A travel party of 49, which included 14 players from the 2007 Kraze ECNL team, recently traveled from Orlando to Spain on an 11-day excursion. The trip featured visits to legendary and historical stadiums, matches played against some of the most storied clubs in Europe, and an exploration of the culture and lifestyle that is Spanish futbol.
Organized and led by Florida Kraze Krush coaches, Carlos Sarria and Frank Cilento, with the help of Ivan Iglesias, Anne Marie Stricklin and the B Travel Brand, the group set off on June 2nd with the first stop in Asturias, Spain. The players and coaches stayed at the Real Oviedo youth academy where they were able to tour the facilities, locker rooms, and the Estadio Carlos Tartiere stadium where the pro team hosts its home games. The visit featured two training sessions, one on the pitch and one futsal, a friendly match against the Real Oviedo academy team, and ended with watching Real Oviedo win 4-3 against CF Rayo Majadahonda in a Spanish league match.
You can watch Real Oviedo’s documentary of the stay here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=i673VhWtd7w&feature=youtu.be
The next stop on the trip was a quick travel north to the city of Gijon. In Gijon the group toured the city, visiting the Laboral and San Lorenzo Beach as well as a tour of Covadonga and a kayak ride down the Rio Sella river. The team also experienced a tour of the oldest professional futbol stadium in Spain, El Molinon, the home of Sporting Gijon. After a friendly against Sporting Gijon and Escuela Futbol JIN, which featured former World Cup, Champions League, and La Liga referee Cesar Muniz Fernandez as the center, the group headed to the south of Spain for the next six days.
“This was a great learning experience and I’m very proud of how the boys played,” Coach Frank Cilento said. “Culturally it was so interesting to see just how these Spanish teams approach the game.”
After landing in Barcelona, the group went on a series of sightseeing trips visiting places like La Ramblas, Barrio Gotico, Plaza de Catalunya, and the Boqueria Market. They also saw the Santa Maria Del Mar Catholic Church, the National Art Museum of Catalonia and the Parc de Montjuic, a prominent feature of the 1992 Olympic Games. Capping off, an already incredible trip, the team got to tour the famed Camp Nou Stadium, home of FC Barcelona. There items to see included the five UEFA Champions League Trophies, a Johan Cryuff Memorial, and the five Golden Boots and FIFA Ballon d’Ors of Lionel Messi finishing with a friendly against La Masia, FC Barcelona’s youth academy. The team also experienced a friendly against RCD Espanyol.
“The kids got to see that they were very competitive against the professional youth academies and hopefully provided them with motivation to come back to the states and continue to work hard and improve their game,” said Cilento. “An opportunity like this gives Florida Kraze Krush more exposure and proves what an incredible job the club has done in developing these players and being interested not just in their performance on the field but in experiences that will last a lifetime.”