Thursday, May 24, 2007
Street Soccer 945 star and Homeless World Cup 2006 Team USA member Dave tried out for the under 18 Charlotte United Football Club last night and made it! Lawrence and I have been watching Dave run circles around adults at the Sport Connection indoor league Street Soccer 945 plays in, but we both knew if David truly was going to pursue his soccer dreams he needed to be training with players his age on a regular basis and playing full field matches 11 versus 11. It is also a great for Dave to be in an environment interacting with kids who are planning on being college athletes, like Dave hopes to be. Street Soccer 945 is the most organized soccer program Dave has ever played for, he grew up literally playing in the streets in Panama without shoes.
When we got to the park I had to find Rob Daulton, the contact person at the club who said dave could come for a tryout. After getting everything straightened out and Dave got his tryout t-shirt with the number 435 on the back, the group of U-18 players gathered on the field kicking around waiting for the coach to come. When he got there the head of the club called the coach over and said "take a look at number 435, he's the kid from the Homeless world Cup." That really made me smile, I couldnt wait for things to get started. For me it brought so much joy to see just see him out there with kids from all across Charlotte fitting in and just playing. It just seemed like this was where Dave was supposed to be. For onlookers Dave looked like he fit right in. Although he was noticibly shy he fit right in and played simple one and two touch soccer and when he saw the right opportunity he showed off his speed and the flare that Street Soccer 945 has been privledged to over the last year. What onlookers didnt know was that this was the first time dave had actually worn cleats when playing soccer on grass. Usually he wore the old indoor shoes we had at the UMC. They didnt know that those cleats he had on were just donated by the same type of kids that Dave was now on the field with. They didnt know this was his first time playing a proper scrimmage where the coach was analyzing his every movement. I had to leave before the tryout was over but when I talked to Dave later in the night and asked him how it went he said modestly and confidently "oh yea, I made it." I could tell it was not just that inconsequential and I smirked as if to say "c'mon on man be serious" and he tried to be cool, like it really was no big deal, but he smiled and I could see his tremendous joy. The coach told him he was "a little raw" but not to worry because he made the team. Three Cheers for Dave!
Posted by Lawrence at 9:50 AM