Editor's note: This story is the eighth entry in a series called Flashback, which The Chronicle will be running online weekly through the end of the summer. We welcome readers' input about old stories they would like to see featured. 

This week's entry celebrates Duke's brush with the World Cup.

Playing soccer and watching it—no better way to spend the summer.

In June 2006, Duke’s men’s soccer team traveled to Germany and Austria and played against three teams, during which they also had the opportunity to watch the World Cup hosted by Germany. This overseas training trip—which U.S. college soccer teams can take every four years—is part of an NCAA program.  

“Most Americans who ventured to Germany this June journeyed there to see the World Cup and be part of the atmosphere,” Sean Moroney wrote in an article about the trip. “Very few, however, intended to actually play soccer. The Blue Devils managed to do a little of both.”

While in Europe, they played an amateur German team and two Russian teams. Although they defeated the German team, they lost to both Russian teams, Moroney noted.

Nonetheless, midfielder Chris Loftus and goalkeeper Justin Papadakis described the trip as the ultimate team bonding experience. According to Loftus, that they became a “tight-knit family” over the course of 10 days.

In addition to soccer events, the team also visited several historical sites, including Dachau, the first concentration camp created in Germany in World War II.

"I think any time you travel together and share experiences like that together---the bus rides, seeing historical sites, and watching the World Cup matches---you bond as a team," Papadakis said. "The social experiences and living together in a foreign country for ten days really helped us become closer personally."