Soccer Saturday

Both Nicholas and Thomas had games with their respective Italian soccer teams today.  Nicholas’ 1998 team had an away game at 3pm, and of course Thomas’ 1999 team had a home game at the exact same time.  So just as our life is in the United States, Maria and I divided and conquered!  She stayed with Thomas, and I went with Nicholas to the away game.

Maria’s report on Thomas’ game:

Six of Karl’s students here in Florence (Kevin, Kevin, Seth, Elena, Alison, and Deborah) all came to Thomas’ game to cheer him on.  Thomas played the entire game – he played both halfback and forward – he had a number of great chances and almost scored a couple of times.  Still looking for that first international goal in an official game!  However, the opposing team was really good.  Thomas’ team (C.S. Firenze) lost 6-1.  Ouch. 

Because we were a group of Americans cheering in English for Thomas, we stood out a little bit.  After one of the kids from the other team scored, he slid on his knees in our direction and did a little sword fight move with his arm in our direction.  Just made us yell louder for our new Italian team!  I took some video of Thomas’ game, and maybe we’ll eventually figure out how to post it.  We’ll post pictures of his next game.

Karl’s report on Thomas’ game:

Nicholas’ away game was at a nearby club – it was perhaps only about 5 kilometers away (note the European measurement).  All the boys climbed into the soccer club’s van, and I got a ride with the team’s coach.  The coaches are all referred to as “Mister,” and it is pronounced “Mee-sta.”  Nicholas’ coach is extremely nice, but he speaks ZERO English.  And I speak very little Italian, so you can imagine the stimulating conversation we had on the ride over.  We actually tried speaking a little French, as we both realized that we had studied French in high school!

Loading the boys into the van – yes, the soccer club has a travel van!  Soccer is serious business here! 

   

Nicholas ready to go!

We arrived at the field where Nicholas’ team would be playing.  Now, it really wasn’t just a field – it was another soccer club just like our club at Club Sportivo Firenze.  All of these clubs are feeder clubs for the professional AC Fiorentina team.  You have to pay 5 Euros ($7) to enter the club – yes, you have to pay to watch your son play!  And this is common – we have to pay 3 Euros at our own club to watch a game, too!  

 

Nicholas’ coach immediately took me to the bar at this club.  Now, a bar in Italy is a coffee bar.  Except you don’t get coffee  – you get a tiny little child’s teacup-sized cup with a shot of expresso in it.  I followed the coach’s lead and put a little sugar in it.  Then I sucked it down in less than fifteen seconds.  It was really just a jolt of caffeine before the big game.  I can think of a few soccer parents back home that this would NOT be a good idea for!

The field

Nicholas’ team got warmed up and ready to play       

The teams are introduced and then they shake hands before the game

Nicholas in action

The soccer moms here in Italy.  Note the fashion.  All of the women wear high boots and typically dark jeans or dark pants.  They also smoke like crazy!  Most men wear black or brown shoes.  You only see men in sneakers when they are working out at the gym or if they are wearing a sweatsuit (like to coach a soccer team).

Oh, and you might be wondering – how did Nicholas’ team do?  They tied 1-1.  Nicholas’ team was winning 1-0, and with four minutes to go, the ref called a foul on one of Nicholas’ teammates right outside the goalie box.  (On the ride back, I understood Nicholas’ coach griping about that call!)  The opposing player ripped a shot over the defensive wall and right off the goalie’s fingertips.  It was a perfect shot.

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One Response to “Soccer Saturday”

  1. Alan Blakeman Says:

    Karl,
    Thank you for the opportunity to see Heidi, Derek and family in the first hours in Italia. It brought back memories of my US Army days. Playing soccer looks great – glad that soccer is THE sport in Europe! I still shoot baskets outside but it is getting slick and being in winter clothes does not help for “accuracy”. I have some slides of my visit to Firenze and Roma back in 1958 January. Enjoy yourselves and this looks like a great way to see things. Derek, thank you for the e-mail. Knew that you would enjoy it. By the way, you might get an idea why Montpelier has a Rialto Bridge after you see the original one spanning the Armo. /Alan B Dad

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