After traveling 4,500 miles during 14 hours, I have arrived in England. A nation where you can wear your love of football on your sleeve. This is a footballing country, make no doubt about it.

Flying over Lancashire as the plane began to descend toward Manchester Airport, I couldn’t help but noticing Bolton’s Reebok Stadium below. Later, while on the Merseyside Rail train from Manchester to Liverpool, I could see the City of Manchester Stadium, also named the Blue Camp due to being the home of Manchester City.

On my one hour train journey from Manchester, I couldn’t help looking at my watch again and again — wondering what time is was in the States and whether people would be up watching the matches.

Something else I noticed while on the train were the small number of kids playing football in the parks alongside the railway lines. It reminded me of my childhood, playing football with my mates on a Saturday morning in anticipation of the day’s action and often trying to emulate your heroes.