There has been considerable discussion — some involving fact, some involving speculation — about the living conditions for players at Disney's Swan and Dolphin Resort as they compete in the MLS is Back Tournament.
But as for that one infamous picture of a boxed lunch that may or may not have originated from "the bubble," it rubs D.C. United's Felipe the wrong way.
"What make me a little mad about that picture was, I’ve been in the position before where I didn’t have nothing, even not bread to eat, when I was with a team growing up," the 29-year-old Brazilian midfielder told D.C. United teammates Julian Gressel and Frederic Brillant on the Gressel Special podcast. "So when you see a sandwich like that with meat, we’d be fighting each other to get that sandwich. So in a certain way, you’re sending the wrong message."
Felipe has been a pro's pro since turning up in Major League Soccer as a 22-year-old, making at least 27 league appearances in eight consecutive seasons. And while he acknowledges' everyone's right to an opinion on their trip to Orlando, he in a world where the focus is literally eat, sleep and play soccer.
"It’s just now we get used to this new reality," Felipe said. "But to be fair, I feel very safe here. I feel very comfortable the way we are inside the bubble. And I’ve seen so many negative things about this league, that sometimes makes me a little sad because, you know, it’s, there’s so many differences of opinions. But for myself, I feel very comforted, very positive, and training has been great, everyone has been great, and I’ve been loving being inside the bubble."
As podcast host, Gressel echoed those sentiments.
"It’s obviously been very short notice for the league as well," he said. "And for them to put this together, even the weight room I thought we were in today was great. The food, it’s been really good. I think it’s been quality, You never felt like it was one of many trays of fish or chicken or whatever you get. I think for us it was always fresh, always hot, always cooked and well done."
Brillant's culinary options have been a bit more limited, since he recently became vegan. But he has no complaints.
"I don’t know where they get the picture from the sandwich, but for us, was pretty good," Brillant said. "And in the room everything is nice. We are very lucky to be here."