This last week had this family at the football pitch from just about sun up to sun down Tuesday through Saturday.  No joke.  Thing 4 and his team competed in the Schwan's Cup, AKA, USA Cup in Blaine, MN.  Wow.  I have not been witness to a tournament of this scale in many years.  It really was an International exhibition with teams from Japan, Mexico, Sweden, Colombia, Costa Rica, Uganda and Brazil.  I may have missed a few countries.  Our boys' final placement was not the best but the experience of the week was definitely worth it.

Tuesday kicked off the tournament in Olympic style fashion.  We had a match in the morning, team lunch, watched our U15 boys play a squad from Norway and then had opening ceremonies.  All of the teams were announced by country, carrying their flag into the NSC Stars stadium amidst chants and cheering from the stands. 

Brazilian squads entering the stadium and proudly displaying their flag

 Thing 4 and teammates

The US National Amputee Team, they played short sided games against participants
in the "fun" area of the campus, there was always quite the crowd 

Once the entirety of players had entered the stadium and the pitch was filled like a can of sardines the ceremony began.  The Star Spangled Banner was sung and a torch lit.  Gave this Mama goosebumps.

 Flags flying

The torch, we were rather far away

After all this, there were still two musical performances and fireworks.  Yet another highlight that set the tone for the week. 

And then there were many more matches, more picnics, and more fun.  The boys had pins to trade, a game room with a photo booth, ping pong, foosball, a Puma store, sand footie and so much more.  Our boys took part in it all and Thing 4 said it was one of the best weeks of his life. 

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