Watertown native Michael St. Croix is embarking on an adventure most soccer fans only dream of taking.
On Friday, St. Croix, 27, who now lives in Houston, boarded a flight to Brazil, where he will spend the better part of two weeks immersed in the action of the World Cup. His girlfriend and four other friends will accompany him.
“I’ve always been a big soccer fan since I started playing, and this event just really captures the entire soccer world,” St. Croix said on Thursday.
St. Croix played soccer for Immaculate Heart Central and graduated from IHC in 2005. He went on to play college soccer at Clarkson University.
While in Brazil, St. Croix will attend two matches of the World Cup: Mexico vs. Croatia on Monday, and Iran vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday.
He hopes to witness a victory by a European contender for each match.
Since he and his friends purchased tickets before World Cup opponents were drawn, St. Croix was unable to secure seats at a United States match. However, he plans to be in the city of Recife on Sunday, when the U.S. plays Portugal.
“I’ll be watching it, just not at the stadium; and I’m guessing there will be plenty of other Americans around us as well,” St. Croix said.
Regarding the fate of Team USA in the remainder of the tournament, St. Croix said, “I’m cautiously optimistic at this point.”
When he is not at a stadium, St. Croix plans to spend time touring Rio de Janeiro, as well as some national parks inland.
“I’m pretty excited just to be able to make my way around the country, see all the tourist sites, and some of the wildlife and wilderness areas as well,” he said.
He will return from Brazil on July 5.