Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mad Dogs and Englishmen - August 2001

It was a hot day. The kind of day when the intensity of the sun somehow breaks through the oppressive humidity.  The city was quiet, the silence that only happens on a long weekend.  Faint in the air was the smell of mini-doughnuts and the fun-filled screams of the fair.  But for some, the day was not about the beach or the Tilt-O-Whirl, it was about soccer.

I arrived to see five of my team mates slowly getting ready.  Slowly because the task ahead was not to be rushed, the other team had a full squad and four subs.  As we prepared we all took unnoticeable glimpses at the parking lot.  First to see five players, then hoping to see one, so we could play.  At the last minute, Grant's aging Mustang pulled into the lot, we had enough to play.

After a brief discussion it was decided that Sterling and his injured knee should play net instead of Spartak.  I for one, was not going to play a game like this with a fit 16 year old watching from the net.  I suggested a 3-3 but was over-ruled.  The brain trust felt a vertical alignment was better and we went for the 2-2-2.

The game started confused.  Spartak looked lost which wasn't surprising considering he hadn't played out for years and he had a third of the the pitch to cover.  Darryl was moved back to defense because the need to score goals was far too important for the fullbacks to leave to the forwards so they had moved up.  After two plays, order was restored, Internacional scored their first goal.

Then we had a break, Sterling found me at mid-field, Spartak broke left.  I moved the ball up and the opposition backed-off.  I stepped up to smash the ball down the left wing.  My toe punch actually curled into the middle, off Nick, and onto a charging Darryl.  He was dragged down an immeasurable distance outside the box.  The free kick missed by inches.

I decided to take control of the defense and implemented an impenetrable offside trap, this consisted mostly of yelling at Bruce Weild to move up.  He finally got fed-up and told me to be the last man.  I quickly found that calling the offside trap is way easier if you are not the last man.  They scored again, and again.

In the end we lost. no surprise.  I was very proud of my six team mates.  We didn't have to play, we wanted to.  We gave our all, we lost.  As they say, we left it all on the field.

I still think the 3-3 would have worked.

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