Tomorrow I'm heading to Chicago to see the US Men's National Soccer team face off against England for the first time in eleven years.
I have been to Chicago once before on business, but I contracted food poisoning while there, and did not get to experience much of the city. This time, I'm only there for 30 hours, so I won' t have a lot of "tourist" opportunities.
I'm heading to the soccer match on Saturday, then I'm going to catch a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley on Sunday, then I fly back directly. (With some help) I found a couple of really websites for planning your trip on the Chicago Regional Transit Authority, and Chicago Transit Authority rail map. So now, I've got all the buses and tains I need planned out for getting to and from Soldier Field, Wrigley, and O'Hare.
This will be my third time at a US soccer match...I was on hand here in Houston for the 0-0 match v. Mexico on May 8, 2003. And I was in Dallas last year for the thrilling 1-0 victory over Mexico on April 28, 2004.
England comes in without several of their biggest stars: Frank Lampard, John Terry, David Beckam, Michael Owen, and Wayne Rooney will all be missing. In addition, promising winger Stuart Downing came down with an injury on the first day of training in Chicago and was flown back to England. The US, too, is without several of its regular starters, although none with the world-wide notariety of the English stars mentioned above. DaMarcus Beasley, Eddie Johnson, Pablo Mastroeni, Eddie Lewis, and Claudio Reyna are all out for the USNats.
Obviously, I'm hoping for an exciting match and the US to prevail and continue its drive to establish itself as one of the premier soccer sides in the world.
Read more about the match-up:
England missing several big names - Marc Connolly at ESPN Soccernet
Wasted in the USA - Dominic Raynor for ESPN Soccernet
English giving US a different look - AP