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Hard choice for Brazilian teams: travel to Schwan’s USA CUP or stay home to watch World Cup?

07/12/2014, 5:15pm CDT
By Isaac Haight, NSC Media Intern

This weekend four teams from Sao Paulo, Brazil have traveled to play in Schwan’s USA CUP at the same time their home country is hosting the 2014 World Cup.

The coincidence made for some hard decisions for a lot of teams that have attended in past years according to Schwan’s USA CUP International Recruiter, Colleen Bourdon. It unfortunately deterred a couple teams from coming this year.

Ruy Nogueira (15) and Thiago Vassellucci (16) watch on during their game

“Each year we typically have around 10-12 Brazilian teams come to Schwan’s USA CUP,” Bourdon said. “This year only four were able to make the trip.”

Those four teams are all part of the Esporte Clube Pinheiros, which brought two U11 boys’ teams, a U12 boys’ team and a U13 boys’ team and the decision was not any less difficult for them to make.

Airline tickets were one of the biggest factors in deciding whether or not a team would be able to attend this year’s tournament from Brazil, Bourdon said.

“With the World Cup going on, it was really difficult for teams to find flights,” Bourdon said. “People fly into Brazil and then they use the airlines to commute to different World Cup games. Their large groups made it even more difficult to find seats for all the kids.”

Pinheiros found flights to the United States, but scheduling the flights was still a big decision for the team knowing their national team could very well be playing while Pinheiros was traveling or playing in USA CUP.

Bruno Vidigal, who plays for the U13 team, said the players were willing to make those sacrifices in order to play at Schwan’s USA CUP.

“We all love football and we can come here and express ourselves and play,” Vidigal said. “It was nice to see the games so close to our house. We were hyped for the games in Sao Paulo, but we could not play then.”

Many of the older kids passed on the opportunity to play at USA CUP, instead preferring to take in the World Cup in person, according to Bourdon.

“The U14 and 15 age groups stayed back to do functions with friends and family for the World Cup, whereas a lot of the younger kids were still willing to come during the World Cup,” Bourdon said.

Even though the team had to watch their home country play the semifinal game against Germany on the plane, Vidigal said the experience was worth it.

“It’s so awesome we get to play with so many different teams with different tactics,” Vidigal said. “In Sao Paulo we always play against the same teams but now you get all these different teams and a big complex.”

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Tag(s): July 12, 2014