Saturday, January 20, 2018

Soccer Season

Soccer is THE sport of Italy–even though they failed to make it to the 2018 World Cup, which is of course a complete embarrassment to the nation! But neither did the USA so they are in good company. Our kids (I should say boys because girl soccer leagues are scarce) have never had the desire to play soccer. However, that changed this year as Luca was determined to participate in some extra curricular activity with his best friend, Marco. Marco chose a5 soccer and so naturally Luca was ready and willing to finally give soccer a try. It's always more about the people and relationship than the actual thing for him.

Entering the world of soccer for the first time at the middle school level is not easy, but that did not stop or discourage Luca. This particular league of 5-on-5 is supposed to be much more tranquil and less intense in schedule and pressure than a regular size team that automatically forces you to make soccer your family's life. Luca has practice just once a week for an hour and a half at the sports center right down the street. He is able to walk to and from practices which is super convenient. Games are on Saturdays.

Suiting up with the #2 jersey in one of his games early in the season

The one huge disadvantage of A5 is that there are only 4 players and 1 goalie on the field, making it really hard to get any play time when there are 12+ players on your team. Therefore, Luca has not been called to play in the regular season games. And that is when I say "we are surely not in America anymore" because what AYSO team would ever deny any player of any skill level of at least a couple minutes of game play time? The team contains boys born 2004-2006, so the size difference between a 6th grader and 8/9th grader is no comparison and it is unfortunate they could not separate them into two teams/leagues. At this point, I could go on a rant letting my mamma bear out of it's cage, but I won't because that is not the point of this post!

The point is that Luca is improving a lot and having fun! There are a few boys in particular on his team that are very encouraging to him and he so appreciates their affirmation. When there is a non-league game, like the recent tournament for charity Luca suits up and joins his team.

On the holiday of December 8, following a recent snow Jonathan and I bundled up to watch four hours of soccer. It was in the upper 30s when we arrived but it warmed up with some sun. We were still frozen of course, but it was our joy to go and support Luca for the few minutes he played. Everyone loves Luca and he is a good sport who keeps persevering. His team placed 3rd in the tournament. Here's to finishing out the year with a perseverant attitude and continued desire to learn no matter what. Proud of you, buddy!


Gramma Kleis said...

Munga and I are so proud of how you have been working hard and being such a great sport! We are sure that your team is happy to have you! You are a great friend to those who know you.

Love you lots!
Gramma and Munga

Munga and Gramma said...

Our dear Luca- We are so proud of your perseverance and "team-player" attitude. We applaud your willingness to try new things- that is a special gift! Munga and I love you so much and are so excited to see you this summer- I think Munga has a building project that he is hoping you will help him with- he will need your mathematical mind to complete it!

Munga and Gramma