About

My family’s connection to soccer traces back to my father, who on the advice of his father, choose soccer as a means to stay in shape in the off-season of baseball. It was his coach, a dutch immigrant to New Jersey, who revealed the special game to him. After college my father left the east coast to a rural part of Ohio, where he took the initiative of starting the game in that nook of the country. Through a letter of recommendation by a man who was there at the beginning nearly 30 years ago, my father’s long service to the game earned him recognition as a top influential promoter of the game in Ohio.

bicycle-kickThe close and supportive family we were meant I was in attendance at most games, events, and practices. The arduous task of building soccer in a part of the country meant that it was present in my life daily. A lot of my experience was made up of those efforts to build the game. The extra two hours to set up and close down a field, painting and measuring fields on a playground or outfield of a baseball diamond; the extra 20 or 30 minutes in a car trip to pick up players who otherwise wouldn’t have been driven to the game. The stomach aches of watching my father clash with people who would have just preferred the game stay on the east coast, and the joy of every victorious stride made on and off the field.

My experience as a player was different from my two brothers. They were pushed to take advantage of opportunities to get better, including trips to train and play with their ODP and college teams in England and Holland. I was the last of three boys, and after a few learned lessons, I was rarely pushed towards intense situations like off-season training or traveling club teams. Instead my school soccer team, coached by my father and brother, and a recreational indoor league was where I played most of my soccer growing up. I graduated with two All-League, and one All-District awards, one league championship, three league runner-ups, and a summer state cup championship. I was attacking center midfielder who played more out of emotion and instinct than rationale and logic.

I thought I was done with playing soccer, but the summer before I left for a small liberal arts college I changed my mind. I called the coach, who surprisingly and bizarrely responded to my request of coming to preseason as something that ‘would not be fair to the other freshman’. It was that decision, which seemed unfortunate at the time, that pushed me to my best soccer experience ever.

me-with-teamMy father gave me a chance to continue with soccer by passing the coaching duties of my former middle school’s boys and girls soccer teams to me. I was luke warm on the idea at first, but it grew into a beautiful situation where I was able to discover the game’s beauty untainted by the negative aspects of professional sports, malicious politics of youth club soccer, and the racism that occasionally clouds the games bright beauty.

The three years and seven seasons I coached were unbelievably rewarding. We played smart beautiful soccer, we won every season and tournament, we learned to respect ourselves and each other, and most importantly we had a great amount of fun. It was those coaching experiences that taught me firsthand that soccer offers everyone an opportunity to prove a reason why they are valuable. It taught me that the game was a reflection of life in general

me-stat-isle-ferry1

In the wet Spring of 2007, I decided to leave Ohio for the birthplace of my father, Brooklyn. It was not long before this move that I became an intent follower of soccer in the United States. I had been a loyal US Soccer supporter since I can remember, which was probably when I was eight and told by my father I played like Tab Ramos and should watch him. It was just after the US Men were knocked out of the 2006 World Cup that I took a keen interest in all things US Soccer. In my youth, I always assumed the USA would improve. The failure in the 2006 Men’s World Cup, and the 2007 Women’s World Cup opened my eyes to how much work is to be done for the game in this country. I hope that I can help the game advance in this country, like my father did.

hikingAmazingly enough, I enjoy things outside of soccer. I love to hike on and around the Appalachian Trail, and outdoor activities in general. Some how I’ve learned to enjoy both the rural and the urban sides of life. There are always things to keep you busy in the Big Apple, even if it’s as simple as going out to get coffee, beer, or a pizza. We are supposed to be replacing our brick back yard with grass in the spring, so maybe I’ll have to invest is a small pop-up goal. I’m interested in technology, politics, environmental issues, education, communication, music, and psychology.

Hope you enjoy the blog,
Lawrence

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: