PCB Pirates Enjoying U.S.-International Mix

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Panama City Beach, FL---If you look at the roster of the Panama City Beach Pirates you'll notice a nice mix of American and foreign born players.

It is in fact, what you might call this foreign exchange of sport, culture and even cuisine.

As the planet gathers to watch the World Cup, the world has gathered to play for the Panama City Beach Pirates.

"It's a great little mix and blend of the American players" says Pirates head coach Greg DeVito "and the internationals kind of learning more about each other and their cultures and heritages back home and in the United States, so, every season has been amazing."

12 players come from the States, 10 come from the rest of the planet. Guys from England, Brazil, France, Algeria, and Norway all chose to go to the Gulf, including Adi Kavara who is here from Norway.

"It just looked exciting to live by the beach," Kavara says "the greatest beach and the country. I have a couple of friends from school (Florida Tech) who played here last year, and they said it was a great experience. So I just wanted to see how it was."

Nicolas Dreyer is a native of France, he too is in his first year with PCB
"I had the possibility to go back to France, but I wanted to stay in the United States. That's why I play in PDL. It's easier, because it was a good experience, and French and American systems are really different."

Combining cultures wasn't easy at first. "It was hard at the beginning of the season." Dreyer says.

One of the Americans on the squad is Sean Lewis, out of Rockford, Michigan. He's in his second year with the Pirates. "Coach had a tough job trying to get this many styles into one team, but I think we've done pretty well."

Ricardo Oliveira hails from Brazil, and he too is playing with the Pirates for a second straight summer. "It's always a good thing when you bring people from all over the place to play. Of course, we have different ideas, but it's all soccer. So if all of us just play good soccer, it's all gonna match up and we're gonna do well."

But now, the players are sharing their tastes of home, literally.
"I room with two Brazilians, so obviously, cooking is pretty fun around the house."

"We eat a lot of rice and beans," says Olivera "so we already got some of the American guys in the house to eat rice and beans. So that was one good thing, and then they actually asked how to cook it. Nic taught me how to make crepes. I guess that's how you guys say it, yeah."

"It's really nice, we can learn from each other." says Lewis.

"They're definitely enthusiastic," says coach DeVito "{they're definitely motivated, they're definitely funny, but focused, so it's great in the locker room that to have that sense of camaraderie within the team.

The Pirates with three matches remaining, two on the road Friday and Sunday, then back home for their season finale on the 19th.