OGLAS v. New Bremen U19
Saturday night was the big showdown between the "Old Guy League All Stars" and the New Bremen U19 soccer club. Most of the Old Guys came from the Sunday pick-up games, though there were a couple of other guys who came to play as well.
I started at left outside mid in a 4-4-2 line-up. The field was pretty small (it doubled as a gridiron field), but that was OK. One thing that was for sure: these young guys sure do run. The first few minutes were rather ugly, because they were running like crazy and we're not used to that anymore. We recovered, however, and drew first blood on a nice build-up which, due to a defensive lapse, led to a breakaway. Very shortly thereafter, Arturo boomed a goal kick most of the length of the field... Phil only had to touch the ball twice before it was in the net. Somewhere in there, Joe scored to make it 3-0.
In the second half, things started to get a little dicey. First of all, Arturo switched out of goal and Phil went in. While Phil played fine in the goal, his distribution isn't as good as Arturo's. And Phil played the position he went in for every time. Arturo decided that he'd play forward, effectively changing our formation to 4-3-3. Which would have been OK had we had a strong center mid. Which we did not. One guy who wouldn't sub out was playing center mid. Or rather, was leaving that position wide open as he ran all over the field. It didn't help that everyone who did not start was in to begin the second half!
After a while, we got things settled, but by this time, the U19s were getting frustrated, and this led to some extremely dirty play. One kid kicked me multiple times -- away from the ball! I asked him, "Play dirty often?" He was the one who, at game's end, ripped off his jersey and went to the bench without shaking any hands. Good job, kiddo. Way to represent.
Things ended with another goal from Joe (this one a thing of beauty -- while covered, he spun and with less than one foot of space, he hit a screamer into the lower right corner). Final score: Old Guys 4, U19 0.
My highlights: I hit a couple of nice corner kicks (including an "Olympic" (on goal) that the keeper barely saved with time about to expire in the first half), and I had a great header on another corner kick that was saved by a defender. I played solidly in the midfield and continued to track back on D and run with the offense.
All of us decided that it was a lot of fun, and we'd love to play more games like that or in an over 30 league. NOTE: I remember playing against the over 30s in Kokomo. It used to be such a joke; we just didn't want to hurt anyone as we beat them all over the field. They used to have John Mansur (whew! You almost hit me in the groin) playing goalkeeper for them...