The year was 1969… or 1970. I don’t remember which but I am sure that my Mom has a picture or memento of this somewhere. At the onset, I really liked football [soccer]. It was a game which can be played alone (juggling or kicking against a wall) or with 2, 3, or many more players. There was no real special equipment needed except a ball and something to create goals. Parks were abundant and close to where I grew up so finding a place to play was easy. We didn’t have pinnies so we just resorted to ‘Shirts and Skins’ for teams.
I tended to gravitate to a more defensive role as a fullback or goalie. I always thought that being the goalie (or, as one of my friends would call it, goaldie) was a really cool role as I was the only one that could use my hands, punt, and make spectacular diving saves. Of course with every coin there is the flip side… when in a true game situation the goalie, or keeper, is ultimately responsible for the balls which tend to get by him and allow the other team to score. Yeah, it was a bummer but a reality of the game. Save goals and you’re the hero of the day! Let too many slide by and you feel the weight of the team upon you (metaphorically speaking).
My competitive career exploded during the 1970’s and was on a few fantastic teams chock full of friends and very talented players. Much of my early play was through the Park Cities YMCA and Elementary School with many schoolmates which was fun! Years later, I played in the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce Soccer Association League with others I didn’t know but grew to like and respect as players and people. Fun times. Of note, I played on the Road Runners (I am the HAPPY goalie)
and the Spartans Gold. Our Spartans team was a venerable force in the NDCCSA. I was pictured here second player from the left on a fullback day. I alternated playing keeper with Tim (keeper of the day).
Yes, we had a massive roster but our coach, the well dressed Jim Webb, did an excellent job of rotating us on and off of the bench. Oh, the Spartans were sponsored by Trailways Bus Company. Pretty cool gig for back in the day!
In the 1980’s I played for my high school as well as in the proverbial ‘Beer Leagues’ and also started to play indoor. Indoor was a whole new world for me and took a little getting used to. Having walls inbounds is like playing football on a pool table. Weird. The Addison Indoor Soccer Center was the last place I was coached by the late, great Frank Hason. He was my keeper coach from the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s. Frank used to come over to our practices on the SMU campus (while he played for the Dallas Tornado) and give us pointers and advice. This was a VERY cool experience for me as a youth and one that I cherish today. Even as my coach in the 1990’s Frank (then in his late 50’s) would still dive on the astroturf during trainings and such. What a great man. He is very missed. Other players from the Dallas Tornados would come to our practices including Kyle Rote, Jr. and Bobby Moffat. Too cool!
Due to work/career stuff, extensive and intensive training took a toll on me and during the latter parts of the 1990’s and into the 2000’s football fell off of my RADAR. Getting married, fat, having kids, career, house, etc. sort of took a priority. My older daughter, Kate,
took a liking to soccer a couple of years ago and, as if inspired by some divine calling, has gravitated to goalkeeping… no I did NOT push her to the net. She just has a thing for the position. Currently she is a Select player on the Texas Spurs FC coached by Amanda McMullan and under the watchful eye of Ed Puskarich (Director of Coaching) and Cesar Galavan and Mark Essary (GK Coaches). She is a very good and HAPPY goalkeeper!
Kate has inspired me to get back to the sport I love and, after a little urging and weight loss, I have once again returned to goalkeeping playing in the North Texas Premier Soccer Association for the International Bastards FC… yes there’s a long story there but that’s for another time. Anyway, we are an Over 40 C Team and the Team has been in existence for over 15 years! Fun group of guys!
Well, that’s pretty much it. Over the course of the coming days, weeks, and months I will be updating on my current play, equipment, recommendations, etc. so please be sure to check in often. See you on the pitch!