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Behind The Brand: The Road Trip
Michael Preston | Sat, Jun 10, 2017 12:37 pm

Last season Boston City FC traveled 3,500 miles on National Premier Soccer League road trips in the capable hands of transportation partner Malden Trans.

So, what does a Boston City away day look like?

Taking this weekend’s 440-mile round trip to Kingston Stockade as an example, the players, coaches and staff traveling west along the Mass Pike assemble a little more than seven hours before kickoff, meeting at Malden Catholic High School at 9.50am for a 10am departure.  Kickoff in Kingston is at 5pm.

The 44-seater Malden Trans bus arrives in the school’s car park ahead of the players’ arrival and is loaded with the team uniforms, all equipment needed for the match and food and drink for the journey.  Our driver John has driven the Lions to every away match this season.

Once everyone is on board and Technical Director Tom Pashoarelli has completed a roll call, it’s off over the Tobin Bridge and some spectacular views of the city the team is leaving behind for the day.  Midfielder Kevin Herrera is usually asleep by this point!

Herrera occupies the foremost front seat among the players, three rows back on the bus behind Coach Palhinha, assistant coach Roberto Mazzinghy, Managing Director Craig Tornberg, Communications Director Michael Preston (who is watching England play Scotland in World Cup qualifying on his phone) and Pashoarelli.  Behind the napping midfielder is another player who prefers to sleep and relax on the journey, Isaac Nana Addai.

Injured forward Jhonata Batista, keeper Anthony Ferrara and goalkeepers coach Estive Sosa are talkative in the next rows, and the bus generally becomes busier and noisier towards the back.

Today is a comparatively quiet journey, with no Brazilian music – either from an iphone plugged into the sound system or the guitar that was carried on board earlier.  But there’s still time!

Fruit and orange juice are passed out not long after departure and there’s individual portions of pasta, chicken and vegetables waiting to be shared once the team is further along I-90.  This time there are forks on board, which had gone missing when the team ate en route to Western Mass Pioneers in the U.S. Open Cup!

There’s no rousing speeches or tactical talk from Palhinha to the team on the bus.  He studies his game plan, flicks through Instagram on his phone and sleeps, his feet propped up on a cooler at the front of the bus.  The time to inspire the team will come in the locker room later.  The players already know the starting XI having been informed at training on Thursday.

A stop further along the Pike at Charlton Services picks up Jadson Leite, Pedro Silva and Vitor Scariot, but due to injury there is no Gabriel De Souza who usually joins the bus here.  Ronaldo Vieira and Marcelo Cunha, who also live out west of the city, are making their own way to Kingston.  Marcelo is often among the more vocal on the bus, which might explain today’s quieter tone.

A traffic snarl up leads to checking the GPS app Waze to consider an alternative route, but there aren’t many options out in this part of the state.  (The car in the ditch we pass later might have something to do with this and then there's a crushed SUV that has clearly rolled, causing I-90 to be reduced to a single lane.)  Yaw Addow shouts a request to turn up the air conditioning on what is a beautiful sunny summer’s day outside.

The passing out of the food increases the interaction between the front and rear of the bus, the decibel level has raised and hopefully the traffic subsides soon.



 


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