Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday May 30, Memorial Day

Lots of guys committed but didn't show. It rained until nine, but then the sun came out and the field was perfect. 11 guys showed up including Will, C and Eric. We played on a red field with lacrosse goals and wore ourselves out in an hour. The blue team won in spite of the one player disadvantage.

Sunday May 29

Cloudy and 70 at 8 AM game time. Two guests, Steve Palaia and Jeff. No professional keepers showed up, so its mostly Keith in the white net, Steve, Rocco, Mark S., Mike, Jordan and me in for blue. Just 21 guys on this holiday weekend meant that everyone got a lot of action.


Jeff for white 1-0
Tom taps in a rebound for white 2-0
Joe Bagels for blue 2-1
Steve P for blue 2-2
Keebs for white 3-2
Keebs for white 4-2
Steve again 4-3
Steve again 4-4
Steve again 4-5
Fernando for blue 4-6
Jeff for white 5-6
Keebs for white 6-6
Joe B for blue 6-7 on a pass by Steve p from the blue 30 yard line
Steve again 6-8
Tom again 7-8
Joe B again 7-9
Fernando again 7-10
Joe B again 7-11

If we disallow Steve's 5 goals, it would be 7-6, but to be fair we would also have to disallow Jeff's 2, so it would be 5-6, blue still wins.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday May 22

Completely overcast, slight drizzle and a cool 60 degrees at 7:30 game time, perfect soccer weather. Today we recognize the sixtieth birthday of our buddy Frank. It's tough to make it a surprise when he shows up first. So we donned the ceremonial shirts and took to the field. One guest today, Jeff. Steve in the blue net, Jeff in for white till Doug arrived and took over. We had as many as 13 v 13 at one point and a pretty spirited game. Kevin left due to a problem with his breathing, one of those essential soccer skills we too often take for granted.

Keebs for blue 1-0
Tom for white 1-1
Frank for white 2-1, and this was a legitimate goal, not a birthday freebie
Joe Bagels for blue 2-2
Keebs again 3-2
Tom again 3-3
Keebs, for the hattie 4-3
Tom, for his hattie 4-4
Super Dave for white 4-5
Shamu for white 4-6 on an assist from Doug
Game ended at 9:30 due to player exhaustion and dwindling sides. Frank came over to the blue side to even things up.

After the game we had pictures, and then reconvened at Nellie's for the party. Frank got a white shirt, a blue shirt, an arm band, a signed soccer ball and a glass trophy.

Player of the Week

I was born on May 12, 1951, in a little town in southern Italy, called Grisolia. There started my passion for soccer. Back then in those days my friends and I were lucky to have a ball to play with, never mind having soccer cleats, sometimes we even played barefooted but we always played. In 1967 my parents, really my mother, decided it was time to move to America. Her sister, my “Zia Angelina” was already here living on Grove Street in Waldwick. I was 16 years old so while it was an exciting move it was also a little scary especially not knowing the language, but I managed. With my Uncle Frank’s guidance I ended up going to trade school, learning to be a hair stylist. I own Fifth Avenue Haircutters in Teaneck. Since 1982 I have been married to my wife, Lorraine, and have two girls, Gabriella and Evana. We originally bought a house in Waldwick and then moved to Upper Saddle River stayed there for about 18 years and now live in Warwick, NY. My youngest started playing soccer in Kindergarten and from there played for rec, for the schools, for the Americans and onto college. And throughout the years I was always on the side lines giving my daughter advice for which most of the time she completely ignored! While playing for the Americans a group of the fathers decided we would start playing at Lyons Park, from there we joined the Waldwick group and I've been enjoying it ever since playing with a great group of guys.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday May 15

Pictured at right are the gritty members of the WSSFC Die Hard squad who showed up for a little footie despite early morning t-storms and cancellation emails. Kudos to Steve & the Marios, who toughed it out and hung in there while the other 9 of us waffled a bit before heading over to the WHS pitch.
We had a spirited 6 v 6 going for a little over an hour before having to cede the field to a bunch of real marys, a girl's league match of some kind or another. Scoring on the indoors rule, 50 yard no hands lacrosse-goaled pitch was frequent; however this intrepid backup reporter did not make any notes and can only report that the final score was in the neighborhood of the high single-digits (blue) vs mid-high single digits (white). Or not. Whatever. See you next week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday May 8 Mothers' Day

Early start today, there's a 10 o'clock game and the consensus is to begin at 7:30 to get the full dose. Beautiful clear day with a light breeze, 50 degrees. Two guests today, Jake Miller is back from college, and a guy named Jeff who said Adam invited him.

Steve in the blue net, Jimmy, Kevin, Shamu and finally me in the white net. It was a big day for the white team, even with ten white vs 12 blue, it was all white:

Jay for white 1-0
Keebs for white 2-0 on a beautiful cross from Jay
Super Mario for white 3-0
Shamu for white 4-0
Mario for white 5-0
Guest Jeff for white 6-0
Ted finally found a way to score for blue 6-1
Jelly for blue 6-2
Super Mario 7-2, and we have to pause here to make a special mention of this goal. It may have been a corner kick or a similar situation, with lots of guys in front of the net and a long cross in from the right corner. SM goes all horizontal and blasts the ball out of the air into the back of the net. Damn.
Super again 8-2
Joe Bagels for blue 8-3
Joe again 8-4
Keebs 9-4
Mark Miller! for blue 9-5, it wasn't an own-goal, but just as ugly
Mario 10-5 to end the game, due to exhaustion.

Player of the Week

Rocco has been instrumental in getting us out of the mud and onto the magic carpet. He is the unofficial president and treasure of our unofficial group, he collects the money and orders the shirts. He even enforces the rules when things get too crowded. And on behalf of the entire team, I say "Thanks". Rocco has his own accounting practice in Waldwick.

I was born in 1961 in Englewood and lived in Cliffside Park. I was the first American born in my family; my only sister was born in Italy and was brought to America when she was only four months old. As I grew older I was always the stubborn one in my family. My parents being from Italy were very strict and were always against me hanging out with my friends. Both my parents worked and I remember as soon as I came home every day from school I would sneak out to go play with my friends and had to be home before my father came home from work or he would get pissed off. I started playing soccer in our Rec program when I was about 10 years old. I remember that our team names where the names of countries, and I was on the USA team and everyone on my team spoke Italian. It was like that Will Farrell movie when he was always drinking espresso on the sidelines as the coach and the two boys had just come over from Italy and they were just dominating. We had the same thing, a bunch of my friends had just come over from Italy and at the age of 11 they were great soccer players, we never lost. We were the champs for three consecutive years from 1972-1974. I played through my sophomore year in High School and then for some stupid reason I thought it was more important that I went to work rather than play soccer.

I got married in 1985 to my beautiful wife of now 25 years Ellen. We lived in Bergenfield for three years, Mahwah for the next three and then moved to Waldwick in 1992. We had our first son TJ in 1990 and when he was in first grade he started playing soccer and my coaching days began. I got very involved in town as a soccer, baseball and basket ball coach. With three sons, at one point I was coaching five soccer teams between Rec and club, games and practices seven days a week. I truly enjoy coaching and truly enjoy the game of soccer. What I love the most about living in a small town like Waldwick, is that I started coaching these kids as Kindergartners and am still able to coach them through High School, and it is a great feeling to watch them all grow up as young men and develop their skills, their friendships and the bond that we have as player and Coach. Whether they are calling me Coach or Mr. P or just yo Rock, it has been a lot of fun. I have been president of the Waldwick Soccer Association for over eight years, and treasurer of the Club.

I was so glad I found out about the group that played down in Lions Park. It wasn’t too long before I started playing with this group that I had my “Bee Sting” episode and caused this commotion with ambulances and EMT’s, and some people say because of that we got kicked off of Lions Park, but we now found a new home here on the Turf. I truly look forward to playing every Sunday morning and we truly have a great group of people and I hope I can continue to do this until a ripe old age, but as I turn 50 this year, I see the reflexes are slowing down as well as the speed of play. But as long as we have fun together it brings a smile and a good feeling at the end of each week.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday May 1

The high school turf field is being used for a 5K race today so at the appointed game time of 9AM a few of us met at Traphagen. Just like the old days. The day was beautiful, sunny and 50 degrees. Joe M decided on the later start and didn't even show up. Next week, and until further notice, it's 8AM. There is a 10AM game next week, but if we start our game promptly at 8 we should be OK.

Anyway, we started 7 v 7 on the smaller field and got up to 9 v 10 and stayed on the small field. The bumpy and slippery grass made fools of us all. Doug then Bobby in the blue net, Keith, then Kevin in the white. The white team was going downhill for the entire game which probably accounts for the score. Errant shots by the whities go over the fence and into the woods.

Scoring as follows:

Mario for white 1-0
" " " 2-0
Super Mario for white 3-0
" " " 4-0
" " " 5-0
Shamu for blue 5-1
Scott Rosner for blue 5-2
Mario 6-2
Jimmi for blue 6-3
Chopman for blue 6-4
Jimmi again 6-5
Super Mario 7-5

Then exhaustion set in. After the game a bunch of guys stayed to hang out in the shade by the Porta-Potty to clean their cleats and reminisce about the good old days.