Monday, June 4, 2012

Mexico - Brazil at Dallas Cowboys Stadium

If you have checked out the stories here on TexanTreks I think it is pretty obvious my three passions/hobbies.  I love to travel.  I love to rockhound/gem hunt.  And I love the beautiful game of soccer!  As much as I enjoy TexanTreks. I love my soccer website.

I have been writing on Soccermogul for five years.  One of the perks of having a well recognized soccer website is that I can get media credentials for pretty much any important soccer match in the United States.  So when I saw that Mexico and Brazil would be playing at Dallas Cowboys Stadium I was fired up!  I live only about 10 miles north of Dallas Cowboys Stadium you see. 

I put in my application through the Mexican Soccer Federation and within a week I was approved.  What follows is my story of the two day Mexico - Brazil weekend.

The game was on Sunday at 2pm, but there are plenty of activities on Saturday. I had to go down in the morning and pick up my credentials.  In addition to the credentials I wanted to get there right when they opened to make sure I got one of the coveted parking passes.  They are first come, first serve and they disappear fast. 

I was sixth in line for my credentials.  Jackpot.  I landed a parking pass. You see when Dallas Cowboys Stadium is soldout and 85,000 people are attending, parking can be a bit of a nightmare.  Throw in $50 to park anywhere close and now you understand the value of getting one.  Oh, and did I mention it is a platinum parking pass which allows us to park basically in the front row!

So, once the credentials and parking pass were in hand I had a few hours to kill before the two teams had their Saturday practices.  The Mexico practice was at noon and was basically closed to all.  Only the last 15 minutes were open to media.  I decided it was not worth the trouble for a few minutes.

The Brazil practice was scheduled for 4:30 and completely open to the media.  Jackpot again!  I figured I would get there early to catch the team arrival.  It is a great picture opportunity.  I took my spot outside the locker room and waited.  It was only myself and two other guys.  At 4:00 up pulled the Brazil bus and one by one the players exited and walked right past.  Marcelo.  Pato.  Neymar.  Hulk.  Thiago Silva.  Wow.  I snapped some pictures and then headed onto the field to grab a spot for the practice session.

At 4:30 the players came out.  There were about 30 members of the media on hand.  And all were lined up for the pre-practice player interviews.  Marcelo, of Real Madrid, was the first to come over and answer questions for about 5 minutes.  Next up was Thiago Silva, of AC Milan.  I don’t speak a lick of Portuguese so I stood back and snapped a few pictures and watched the fanfare.

The team practiced for about an hour.  The whole practice was done in one and two touch.  The speed and technical abilities of the players was off the charts.  It was serious, but the players were definitely having fun.  Some good natured ribbing here and there.  A final 9v9 scrimmage with two ten minutes halves finished the session.  Afterwards, the media headed to the conference room where coach Menezes was to give his press conference. 

I decided to head around to the locker room instead and try to get a few more pictures.  There were three of us that decided to do this rather than attend the coaches conference.  We made a good decision as the players filed right past us giving us some great pictures.  Then Neymar decided to stay on the field and juggle a bit right in front of us in the corner!

He was very friendly as he left stopping for a couple of pictures.  My day was made as I left the stadium looking forward to the game the next day.  Check out Part 2 of the story that details the match day.

1 comment:

  1. Just confirmed that the three overage Olympic players for Brazil will be Thiago Silva, Marcelo and Hulk. Basically the exact same team from the article above.