D.C. United's training sessions in Spain have been held in less than ideal conditions.

Behind the Badge: Embassy visit

D.C. United have represented the United States on many occasions. That was the case again Tuesday night when the club ventured into Madrid for an appearance at the U.S. Embassy.

The event - hosted by Ambassador Eduardo Aguirre and his wife - honored United, Getafe CF and Red Deporte y Cooperacion for their commitment to their communities. It also recognized their participation in Thursday night's match, which will serve as a platform for promoting social and educational projects using sports as a basic element of integration.

Nearly 200 guests filled the reception as United players and staff signed autographs, posed for pictures and chatted with their newfound supporters. Many are expected to be in attendance when the Black-and-Red take the field against Getafe. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. locally (1:30 p.m. ET).

Long day
With United's Segovia, Spain, headquarters still buried under several inches of snow, the club drove from the mountains into Madrid Tuesday morning for a training session under more temperate conditions.

Head coach Peter Nowak made good use of the practice, putting the Black-and-Red through the paces in a lengthy game of full-sided possession before playing a 50-minute inter-squad scrimmage.

After the training session, Freddy Adu, Christian Gomez and Jaime Moreno joined the tour organizers for a visit to a local school. The three players took pictures and signed autographs for the awestruck students before answering a variety of questions before an assembly.

The team gathered together again late in the day for core training before departing for the embassy.

A Real treat
United players and staff were thrilled to learn Tuesday night that the club had secured tickets to see Real Madrid host Atletico Madrid on Saturday night. Members of the Black-and-Red will get to see one of the world's great derbys play out in the Madrid's famous Bernabeu.

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