach Steffen Siebert in an article published on the Springfield College Athletics website.
Senior midfielder Joey LaBella said that the trip was a “once in a lifetime experience.”
LaBella continued by saying that going to St. George’s Park, the English national soccer teams’ training center, was his favorite part.
It wasn’t all soccer for the Pride, as they did all of the essential sight seeing as well.
“[My] favorite part was touring around Big Ben, the parliament building, and Buckingham Palace,” said senior forward Kevin Nowak.
The team was also spectators of the game as they saw the views from eight different English Premier League stadiums and watched six Champion League matches, including the FA Community Shield that featured Manchester City and Arsenal in the world famous Wembley Stadium.
Springfield College sat in the Manchester City fan section and said that it was a great atmosphere, despite Arsenal coming out decisively victorious.
It may be too early to tell if the trip will help the Pride throughout their 2014 campaign, as the men have started their season by going 2-0-3.
The Pride will take the field next on Saturday at noon, at home against Wheaton College (6-0-1). This will be the first NEWMAC contest for both teams.
If you would like to see more of what the team did each day while they were overseas, visit their day-by-day online blog at http://www.scmstourengland2014.blogspot.com.