posted on Feb, 16 2008 @ 10:17 PM
I've had some sweet moments in high school and club soccer.
I had 0 confidence then so anytime I came alive out there I remember those times and the feeling. It's funny what you remember.
One time it was a perfect cross to a teammate I was good friends with. I had plenty of time and space and looking back it's like he strutted into
the box as I crossed it - like we'd done this 1000 times, he didn't have to break stride and he headed the ball with good pace into the upper
corner. We still talk about it today, because we were thinking exactly the same and executed perfectly.
Then in club soccer there was this guy bigger than everybody. Early in the game he took this shot from way way out for our age, like 35 yards, with
his right boot of a foot and scored, it was a perfect shot. He was cocky and the strongest out there by far, trying to dominate the field and I was a
right midfielder at the time, scrawny and probably weighed about 120 at the time. Then this happened: I was controlling the ball, keeping possession
with nowhere really to go, and I was making his teammate look stupid who was just diving in, trying to take the ball from me as I juked him left and
right. The big guy got mad and said "Don't let him do that to you" then he ran up and with that same right foot he came in kicking as hard as he
could. I could have gotten out of the way, and maybe he'd have missed and fallen down. But I got stuck in with my own right foot, and had all the
time to get the technique and leverage right to anchor the ball (he telegraphed his swing big time and I was ready). When his foot hit in full swing,
that ball didn't go anywhere, it stayed at my feet, and he went to the ground hurting really bad. He deserved it because he was just trying to hurt
me. He rolled on the ground holding his knee, his coach ran out and the ball was still at my feet - I felt like I had made a point.
This was probably my most meaningful moment - one last chance to play club soccer for one game under an old high school coach who is a legend in my
town. It was one year after high school and my soccer days were clearly coming to an end and I had lost my passion, but at that time I was the most
experienced player on the team. We were down 2 goals. At some point in the game I started to care again, it clicked with me that I'd never get a
chance to play for this coach again, and I wasn't going to let him lose. I was in terrible shape at this point and not focused anymore, but he
inspired me to step up and take charge and I scored two goals for him. We didn't win the game, but we tied it 2-2.
I'll also never forget how bad I cried when the ref blew the final whistle at my last high school soccer game, a quarterfinal match we lost 2-1.
They were the better team, and the predictions were probably more like 5-1, so we stood up for ourselves a lot there. But nothing had prepared me for
the way that felt when it was all over. When you see the guys just fall to the ground after they lose a big game, I never understood that, until that
The best moment for a young American soccer fan was probably when the U.S. beat Germany in that World Cup quarter final in 2002 I think. My boss let
me come in to work late that day so I could watch it with my friends, when it was over I swelled with pride for my country, I was moved.