Gringo Soccer

The same day of the Vuelta de San Isidro 8K, there was a teacher’s party where my girlfriend works, so I went along for the beer. Well, as it turns out, not as many people came as they thought would, so they only had 5 guys to play soccer with. It only took a brief look into the stands to notice that I seemed to be young enough to run around and make an idiot of myself.

“Come on! We need one more guy!”

“But I can’t play, I’ve played soccer like two times in my life!”

“It doesn’t matter! Come on, come on, comeoncomeoncomeon!”

So I, being the good sport that I am, stumbled out onto the court to play.

It was, needless to say, a massacre. You just don’t go to South America and play soccer with Peruvians. They’ve been practising.

I chose the above photo because it kind of looks like I just scored a goal and everybody is getting ready to celebrate. What actually happened is that I had tried to prevent a goal being scored on my team and failed miserably… Still, it’s kind of a cool action photo.

So here I am, playing the role they almost always stick me at, goalie. It’s a great job to stand there in front of the goal and wait for some twenty-year old guy to kick a hard ball the size of your head at you as hard as he can…and he’s been practising!

Generally, I like to bend the rules of being a goalie. I figure I should get my special goalie powers no matter where I am on the field. So sometimes, I just run out there and tackle the ball, and when I have it I sprint down the field to throw it past the other goalie and score. A lot of people tell me that this is against the rules. I tell them to shut up and I count the point anyway. There is usually a pretty large discrepancy as to what various parties think the running tally is…but as long as I get to be ahead in my mind, I’m happy.

Here we are at the end, my team lost 10-5 and I single-handidly missed at least 4 goals, accidentally blocked 2 more from my own team, and allowed about 3 goals to be scored. Needless to say that guy in the yellow (who was also on my team) was furious. He was good, he must have run about 26.2 miles trying to defend everybody and score everything because I was worthless. Oh well, there wouldn’t have been a game at all without me, so they should have been thankful.

Afterwards, I spent a little time instructing the soccer players how to throw an American football so I could drill passes at their heads as hard as I could in an attempt to work out some of my frustration. The above picture is a catch by the way, I’m not left-handed.

I think I might have to buy a pair of soccer shoes though. It’s actually pretty fun, and, contrary to American football, you become an expert in the rules in about 3 seconds (althought I think offsides should be thrown out the window…I mean come on…just play DEFENSE!)

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Your description of goalie rule adaptation makes me reminisce and laugh aloud. Lord Byron School Cancha, 2006 was my first witness of this football technique, and you were ranting about offsides just as much back then.

    Hilarious explanation for why you "teach" N. American football afterward. Also the 26.2 mile guy can be found anywhere. The crazy gringo goalie, on the otherhand, takes some hard work to find. Keep it up, Dave Funk

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