The Revs played their second placement game on Saturday morning, heading to the Nike Football Training Center early after breakfast at the hotel.
A full game story from the Revs’ second meeting with the Orlando Pirates – a 4-2 loss – will be available on revolutionsoccer.net.
Following the match, the team went back out onto the field to kick the practice balls into the stands for the many children who had watched. Thrilled about the idea of catching a ball, the kids swarmed each time another flew into the stands.
The group returned to the hotel only briefly, eating lunch and packing up the remainder of their belongings, before making the trip back to the fields to watch Atletico Mineiro take on Nacional in the 2012 Future Champions Guateng final.
Players watched the final from the grassy area of the stands, and attracted a lot attention from the local children. The kids sat among the players, interacting with the Revs throughout the entire 60-minute match and asking questions about everything from American currency to photo-taking.
Touched by their experiences with the children, many of the players began to give away old gear that they had brought along on the trip. Hats, training tops, jerseys – suddenly a large group of South African children were sporting New England Revolution apparel. And they could not have been more ecstatic about it.
Before the Revs left the Training Center for the last time, the team posed for a group photo with the K-Stars (Zambia). The two clubs developed a good relationship throughout the tournament, and the photo made for a fitting end to the week.
The group then left for the airport directly from the final to begin its 20-hour journey back to Foxborough, Mass., arriving at the stadium around 12:45 p.m. ET the following day.
Everyone has agreed the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was an opportunity for the Revs to play teams from all over the world, learn about another culture and develop chemistry of their own, and no one will ever forget it.