The U.S. men's national soccer team visited the National 9-11 Memorial at Ground Zero on Monday. The group visit was the idea of its German-born head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who wants to forge a deeper bond between the players and the country they represent, according to the New York Times.
"For us, as a soccer team representing the United States, it's a wonderful opportunity," Klinsmann said. "Yes, we are only representing soccer, but we have a generation of people with dual citizenship. This gives us a deep sense, a deep connection, of who we represent — a very special country, an amazing country."
Team USA was in New York City ahead of Tuesday's friendly against Ecuador at Red Bull Arena in nearby Harrison, N.J. The group took a guided tour of the eight acre memorial and museum. Players shared personal memories from that tragic day and posed for a team photos.
"This is the first time I've actually been back, and it's pretty emotional," goalkeeper and New Jersey native Tim Howard said. "They’ve turned what was a huge tragedy into something very beautiful here with the memorial."
The National 9-11 Memorial opened on Sept. 11, 2011 – a decade after the twin towers fell — and it is believed that the U.S. men's national soccer team is the first sports team representing the country to visit the site as a group.
See the video below for a look at the U.S. men's national soccer team's visit to the National 9-11 Memorial.
Photo courtesy of Flickr/mic.by