St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands Tour Presented by Events DC Summary
D.C. United travelled to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands to play an exhibition match presented by Events DC against the Bermuda National Team on Friday, Nov. 15. The Black-and-Red won the match 4-2 in front of 1,200 local soccer fans on the back of goals from Ola Kamara (3'), Gordon Wild (26') and a brace from 17-year-old Homegrown Player Griffin Yow (49', 65').
While the trip represented an opportunity for D.C. United to get some final on-field action in 2019, it also served as a chance to showcase the Black-and-Red in front of a new audience in a vibrant location. The island of St. Croix were hospitable and excited to have a team from Major League Soccer on the island as they look to revitalize sports tourism and make it a destination for teams across the world.
Wednesday, Nov. 13
The team departed Washington, DC and arrived in St. Croix after a brief layover in Miami. D.C. United and the Bermuda National Team arrived on the same flight and were immediately greeted by the smiling faces from the people of St. Croix. The Black-and-Red had their first glimpse of the island as the bus headed to The Buccaneer Hotel located on the east side of the island. After players enjoyed the sunset upon arrival, the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted a reception for the two teams to interact and give stakeholders from the U.S. Virgin Islands, D.C. United, Bermuda National Team and the numerous sponsors a chance to introduce themselves.
Thursday, Nov. 14
The following day, D.C. United had their first training session on the island at the Bethlehem Soccer Complex. After a brief bus ride, the team utilized the U.S. Virgin Islands' facility to train in front of local spectators. Following training, players signed autographs then headed to local restaurant favorite Harvey's in the town of Christiansted to enjoy lunch. Harvey's authentic cuisine is a favorite of former NBA star Tim Duncan who grew up in the island and the intimate atmosphere combined with local and fresh food was a treat for the entire team.
Friday, Nov. 15.
The Black-and-Red returned to the Bethlehem Soccer Complex for their match against the Bermuda National Team on Friday. The kickoff was set for 6 PM in front of 1,200 fans from the U.S. Virgin Islands. It didn't take long for D.C. United to take the lead when Ola Kamara smartly finished his opportunity in the third minute. Midfielder Gordon Wild then added a second goal for the Black-and-Red in the 26th minute. Bermuda battled back and scored two unanswered goals to level the score at 2-2. Homegrown Player Griffin Yow, who was a bright spot throughout the match, latched on to two efforts to secure his first career brace for the Black-and-Red and win the game 4-2 for United. Following the match, players stuck around to sign autographs for fans and give away D.C. United jerseys, shirts and additional apparel.
D.C. United - Ola Kamara - 3' (1-0)
D.C. United - Gordon Wild - 26' (2-0)
Bermuda - Zeiko Lewis - 36' (2-1)
Bermuda - Osagi Bascome - 45' (2-2)
D.C. United - Griffin Yow - 49' (3-2)
D.C. United - Griffin Yow - 65' (4-2)
Saturday, Nov. 16
After the match the previous day, players were given the opportunity to explore the island on Saturday. Players and staff were given an in-depth tour of St. Croix by a local guide who provided St. Croix's history and background while traveling to the various destinations of significance across the island. The players met a group of local kids at the St. George Village Botanical Garden before heading to Island favorite, Armstrong's Homemade Ice Cream and Deli, for scoop of their famous ice cream with local flavors. Players then branched off individually to explore the various activities and tourist spots on the island. Midfield duo Russell Canouse and Gordon Wild took a boat to Buck Island, a National Park, to snorkel and see local marine life while Steven Birnbaum and Chris Seitz got chance to play a round of golf at the hotel's picturesque course.
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