On the invitation of Sam’s soccer football coach from West City Soccer with whom we play “Family Futbol”, I have joined a Co-Rec soccer league with SOCA. If I’m not the oldest player on the team, I’m pretty close. This team has a reserved field on Wednesdays for practice. We had our first practice last week, and there were maybe 6 or so team members who came out to practice. We did a little bit of practice on corner kicks, but it pretty quickly devolved into a small pick-up game. A couple of other neighborhood folks (all hispanic) showed up and joined us which helped liven the game up.
This week, it was a slightly different story. 3 people from the SOCA team showed up, and 15-or-so hispanics did. This meant the game went a little differently. Based on the previous week’s match, I’d worn a white shirt and brought a dark one. That’s not the way they play. Instead, we all lined up and were divided into teams even/odd down the line. Play began in a somewhat disorganized fashion, and I didn’t understand until we lost the first goal that by loosing the first goal, we also lost our shirts.
It made it easier to tell who was on my team, but it also meant running around feeling naked for most of the game. Still, it was a fun game. Due to circumstances, I found myself rather forward in the field at one point. A shot was taken from the other side. The goalie deflected it and it came toward me. I put a boot on it and knocked it in. A few other times, I managed to get a foot on it a few other times, and seemed to be a well respected member of my team. This was confirmed at the end of the game when one of the team leaders called out to me, “Amigo!” and pointed at the field. “MaÃ±ana! Â¿Comprende maÃ±ana?”
“Si. Comprendo maÃ±ana.”