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The fourth installment of Internacional’s Danish experience:

Friday, August 1st

Friday morning as usual we had the same breakfast for the 5th day in a row. After having our meal we had to get ready for a 9:30 – sharp – practice on the turf fields. There we worked on moving the ball out of the back and pressuring as a unit, which we found was incredibly fun and interesting. These were the main things we learned we needed to work on after reviewing our games the previous week. After being sweaty from practice we all went back and showered to get ready before we went to our new teammate Anna’s hometown – Lyngby. After shopping and getting a snack at Anna’s favorite places we took the bus to her traditional Danish house and meet her beautiful family. We were very blessed to receive this opportunity to hangout and be a part of a Danish Barbecue! Anna’s family prepared an amazing Danish dish for the team and of course even better dessert. After getting our stomachs stuffed we played soccer in the backyard (cause we haven’t had enough soccer yet), there we learned that as a team we were incredible at juggling. After an eventful night we made our way back to bed for some sleep, which was much overdue.

Saturday, August 2nd

Saturday we woke up early again and started our morning just like the others, which we found very shocking. This time we were very excited because we went to visit Hamlets Castle in Helsingor. Even though Hamlet isn’t real we really went to (Holger Danske’s Castle). We spent an hour inside the castle taking many many pictures and learning amazing things! Then we got to explore Helsingor by shopping and grabbing Danish food. So all in all, it was another great experience in Denmark!

By: Kiley and Keely

Internacional Does Denmark - Part Three!

Posted by Phil Nielsen at Aug 3, 2014 12:26AM PDT ( 0 Comments )

The third installment of Internacional’s Danish experience:

Wednesday, July 30 (p2):

Our 4th match in 28 hours proved the body’s limitations. Having only a 5 minute warmup and full stomachs, we began slow in the game against Viborg and gave up two goals right away, and a third later that half. Second half we were able to create more chances and got a goal for a final score of 1-3. This had been the best team we had played so far and they were considered the best U17 team in Denmark. The *highlight of this game: Maddie getting thrown into the trees by an angry Danish girl on the other team.

After the scrimmage, we headed back to the hotel to clean up before our next adventure. We met back in the lobby and Shelby was dubbed tour guide. She led the group through the winding streets of Brøndby as Phil shuttled groups in his station wagon. Being a passenger in Phil’s car taught us that speed limits are merely suggestions and that breaking during turns is unnecessary. I can’t imagine what it must’ve looked like to a passerby when Phil whipped his car up the curb and a group of teenage girls piled in.

The grocery store was as expected; we walked around aimlessly until we found something with chocolate in it or fruit. Tori embraced her childhood and made a special purchase of a Cars water bottle. We loaded Phil’s car with all our groceries and started walking to the pizza place. It wasn’t exactly the Chicago style pizza we were used to but we devoured all 9 pizzas nonetheless.

Back at the hotel, we overtook the balcony by our rooms and sat around talking and laughing until the sun went down.

Thursday, July 31:

Exhausted from the previous day’s matches, Phil granted us 30 minutes extra sleep before we began our day. Breakfast was served and then we had a two hour rest period before we left for the beach.

Phil’s ‘one mile’ walk to the beach took us 50 minutes and felt more like a half marathon. Phil held a strong lead; his morning power walks are paying off as he left us in the dust. At the beach, Phil promptly found a spot and went right to sleep as the rest of us put our towels down and began exploring. The ‘ocean breeze’ smelled more like a rotten egg than a Yankee candle, but we still enjoyed the hot sand. We quickly realized we’re not in America anymore when the clothing on the beach became optional. The real spirit of tourism kicked in when Kiley and Maddie had their own beach photo shoot. Even though the sun came and went with the clouds, we had a successful day at the beach. Phil power walked back the hotel to get his car (probably because we were too slow for him) to shuttle us back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, we devoured 9 more pizzas and headed out for our scrimmage of the day. It was a close match against Brondby’s U17s and all three 25 minute periods were back and forth with no goals in either end. Quincy is convinced her shot went in, but the ref’s discretion said otherwise. This landed the final score of 0-0.

We ate dinner and went back to our rooms exhausted from another full day.

Brought to you by Room 513 (Mallory, Hannah, Quincy)


The second Installment of Internacional’s Danish Experience:

Our day began promptly at 8am in the lobby because as Phil says “early is on time, on time is late and late is unacceptable.” We experienced our first Danish breakfast with bland cereal, salami, and as well as some soft boiled eggs. But Phil was upset we didn’t get to experience the Danishes… Darn. While eating, Quincy had to excuse herself from the table and throw up. The time change really got to her.

After breakfast we had a team meeting and met our new Danish teammate Anna. An hour later we headed out to the field for our first game against Throttur FC (Iceland). The Iceland players struggled in the heat as they sat in sports bras and rolled up their pants to bikinis while sun bathing on the bench. It was quite the distraction. Welcome to Europe!!!!! After beating Throttur FC 4-1, we went to the cafeteria for lunch followed by a long nap preparing for our next game.

We had a team meeting before playing Brøndby (Denmark). As we were warming up, Phil drops the big news on us that we will be playing against 2 professional players (no big deal). Resulting in a 1-0 victory. After our game we had hamburgers and extra large hotdogs for dinner with the Danish players. We taught them some English slang words including yolo and swag. Then we headed for bed.

The next morning Phil was very excited to find that they had Danishes at breakfast! After breakfast we played the championship game against a team from Sweden and unfortunately lost 2-1, not knowing until later they had a few U17 national team players on their team. We then quickly headed to the award ceremony to receive our runners-up trophy to bring back to the TC office. We then had delicious pitas for lunch!

Second journal entry brought to you by room 515(Tori, Maddie, Jori)


Team Chicago Academy-Internacional is currently in Denmark participating in Brondby Cup. This is the third year in a row that a rising U18 Team Chicago Academy team has traveled to Denmark for this event. Over the next week we will share updates from the players. Here is the first installment:

Day 1 7/27
Our trip began at 8:05 p.m. with a team meeting at O’Hare. Once all the goodbyes were said, we headed through security, anxious for our trip to begin! Around 9:30 we boarded the plane, dreading the 8 hours ahead of us. Some of us got a nice 8 hours of sleep, while others stayed up to watch movies. The plane was practically full yet somehow Phil managed to get a row to himself…

Day 2 7/28
Upon arriving in Copenhagen, we got off the plane, got our bags and were introduced to the infamous Mr. and Mrs. Nielsen plus Phil’s aunt. The gang then went outside to wait for our bus. We didn’t realize it would be hotter in Denmark than it is in Naperville. Somehow Sophia was left in charge, when Phil went to go get his rental car. After what seemed like hours of sitting outside, the 16 sweaty and sleep-deprived girls boarded the bus and we headed to the Danish Olympic Training Center Idraettens Hus. We got our rooms and split up to take a mandatory but much needed nap.

Around 5:30 we went and got dinner at the cafeteria right next to the fields we will be playing on and the Brøndby Stadium. Realizing that air-conditioning was a luxury we wouldn’t be having these next 9 days.To help pass the time, Sophia and I (Abby) thought of a game called “Spot the European”. To play you simply spot someone wearing socks w/sandals, manpri’s, jorts (Jean shorts), popped collars, very deep v-necks, fanny packs, short shorts, etc. For points. We got the whole team involved and are up to a whopping 123 sightings in the first day alone. After dinner we headed off to the Brøndby (BIF) vs. Silkeborg game to watch our first soccer game of many this week. Brøndy came out on top with a 2-0 victory! After watching the post-game celebrations, Inter headed back up to the rooms for very necessary showers and snacks. We are looking forward to our two games tomorrow, hopefully we can start getting our bodies used to the 7-hour time difference.

First journal entry brought to you by room 511 (Abby Flynn, Sophia Moreau and Tatiana Espinosa)

P.S. Tati had no part in this journal entry, she was too busy on her phone…


Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo finished as runners-up at the US Youth Soccer U19 National Championships in Germantown, MD after a nail-biting 1-0 loss to VSA Heat from Virginia. VSA avenged its 2-1 over-time loss to Botafogo in the 2013 U18 National Championship game.

With the 2nd place finish Botafogo finish its youth career with only two competitive losses in two years, and 3 Regional Championships, a 2013 National Title, a 2014 National Silver Medal, and a 2012 National Bronze Medal.

The Botafogo players have set a new standard for Team Chicago Academy teams, and we thank them for all their contributions to help grow the club.

Participants in the 2014 National Championship Series were: Angela Widlacki, Ashley Handwork, Brooke Ksiazek, Bryce Banuelos, Gianna Dal Pozzo, Gracie Lachowecki, Heather Handwork, Hope D’Addario, Jenna Romano, Kaela Leskovar, Kaitlin Johnson, Karla DiJohn, Katie Ciesiulka, Kristen Brots, Liz Bartels, Mary Rounce, Megan Geldernick, Rose Lavelle, Zoe Swift, and Zoey Goralski,