On the US Tour and Bayern's pre-season
What a summer! It felt great to finally be back home in Munich, but I'll never forget the last couple of months. Between the US national team training camp, the World Cup in Brazil and the US Tour it was a period I'll never forget. Don't get me wrong, I really like traveling and wouldn't miss a single day of this exciting summer, but there is no place like home.
Overall, the tour was a lot of fun but it was hard work as well. We had a tough schedule, a lot of intensive training sessions, events with sponsors and so on. But we had a great time overall as a team. The training conditions were fantastic and the interest in soccer was truly amazing. You can definitely tell that the sport is growing fast in the US from the tour.
It wasn't the first time I've experienced the country's passion for soccer either. I saw and felt it during my time with the US national team as well. It was great to see all the Americans going crazy over the sport then like they do in Europe and it was fantastic to see that happen again with Bayern Munich, a German club. To experience that and get to meet some of the fans was simply awesome!
Honestly, every day in America was special. Bayern really did a great job planning the tour. One of the biggest highlights for me personally, though, was New York. It's just such a cool city! There are millions of people and there is nothing you can't find or do in that city. I like the busy atmosphere and all the skyscrapers. We took part in a boat trip and had a fantastic view of the city skyline. Portland was a bit smaller and easier to get around. In comparison, there seemed to be more interest in soccer in Portland than New York, but both were great experiences.
The cherry on top was the MLS All-Star game, even though we lost the match in the end. The atmosphere was great, and it was nice to meet many of my teammates from the US national team again after spending so much time with them during the World Cup.
To me it was no surprise to see how good our opponents were. Really, they're all in the middle of their season, and for us it was one of the first pre-season games. So it was normal that our team was at a different level. It was similar in the Supercup against Dortmund. For many of the players, pre-season started just five days before the Supercup so they weren't all 100 percent fit. Sure, it would have been nice to start the season with a win there but you can't read too much into the result.
But back to the All-Star game. All the MLS players had a very good game, and you could see which of the players are on the national team. Thierry Henry especially stood out. He's such a great soccer player, and that was very evident as everybody wanted to take a photo with him after the game! Including myself of course!
Altogether, pre-season has been good but very intense and a little difficult for me. I've only had a very short summer break and a small period of time for my body to relax. Because of this I've had some small problems with my knee and had to pause for a few days. But I've already started running and will be training fully very soon. I'm not 100 percent just yet but definitely getting there and looking forward to my first season with the first team.
The goal is to spend as much time on the field as possible and to score for Bayern Munich!