Kicking It in London: A Week with Metro Alliance Soccer Club

Estimated read time 3 min read

Last week, my son and I joined his soccer club, Metro Alliance, on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to London. This journey wasn’t just about playing soccer; it was an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the culture of our host country and deepen our understanding of football—or soccer, as we call it back home.

We landed just before lunch on Sunday. With our hotel rooms not ready, we headed straight to Kassam Stadium to catch Oxford United take on Lincoln City. Despite the thrilling match, the exhaustion from our flight soon caught up with us. It felt good to finally settle into our rooms and rest.

On Sunday, we explored Windsor Castle and its picturesque town. That evening, the team had their first training session with English coaches at Bedfont Sports Club.

Monday brought an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge, a highlight for any soccer fan. Later, the boys matched skills with their peers in games at Bedfont Sports FC.

Tuesday was packed with another session with the English coaches, followed by sightseeing in central London—we took in the sights of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, and more. Lunch in London provided a delightful chance to catch up with my coworker, Jack McKeown. The day capped off with a match at the stunning Wembley Stadium, watching England vs. Belgium.

Our Wednesday focused on exploring more of London, with a special emphasis on Oxford and Regents streets. The day ended with another game for the boys against Phoenix Academy.

Thursday offered us a private tour of Wembley Stadium, which felt quite different without the roar of 80,000 fans. We then delved into history with a visit to the Tower of London, followed by a social event at TOCA.

The trip’s final game was on Friday, against Beaconsfield Town FC. Post-match, we enjoyed lunch at the club and then attended a Championship game between Queens Park Rangers FC and Birmingham City. The passion of the fans was a revelation—it was then I truly “got” football.

Saturday, our last full day, took us back to Camden Town, followed by a 3-mile hike back to our bus. The evening was spent at a farewell dinner organized by the MGR staff, complete with a presentation that reflected on our memorable week.

An early departure at 3 AM on Sunday (effectively 2 AM due to daylight savings) led us to our long flight home. Back in St. Louis, we relished a flavorful meal at Rosalita’s, a welcome contrast to the subtler tastes we encountered in London. It was the perfect ending to our adventure, filling us with both comfort and countless memories.

Additional photos from the trip here –

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