Providence, RI- The Brown University men's soccer team will travel to Madrid, Spain to begin their 10-day International Tour on Friday, March 23. The Bears will test themselves against international competition by playing four matches, the first being against Rayo Vallecano on Monday, March 26th.
"The international tour, once every four years, has been a tradition for Brown Men's Soccer that I am thrilled to continue," said Head Coach Patrick Laughlin. "Over the past 20-plus years, Brown Men's Soccer has been fortunate enough to go on trips to Argentina, England, Sweden/Norway, and Brazil. These trips are amazing cultural and soccer experiences for everyone involved."
The Bears spend their first four days in Madrid and will stay in the center of the city at the Hotel Ambassador. Brown will play matches against two of Madrid's top clubs, the first against Rayo Vallecano (March 26) and the second against Atletico Madrid (March 27). The team will also have time to explore the capital city, with the help of unofficial ambassador Pepe Salama '14, who is excited to show off his home city to the Brown soccer team. The Bears will also attend a reception with the U.S. Ambassador of Spain, take a tour of the Bernabeu Stadium and watch Real Madrid play in a La Liga game.
Brown will then head to Barcelona on Thursday, March 29, where the squad will train and prepare for another match against a professional team, while seeing all that the city has to offer. After the match, the Bears hope to stroll down La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona, and take a behind the scenes tour of Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe and home to the European Champions FC Barcelona.
The team finishes the trip at the resort town of Lloret De Mar on the Costa Brava. The Bears will have a double header with all 26 players going against Nesodden IF from Norway, who are currently in preseason training.
"We are all looking forward to our stay in Spain," added Laughlin. "The chance to embrace Spanish culture both on and off the field is one we will all enjoy. We are getting the opportunity to compete against top-level teams, watch world class soccer live, and further enhance team chemistry."
Brown will leave Barcelona to head back to the states on Sunday, April 1st. Fans and alumni can follow the soccer team on Twitter, @BrownMensSoccer, which will be updated frequently.