The 4,080-mile overnight flight to Sao Paulo was easy for the U.S. World Cup team.
A 4-mile bus ride from its base hotel through the city's perpetually congested streets to the Americans' training camp was another matter.
"We haven't had any problem, other than the traffic. But other than that, not too bad," goalkeeper Tim Howard said Monday after the Americans arrived in Brazil exactly one week before their World Cup opener against Ghana.
The U.S. landed from Miami and reached its hotel about 2 hours, 20 minutes later on a bus with the American flag and the slogan "United by team, driven by passion." Police on motorcycles with the Stars and Stripes sticking out of their wheels led the way, and a helicopter hovered.
Four soldiers in fatigues and about two dozen police in riot gear stood outside the hotel, which is adjacent to a park on a tree-lined street. Bleary-eyed players were applauded when they entered the lobby.
What on maps appears to be a short ride to the Sao Paulo Futebol Clube's luxurious Barra Funda training complex took 45 minutes in late-afternoon traffic as a subway strike in its fifth day tightened bottlenecks. At a downtown station, riot police used tear gas against striking workers, whose leaders later announced a two-day suspension of the work stoppage and a vote Wednesday to determine if it would resume Thursday -- the day the tournament starts.
But all was calm around the U.S. team. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann was due to arrive Tuesday. He stayed back in Miami to watch Ghana's 4-0 exhibition win over South Korea.
Just seven hours after the Americans landed, their initial workout took place under the direction of the rest of the staff.
"That's the norm with the way Jurgen works," Howard said.
Blatter responds: FIFA President Sepp Blatter lashed out at critics who he says want to destroy football's governing body. Blatter's comments to unspecified critics were made to Asian football officials after widespread allegations by The Sunday Times of corrupt payments by their former leader Mohamed bin Hammam.
"I don't know what the reasoning is behind this, but we must maintain unity," Blatter told the gathering of Asian Football Confederation members. "It is the best way to say to all the destructors in the world, they want to destroy not the game, but they want to destroy the institution."
The British newspaper has reported that Bin Hammam paid millions of dollars to Asian and African officials, buying influence for Qatar's 2022 World Cup campaign and his own FIFA presidential challenge to Blatter in 2011.
U.S. schedule in Group G:
Monday: Ghana, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
June 22: Portugal, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
June 26: Germany, 8:30 a.m., ESPN