While it is always tough when a season ends, this season was different for our travel teams. Our league joined the NCYSA last year and formed our first travel teams in the Fall. My son was invited to play with one of our U10 Boys Challenge teams – one of 7 teams that were ‘the first’ travel teams for our league. The U10s were also special because they were made up of many kids who started playing at age 4 or 5 when our league was first created in 2002. Needless to say, it’s been an educational season for the players, coaches, and parents. Here are the U10 MYSA Strikers after their last State Cup match. My eldest is 2nd from the left up front – that’s dirt smeared all over his face. He met the ground pretty hard on a couple of occasions.
I just wanted to say how proud I am of this team. Made up of 10 boys (one player was out of the country when this was taken) and a girl, including three true U9 players, this team entered the fray ready to play.
They had a successful Fall season, ending up in 6th place if I recall, and stayed in the ‘A’ division for the Spring. They struggled in the Spring, but still played hard. Most losses were only by a point or two (set pieces, especially defending corner kicks, were their nemesis) and for our first foray into U10 Challenge, they did Mebane proud (as did the rest of our teams – I just know more about this one ) They drew a tough group in their first State Cup (Two CASL teams and a strong CSC team), but overcame their initial shellshock and played well in their final two matches.
So here’s a shout out to the MYSA Strikers. They made us and Mebane proud! And a special thanks to the team’s coaches who worked very hard with them this year and taught them a ton about soccer. It wasn’t about the wins – it was about the development – as it should be. It seems like yesterday when some of these very same players were kicking a ball around in bright green T-Shirts – calling themselves the Mebane Strikers. I’m pretty sure #5 on the right in the 2nd picture in that post is my eldest. He was so small – his T-Shirt almost touched his cleats!
I can’t let a post like this go by without embarrassing my eldest just a little. He played very hard and scored in many of the matches he played in, including a really nice shot in the third State Cup match that flew out of three defenders on the run and found the net. But I didn’t get a picture of that One picture I did have was from the start of that third match. I’m one of those freak coaches who tries to instill a respect of the game in my players (Eldest played for me in Rec for a few years). Shirts tucked in, arms behind your back, standing straight during equipment checks, etc. when the officials are talking with you. So I was proud to see it had sunk in!
You did great buddy! Your soccer dad is very, very proud of you! Can’t wait till next season when #99 takes the field again!