Dynamo first-year players Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie are currently in Amsterdam as part of Major League Soccer's annual Generation adidas trip abroad. Over the course of 11 days, the 18-player squad, led by Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes and his staff, will train at the Ajax Academy and play friendlies against Ajax Reserves, FC Volendam, and Almere City FC. Sarkodie took some time out of his busy schedule to write a blog entry about the first few days of the trip.
So Will and I left on December 5 for Amsterdam. We ended up leaving from different airports and didn't meet each other until we landed. Unfortunately, we both had the same flight experience which was A LOT of turbulence! I stayed awake most of the flight and kept busy with movies (Cowboys and Aliens) and catching up with my good friend Kevin Alston from New England.
When we finally landed in Holland, about half of the team was together and we headed to the hotel. The weather here is pretty similar to the midwest (cold!) so it wasn't too much of an adjustment for Will and I, however I think we have gotten pretty acclimated to the Houston heat that at this point any cold weather is a shock. Weird enough, Will and I can't get away from each other and are roommates over here!
On our first day in Holland, we all got together and went out for a training session. As we approached the Ajax training center we could see their beautiful stadium, which we visited the following day for the Real Madrid/Ajax match. That was a whole different experience in itself! We'll have to do a video commentary with our thoughts on the match at some point. Champions League ... enough said!
The second day of training was a little more intense as we prepared for our match against the Ajax Reserves. We went through a full session with a proper warm-up, passing drills, possession drills and finishing.
I have been to Holland before so I knew what it was all about, but I think this is Will's first trip here. He has definitely been enjoying it so far. It's the city of bikes and water! Plus, the wind here is crazy and I think if you try jumping in the air you might be able to fly for a little bit! Amsterdam is a unique city unto itself. It's definitely a place to come and see at least once in your life if you happen to be passing through Europe :)
I am fortunate that I have a lot of buddies on this trip from either my time at Akron or IMG (U.S. Residency program) or fellas I have just met over the years. My main boys here are [Philadelphia Union midfielder] Amobi Okugo and [Union goalkeeper] Zac MacMath, who I know from IMG, [Montreal Impact defender] Zarek Valentin, who I know from Akron, and Kevin Alston. We have definitely had a good time catching up since it's been a while since I've seen a lot of these guys. I actually whooped [Union forward] Danny Mwanga in FIFA earlier, 5-1, but I don't think he wants to talk about it :) [Sounders defender] Michael Tetteh is also here and he is from Ghana too and [Crew midfielder] Dilly Duka is here and is living in my home town in Ohio. All in all, we have a real cool group here.