The elevator opened on the second floor (there was some groaning because we weren’t going straight up to our room) and there was Edgar Castillo. Standing in his team gear, holding his cleats.
And we’re standing there dripping in red, white and blue.
There was no playing it cool.
Lauren: “So, you’re staying here?”
Edgar Castillo, laughing: “We are.”
Lauren: “Okay good because I’m going to need to meet Tim Howard.”
Then we get off at our floor. Lauren more or less immediately went straight downstairs to the hotel bar, where Chris Wondolowski and Brad Guzan and Kyle Beckerman are just chilling at the bar.
Lauren, being no fool, took her seat at the bar.
Which she immediately abandoned when she saw Tim Howard sitting at a table nearby.
She told her darling Tim Howard about his namesake, Howie, and about her Tim Howard is My Spirit Animal sign (which made an appearance in Brazil and Columbus and which he said he had heard about, but not seen) and he was kind and gracious and shook her hand and smiled for selfie.
And it all happened before Alyson could even take an elevator downstairs.
We chilled at the bar after and had a drink and marveled at our good luck and checked out Alex Bedoya’s hair from across the room (that’s…a lot of flow, dude) and didn’t bother another player for a selfie or an autograph or a kiss.
If we hadn’t had our room cancelled.
If we didn’t check out where the team bus was parked.
If we hadn’t parked on the street.
If we didn’t go to dinner after the match.
If the elevator didn’t stop on the second floor.
The soccer gods were looking out for us that day.