With no training or games scheduled for Thursday, the Dynamo Academy players and coaches spent the day in Amsterdam, exploring the sights and sounds of Holland's largest city. The trip offered the chance for the players to forget about soccer for a day and be some of the many tourists that explore the city.
"This was a great opportunity for our players," Dynamo Director of Youth Development James Clarkson said. "Many of these boys have never been outside of the United States before, so for them to be able to come to Holland and take a trip to Amsterdam, it's a worthwhile experience for them all."
The day began with an hour-long guided cruise through the canals of the city. Players learned about the history of the city and had the chance to take pictures of the numerous architectural monuments Amsterdam has to offer. After the tour, the group walked a mile through the streets of downtown Amsterdam for lunch. Central Square in Amsterdam reminded many of the boys of Hollywood, with various people dressed up in costumes reminiscent of movie or TV characters.
After lunch, the players were given a few hours to shop for souvenirs and visit the various shops in the city before making their way back to Groningen.
"It was a fun day in Amsterdam," midfielder Miguel Zapata said. "We learned a lot, met a lot of new people, and I'm really glad we had the chance to go. It was a good break from soccer after a busy first few days."
The players will return to the training pitch tomorrow for one final session before the tournament begins on Saturday. The Dynamo's first match of the tournament is Saturday night at 7 p.m. local time against Dutch power PSV Eindhoven. The game will be played at Achilles Stadion in Assen, Holland.
Complete coverage of the Academy's trip to Holland