Before and after the 7 month journey from London to Rio

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In the USA I have mostly been ....
Watching a Chivas America vs Clint Dempsey I mean the Seattle Sounders, getting up close with the real World Cup Trophy.  (Lets keep pretending I have a fake in my bag until I get to Brazil). Seeing the LA sights of Venice beach, the Hollywood sign, 7 lane traffic and even a random meeting with fellow biker, Michael Madsen. Who also happens to have 20 years of films to his credit including the role of "Mr Blonde" in Reservoir Dogs"
THE World Cup Trophy

The real World Cup trophy was on its tour of random global locations, check the route to see the accuracy of the word random! OK it started in Southend on Sea, Essex, UK.  Honestly. Maybe Sepp Blatter was told about its world famous Waltzer rides at the fairground and fancied a free ride.

I was asked if my tour was following the Official Coca Cola World Cup Trophy tour. Of course not - I'm not daft...
Questions such as this are the moments when you realise that your own trip is one of those ridiculous things you hear about.  For months you think that your trip is somehow different, sensible, well planned and meaningful only to realise you are one of those nut jobs you hear about! Ho hum!

I was surprised I was able to take my world cup in but once near the World Cup it was good fun. Many other fans posed with the world cup as well as in front of the World Cup and were happy to hold the world cup aloft with friends. Confused? Who's to say which is which by the time I left...
20-a-Side for the kids during half time at the Stub Hub - fantastic!
All the kids want the ball all the time!
One day, they will grow into those shirts!!
LA LA Land
I did my time as a tourist and rode through some of the landmarks of LA including the Hollywood hills, Venice & Santa Monica beach, Beverly Hills, Compton.  However, I really enjoyed the chance meeting with Michael Madsen, AKA Mr Blonde from Reservoir Dogs, as well as a host of films over the past 20 years. More importantly he is a biker and seemed genuinely interested in my trip.  Hang on - unless he was acting when we spoke...Nah, he's not that good an actor!  As they say in these parts he is a "very cool dude".  
Also bumped into another biker and car driver who is planning a trip with a famous Brit who is a Hollywood A lister but we'll see if they turn up on again on the trip. I bloody hope so!!
With one of the Chivas' Ultras
...village is the familiar A44 in rural Oxfordshire
STRAIGHT INTO COMPTON.... LA's gangster "village", the unfamiliar 110 to the Chivas Amreica's StubHub stadium. Getting off the freeway, my usual plan is to enjoy a chat with the local chaps for directions. However, they all looked pretty busy and not very chatty so I kept riding round and round and around until I could see a stadium. 

Team USA's improvement and progress at World Cups, the export of goalkeepers to the Premier league, the growing MLS and Beckham's glitter (David's not Victoria's) has raised the profile of football in the US. Maybe its a saturday night in Compton, the end of season or the large distances for fans to travel, but the large modern stadium felt pretty empty.

I sat behind the Chivas ultras, about a single coach load, heavily armed with the largest drum and baby (drum large, standard size baby) and well choreographed by the foaming conductor who must have seen a few minutes of the game! A reasonable showing and singing from the Seattle fans and a surprise 3rd group of fans in black and white (different colours to either team), maybe getting ready for an American Football game the next day?!?
Food - I had a large pretzel shaped chunk of salt with bread crumbs sprinkles, a coffee, a cinnamon doughnut, yes a doughnut shaped sugar crystal with a few breadcrumb sprinkles, another pint of coffee and I really felt ready to get on the pitch and play at half time.  
I had high expectations for halftime entertainment. Would we be invited on the pitch to score goals and win trucks?
No about a hundred young kids ran into the stadium, onto on the pitch for 5 minutes each for a game of 20 a side, scored 1 goal, drawing the loudest cheer from the crowd, then ran off again. Probably for coffee and cinnamon rolls.

The game was a bit flat with all the action in a 15 minute spell in the second half.  It ended fairly (not that a football game ever should), with a 2-1 win for Seattle and included a horrific sunday league pub team goalkeeping error from Chivas...