Beer League Soccer Weekly – Reds FC
Let’s make things clear before I have you completely lost, thinking this is somehow related to Liverpool, Toronto FC, or some other team who have adopted the “Reds” as its moniker. This is a weekly column about playing amateur indoor football (soccer), and follows the story of a bunch of guys, just like you, who play for the love of the game. There is no money on the line except the $170 we shell out each year for the right to call ourselves footballers. Yes, the price is steep, but what we take from the game is worth far more.
For guys like us, who are by no means a comptetitive team, we play every Friday night for no other reason than to have a good time and have a few brews post-match. There is the added bonus of getting some much needed cardio, which seems more difficult with each passing year, yet we do it nonetheless. With an average age of more than thirty, some younger and some a little older in the tooth, we all bring something different to the team. And because of our differences, we play our own unique brand of football.
As we get older, the other teams seem to get younger. We not have the distinction of being the oldest team in the league and sometimes find ourselves paired up against a team about 10 years younger by average. As we chase these young bucks down all game, our legs get a bit tired, substitutions become a necessary entity, yet we plod along all the same. For those out there in a similar situation, you know exactly what I mean by saying “it’s a ‘good’ hurt”.
So before we go any further in this article, or subsequent pieces, let’s introduce the squad, but you have to picture it with the ‘Final Countdown’ by Europa music playing in the background and the average attendance of seven (last night there was one lone observer of our “duel”) going crazy awaiting the 2010 champions! (Note: we play 5 vs 5)
GK – Mike “Jackson” Scott.
LB – Scott Johnston CB – Luch Giuliano CB – Andrew Dunsford RB (c) Mike Kovacs
W – Jack Stone C – Frank Giuliano W – Mike Woodbyrne
W – Peter Reid C – Tom Stiffl W – Tyler Stokes
W – Adam Hensen
Now that we have introduced the roster, and the capacity crowd of seven are going wild, let’s see how Reds FC fared in their first match of the 2012-13 season.
Well, Reds FC had an unfortunate night and were paired up against one of those under 25 teams I was talking about, and only seven of us decided to make the trip to Lakemount. Old Legs + First Game of the Season = SORE.
However, The Reds started quickly with nifty passing from Frank “the Godfather” Giuliano, Woodbyrne, and me, “The Cracker”. I netted only minutes into the game. We should have quit there. Minutes later it was 1-1…1-2…1-3… Going into the half down 1-3 wasn’t tooo bad, and morale was still high.
When asked about the team morale at half time, Skipper Mike Kovacs commented, “The team was actually in good spirits. We knew our passing was on, but needed to defend and counter.”
The 2nd half started with a rather hoggish play by the “Ancient One” (Woodbyrne), as the Cracker was wide open for a tap-in. But Woodbyrne failed to attempt a pass, leaving me hanging and proving to the audience that he may be suffering from alzheimers! I forgive him.
Before our next blink, we were down 1-5 until Franz put a cross into the box that was ultimately deposited into the net by the Black FC defender. We never mind own goals, especially playing against a team of gazelles like Black FC. Of course they protested as I may or may not have shoved their defender into the ball, thereby depositing it into their net, but for me, it was more of a hip check.
The final whistle blew and it was something like 2-5 or 2-6 or 2-10… who knows? For those of us who play the game, whether you are paid or not, it’s still the beautiful game. I applaud my teammates, as I do for anyone out there willing to play the game they love despite age, physical ability or any other hindrance.
This column is dedicated to all players of amateur sports, footy or otherwise, who do it for the love of the game. We, you will agree, will never revert to a lockout.
Don’t forget to catch me on “World Football Roundtable“, every Monday and Thursday night from 10-11pm EST on the Last Word Radio Network.