Thursday, January 31, 2008

Winter Seasons End

(Santonio Williams recieved shot instruction from teammate Dwayne Gourzong in practice this week.)

1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, . . .

So the score-line went until the score was 7-6. After World Cup veteran Elmer Nunez smacked the post with a chance that would have put the street soccer stars up 7-6. It was his third post of the evening. A counter attack to the same play left our heros trailing for the 7th time. Undaunted, the street soccer stars came back for the 7th consecutive time. This time on the very last play of the game. Elmer again was involved. He saw the older coach Cann calling for a service and put up a perfectly lofted ball from the midway line. Coach Cann fought off an elbow in the back by the opposing goalie and rose above three players to head the ball down and onto goal. Smack. Again, agonizingly, the 7th comeback was denied by the post. Cann scrapped for his own rebound, and muscled the ball back into the net as the buzzer sounded, but the referee called him for playing the ball on the ground ( a no-no in the indoor league). Never mind that he was literally tumbled on by the opposing team and forced to the ground.

In this manner, street soccer lost their semifinal match, and thus their dream of a first ever championship was denied. The team protested the final call, but knew that they had the chances to win the game earlier. The team left proud and talking about next season.

The street soccer 945 squad also ended it's season losing a hard fought game against the league's top seeded team. A physical battle tested the squad's composure, but did not break it. New comer David debuted and Capone returned to action after injury. Tony Kelly is to be commended for his improved attitude, hustle, and ability to score goals when we need them this season. Dwayne Gourzong and Tim Cummings tied for most games played this season as both played double duty on tuesday and wednesday nights. A highlight this week was Dwayne taking a leadership role in practice, actually running a shooting drill, teaching new-comers to the game how to strike a powerful shot.

All in all, progress on the field was matched by progress off. On the ride back after the game Capone verbalized what the team is all about, "You know, I really have changed a lot since I got involved with you all. I mean, I am being productive with my time and I am focused on doing good things. I am not going to lie to you, Lawrence, I used hustle, I sold drugs, but I that's not who I am." Since joining the team Capone has gotten employment at a Toys R Us Warehouse and reunited with his sister. He now works with her and pays rent in a small house they rent together with his older brother.

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