Soccer Poet

general : : To Play or Not to Play : Thursday, April 19, 2012

A few months back an old high school friend emailed me with a dilemma. US Soccer announced that its Development Academy was moving to a ten-month schedule and that players on these teams wouldn’t be allowed to participate on their high school teams. I am told that my friend’s son is a very good (but not great) player. He might earn a college soccer scholarship, but he’ll never play for the national team. He’s not sure if playing academy soccer is worth missing out on the [...]

general : : The Big Sigh : Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My best friend, Scott Arnold, recently told me that I was the second-most nostalgic person he knew, next to his brother. Okay, so I was obviously disturbed about the runner-up finish, but I decided that there was no shame in a silver medal for this particular event. On Saturday morning I left Athens and headed 400 miles south to Daytona Beach to clear out the last few possessions collecting dust in the garage of a house I hadn’t slept in since 2007. I had to figure out what I wanted to [...]

general : : Bubba : Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First of all, congrats to Jamie Pollock who has been picked up by the Atlanta Beat of WPS!  Nobody has ever worked harder for it.  Anything Jamie gets, Jamie's earned, and we're all real proud of her. Okay, if you’re a follower of Georgia Bulldog soccer, you may have already read the article about how we poached Chika Ibiam from the UGA women’s club team last spring and convinced her to walk on to the varsity team for the fall. By all means we knew Chika was a [...]

general : : No Bananas On The Boat! : Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I met my new accountant today. He stopped by the office this afternoon and on my honor I’m almost positive he was looking for a hidden camera. After ten minutes with me he had to be wondering how he managed to find yet another yahoo who never took an accounting class (and barely passed math). I think he’s categorizing me as his good deed for the holiday season. God speed, my friend. So in other news, I’m pretty sure I’ve discovered the origins of the Monkey of Day. [...]

general : : Tiny Little Soccer Men (who sometimes lie) : Tuesday, November 29, 2011

As our bus rolled back into Athens on a cold, gray and otherwise unremarkable afternoon, I took a deep breath and accepted the annual reality that another season had officially come and gone. Our three and a half month frenzy has, with neither notice nor fanfare, dissolved like a solitary snowflake, leaving behind nothing but the hollowness of a day without purpose.  Inspiring, right? It’s my least favorite day of the year.  Well, it’s one of two, but both for the same [...]

general : : Hunting The Elusive Road Sweep : Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tis the season… the Halloween season that is, a.k.a. my second favorite holiday.  A few weeks back Izzy decided she wanted to be a Georgia Bulldog soccer player for Halloween and quickly established a list of five candidates.  She considered Lex, Sooz, Torri and Eddy before finally deciding on Chewy.  So yesterday when Izzy got home from school, a few of Chewy’s old jerseys were laid out on Izzy’s bed as a surprise.  It’s a little recipe I like to [...]

general : : Holy Comebacks! : Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This week I spent $90 so Izzy can take ukulele lessons.  So that’s fabulous.  I imagine the shine will be off that apple in a day and a half and nine years from now I’ll be trying to sell a ukulele at a yard sale.  Then again, the little monster has a habit of surprising me and she really is a born performer, so maybe this will be the start of her burgeoning career as a pop star. At least that’s how she tells it. I know the entries have fallen off lately but, [...]

general : : UNC-Greensboro and The Penguin : Monday, September 19, 2011

Last night Beth was working so Izzy and I were gonna have ourselves a Daddy Delight Dinner: thick ribeye steaks, steamed clams, and some grilled vegetables that we could throw out later.  But first there was a little issue of math homework that needed tending to.  Seeing Izzy’s allergy to homework, it’s fascinating that we’re not blood relatives and I’m sure my parents are enjoying some sense of cosmic justice about that.  Izzy is a Level Five expert at [...]

general : : Therapy : Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do you remember the first Rocky? There’s a scene where the polished Apollo Creed in a suit and tie sits in his office with his stable of agents and promoters, doing what he can to promote the fight and expand his brand. “Remember to send the mayor’s wife 200 roses from me and make sure we get a picture for the newspapers,” he says. Behind him his trainer is focused on a local news telecast. He’s watching Rocky Balboa in a meat-packer's freezer, his bloody [...]

general : : Two in Minnesota : Thursday, September 8, 2011

“Winning solves a lot of problems.” -Everyone who has ever coached After a spectacularly bad weekend at home, the Dawgs took the show on the road to Minneapolis for a four-team tournament at the University of Minnesota. The trip held all types of potential – both bad and good. We were going to open against the hosts on Friday night, and the Golden Gophers are a very strong program. If we took a third straight defeat, we were going to be contending with some morale issues. [...]

general : : Ptooooey! : Monday, August 29, 2011

So I’ve had better weekends. And you? If you were one of the thousands victimized by Hurricane Irene, you have my sympathies. Otherwise you absolutely do not. The Dawgs dropped a pair of matches this weekend – at home no less – and gave up three goals in each defeat. So yeah, as far as days go when I wouldn’t mind being hit by a truck, today qualifies. I’m sick over it. This weekend is going to be a tough one to shake. Usually after we play I’ll go to [...]

general : : Furman and a lot of Purple : Sunday, August 21, 2011

Honestly I’ve never seen anything like it.  In 21 years – nothing like it.  The slew of injuries we’ve sustained would seem a mathematically impossibility.  Odder still, this epidemic seems to be targeting blondes; we lose one of them every second day… Eddy, Hartley, Owens, Hill… all bitten by the injury bug.  As the saying goes around here, “Bad week to be a blonde.” Our training staff has been working overtime on its overtime and [...]

general : : Just Ugh. : Sunday, August 14, 2011

So this afternoon we finished training with a fitness exercise that involved the players running around the outside of the field. As they turned the corner nearest the Turner Soccer Center they passed a line of 13 college girls in white socks, black shorts and red shirts bearing the ‘Georgia Soccer’ brand. A gaggle of soccer groupies, you ask? Oh no. No, no, no I’m afraid not. That battalion of onlookers is the ever-expanding manifestation of our injured reserve. Thirteen! [...]

general : : Action for Ace : Friday, July 22, 2011

On the eve of our biggest camp of the summer, I jumped on a plane for Pittsburgh, rented a car and made the drive to Bethany, WV – population: one and a half pages of a phone book. Bethany is dead in the summer. It’s a small and quiet town even when the college is in session, but in July, you could pretty much sun bathe in the middle of Main Street without a care in the world. Bethany’s not going to be on anyone’s list of vacation destinations. There’s just not a [...]

general : : Glory Glory, HALLELUJAH! : Monday, July 11, 2011

“The difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction has to be believable.” So yes, it was going to take something just a little bit special to lure the Poet from his indefinite impasse. The American Idol finale couldn’t do it. The Biggest Loser finale didn’t do it. Cam Newton going pro (again) didn’t do it. The death and disposal of Osama Bin Laden came close, but then again, hadn’t he consumed enough of our time? But yesterday I witnessed [...]