My Soccer Timeline | Teen Ink

My Soccer Timeline

January 28, 2022
By Justin22, Springfield, Ohio
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Justin22, Springfield, Ohio
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Author's note:

I am mexican american. Have also played american football before. My dream is to become a professional footballer. I started to chase my goal at a older age compared to people who i play with now. 

Hello my name is Justin, I am sixteen years old and a sophomore at Shawnee High School. I will be writing about my experiences, my first impressions, and why I love soccer. So when I was little, about 7 years old, my parents had a friend who was a club soccer coach and they put me on the team. The first thing I did with soccer was quit on it (shaking my head). Sadly back then I was too lazy and only wanted to play video games. My mom had already bought me cleats, socks, shin guards, and the uniform for the team. And all I did was go to one practice and then quit. And I will be writing about my experiences, my first impression, and why I love soccer. I quit and from there I would only play soccer whenever I went over to a friend's house or to a park. And all the other free time I had I would be playing playstation or on my tablet. But I did play fifa which is a soccer game on consoles. And would always watch cool highlights on my favorite player and my biggest idol, Cristiano Ronaldo. Would also watch games with my dad and brother like Champions leagues knockout rounds, the world cup, El clasico, and Liga MX games. My favorite teams have always been Chivas, Real Madrid, and Mexico. I had already planned on joining the soccer team at my high school, Springfield Shawnee High School. And still are to this day. Of course now I am not biased to every single other team haha, but I still always root for my teams. And that is what I would usually do in my free time, where I would usually be at El Toro where my dad is the manager. And imagine being at a restaurant everyday, all day for years. Of course me and my brother would be eating all the time. We were both overweight even though he used to be really skinny, I had always been overweight so for me it wasn't a surprise. But I was pretty chubby, I could run a little fast for my size but still I am in a way better shape now. And like I said before, I was planning on joining the high school team. So I thought if I wanted a good chance for me to start or to be a big player on the team I would have to lose weight. And I am telling you, it is the hardest to try to lose weight in a mexican household and there are so many reasons why, but maybe some other time I can talk about the reasons haha. So I decided I needed to do something to lose weight and my friends from my elementary school told me it would be good if I joined the football team. So in seventh grade I joined and played all that season. Then the next year my dad made me choose to either play football or work. And I chose to work because football isn't really my thing and I like making my own money. I haven't asked my parents for money in a long time, thank god. So through those two years that were seventh and eighth grade I lost a good amount of weight. And that's when everything started to happen with soccer. Me wanting to be ready for the next year I started asking friends from work and two other friends called Aldo and Kevin, they are brothers and I am still playing with them. With them is where I first started playing with. We would all go during the summer to Springfield High Schools practice field which was a good size in my opinion and you could also move the nets which would be helpful with the amount of people going. We would have a little scrimmage with the people that went, it was always a different number and a lot of people would go. And I believe that, that is where my love for soccer started. I liked how every single day I was improving and one of the better players now, of the people that went. But one day we invited my uncle and he literally broke his ankle like it was twisted so badly. After that we only went like three more times and then no one wanted to go anymore. So then a couple months later it was August or around there and me and my best friend, Alan, who came from Mexico and its would push me to get to his level because he was in the academy of Atlas back in Mexico which is a professional team, it's like saying your in the academy of Columbus Crew. We were pumped to play soccer together but we were late to the practices for summer and to get in shape. But either way we ended up showing up to a random practice and talked to the coach and we could not practice because we needed a physical and Alan needed to be signed up to the school. So I got that taken care of but Alan did not. He ended up playing until the end of the season.I started to go to practices and I don't remember really well but I think we had the first game in like two weeks or less. That was the first team I had ever played for, so when they asked me what position I played I said I didn't have any and that I would play wherever they thought I was good. So they decided to put me in as striker for the first game as a starter, and I did horrible. They took me out and put me as a right midfielder and did better there. We did lose that game though I remember it was 0-3 to Greenon.So from there that was my position, right midfielder and I would say I was not one of the better starters but I did play all game and started every game, so I was proud of what I was doing.. At the end of the season I had played in four positions, right and left midfielder and right and left back. And I will never forget what we achieved as a team, we were the first ever Shawnee team to win the CBC title ever. We were undefeated for nine games and only lost one or two CBC games. We went to the playoffs and got eliminated in the first round. We were all really sad. We had the quality to go beyond that but the tiredness got to all of us and we gave up a 0-2 lead and lost in penalties. I did not get to take one but I was really close. So my high school freshman year season ended. My favorite game of the season was against Tecumsuh, I don't remember forsure what I was playing as, if I was a right back or a right midfielder. But my passing,covering, touch, voice, making space, defending, plays, was all really good and the guys there are mostly all hispanics so I could understand what they were saying so I would just be telling my team what to do just because I knew what they were going for and it was also fun because the guys were cool and we talked a little. And we were down by one at the end of half time and in the second half we came back and ended up 1-2 for the win. And when we got off the bus my coach, Rixon, told me I played great and that it was the best I've ever played and that's how he wanted me to play every game. Which that gave me motivation. After the season was over I wanted to keep playing so I asked for a club to play for and they recommended me to Springfield Thunder and I was really hyped about it but my coach and friend reached out to them about me and we never heard back so I did not play club soccer. However I started going with my friend to dayton for a sunday league And I was getting recognized that I kept going and stuff but they would never be like get ready to play or anything but I kept waiting I went like to six games and then I had another friend there playing for another team and he told me and my friend Alan if we wanted to play for them and of course we said yes. So it was a lower team but at least we would get playing time. We played the first two games then Alan didn't go back but I did for one more game and then got my working schedule changed and I would not be able to go again. But overall those three games I did okay. My first game was against Lomas which is El Toros team and where I would always be and they are really good. It was really hot outside and there was no air the grass was really dry, and I could not stop drinking water, then finally inn the second half I came in as a right back and I was defending a guy I knew, Nash, who plays or played college and he was big and fast it was too hard haha, could not keep up. We lost two of them but i forsure learned a couple there and met new people and I think if I have the opportunity I will be playing for them again. And that was the team called Chiapas. After that I didn't do anything for about one or two months but work, I did a couple of different jobs but still mainly at the restaurant El Toro. Then we started open field and conditioning for the highschool season, I went to each and every training and put in hard work. I ended up getting cramps for the first two games of the season but after that I was in a good condition and would run as much as I could even at the last minute. But back to the summer, I was really excited because the assistant coach brought his son, Harvey, from England and he was goated, and it was so much fun competing with him and getting closer with him. I truly believed we were going to have the best midfield in the CBC. It would have been me, Harvey, and Noah, who is currently the best player we have. Sadly though Harvey went to England to spend a week with his mom before the season started and he never came back, and assistant coach, Coach Rixon, which I loved also quit on us and didn't give any explanation. So we did pretty horrible this season and only won one game, with having the best goalkeeper ever, Eben Duehurst. During this season I did however get something great out of it. My coach told two of my teammates, Owen and Jack, to tell me when they would have tryouts for their club team. And they said yeah for sure but I don't know if they had passed or what but they did not let me know and then i got a surprisingly text from  my teammate, Noah, he asked me if I was interested in trying out for a club team because there team was looking for a player and he thought of me when he found out and said he could get me his coaches number if I was interested. And like I said before, in my opinion Noah is the best outfield player at Shawnee so I knew that it was going to be a really good club. And I said of course so then I had a talk with the coach and he told me about the club and stuff so I said it was perfect. And he wanted to go see me so he came from Tipp City to Shawnee on a summer training just to see me, I was really grateful for the opportunity but also nervous but it all went good and at the end of the training he told me he liked what he seen and I had a lot of work to do technically but that I  had a good body and the motivation to get better and a good field IQ. So he gave me a contract! Literally that day I was so happy and especially telling my parents the opportunity I had just gotten. I don't know, maybe other players don't take it like me but me actually playing for only like a year that was a good achievement. When I was given the name of the club I quickly searched them up haha, and they were tenth in Ohio South and Ohio North isn't really much about soccer so they have a couple good teams but the South has more. Oh and my club team is called Ohio Galaxies North 05. When I told my parents about the club they said it was really good, but my dad already having experiences with some footballers he would play with a couple years ago he told me I should not be going to the Sunday League with Chiapas no more because of a lot of injuries that happen their and he said that the club would not want me no more. And I completely understood his advice and took it. Now back to the end of the high school season, once again I only had one goal and this time it was against Piqua in an away game. We got a free kick and it hit off the post and Henry had the ball and passed it back to me and I just hit it one touch and it was really slow haha but the goalkeeper could not reach it.This season I missed two games because my family made me go on vacations with them to Las Vegas, it was really fun and a good experience but I feel like I let my team down. And my favorite game of this season was against London in a home game, so like usual I started in the midfield as a stopper, then I forget why but we had to have some changes and I got put in right back and there forward was so cocky bruh and he would be pushing me and saying stuff to me so you know I was going to let me but also had to be smart about it so I started playing a little dirty too. But I had him on lockdown the whole game hahaha so much that he ended up moving to the other side of the field. I also had my first slide tackle that game and I wish they would have filmed it because in my head it was amazing, especially because it was the last guy going into a 1v1 against my goalkeeper. Oh yeah and it was also the only game we won haha. So going into the playoffs we had to face Tipp City in an away game. And of course we were the underdogs but put up a fight for the whole first half, we were only down one. But then in the second half everything went downhill and we ended up losing 5-0. The day after my coach, Coach Davoli, who is the CBI teacher in Shawnee, called me to his room and told me that if we had one that game we would have forfeited because I was not eligible. I laughed but then realized that I would have ruined it for my team, but I didn't know because my biology teacher, Mrs Meeks had told me I was all good because of her different way of grading so I thought I was all good but I guess it wasn't true. We ended up getting like two weeks off because most of the guys from my club team were still in the playoffs and the coach was going to give them a week to rest. During that week I was pretty busy. My friend Kevin invited me to some games at sportsplex, Thursday and Friday nights and I went a couple times to the field alone and I also had work so that week went by fast and got to monday pretty quick. I got the Athletes in Action complex and they had multiple fields, for soccer and baseball. And there was a lot of places where you could park so i went to the first parking lot, got down and went to a big soccer field where I seen some people and I go and ask them if they knew where Ohio Galaxies 05 North was and they sent me to another field where there was actually two side by side and on every half of each there was a different club so I was looking for my coach and Noah. But I do have to say something that was really funny but also I don't know how he meant it, but when I asked the coach if he knew where they were before I left he asked me “ do you play for shawnee?” and I said “yeah” he said “ i'm sorry for you” and everyone started laughing. But I just laughed it out too haha. back when I found my team, we started right off and after a couple minutes the coach presented me to the guys and they were all really welcoming and cool. We practiced Monday and Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:00 for two weeks and then we would have our first game against Barcelona Academy United 05B. The game was at Athletes in Action at 10:30 in the morning so I got up around 8:30 because we had to be there like forty five minutes before and I still had to eat a little something haha. And it had already started to be a little chilly so I took a coat and stuff but for the game I was not wearing anything to help with the cold. All I had was my shirt,shorts, socks, and cleats of course. And I was on the bench for the first twenty five minutes or something so I was freezing. So then my coach tells me to warm up and get in the line, so I'm really excited. I went in as a right back and didn't do bad but not great. I got subbed off after like 10 minutes and the first half ended 1-1. Now heading into the second half I was on the bench again but this time it was like fifteen or twenty minutes that i went in. I went in as a right back again and I did really well. I did some pretty good defending. The guys were cheering me on for my debut and stuff. It was great and then my coach even gave me a hug and said I did a good job. It really made me feel like they wanted me there and I was really appreciative of that and the opportunity I was given. Two weeks later we would have back to back games, again in Athletes in Action, against Ohio Galaxies Elite 06 on Saturday and Ohio Galaxies Black 06 on Sunday and they were both at 8:00 am so I had to wake up even earlier haha. I had learned my lesson and took an undershirt and some gloves and forsure felt less cold. I played as a right back again for like twenty five minutes of each half and I played alright but we lost 1-0. Then on Sunday my teammate, Carson, who plays center back got hurt so I went in for him like five minutes into the game so I played a lot that day, I was in until the half ended and subbed in later in the second half  but did not stay as center back because my teammate went back in, so I went up as a stopper in the midfield, which is what I had just been doing in high school. And did really well, I enjoyed playing there way more than as a right back. We ended up winning 2-0. So now in a week we would be facing maybe the best team in Ohio, they had beaten Indianas, Illinois, and Kentuckys I believe,  number one team in the state. They are called Columbus United SC 05 Lions and it was in Olentangy High School at 12:00 pm. It wasn't a early game but the drive dor me was a hour away and I had lost my socks so I had to go get new ones and I was already running late *shaking my head*. Oh yeah and also the practice before the game our coach, Coach Matt, told us that if we won he would shave his head which gave everyone a motive haha. He also told us the starting lineup and I felt so good, I was going to be starting as a stopper in the midfield. We ended up losing 4-2 but we put up a fight even though the team had way more possession than us. I didn't have the best game but it was good, and my whole family went to go see me and they were all rooting for us in the bleachers haha I really mean EVERYONE it was really funny. So that was on December fifth, then after that game we would not be playing until February and practicing until January. And I really did not do anything but until the end of the month I started going to a field for a little but other than that month I was just working and I felt like I let myself go. So we went back to training and it would be two times a week, Tuesdays at 8:00-9:00 at APG and Thursdays at 4:30-5:30 at sportsplex. And if we are being honest that is not enough at all, so I also started going to sportsplex again on Thursdays at night like from 11:00-12:30. And one day I saw my teammate and in the next practice he invited me to go with him Tuesdays and Thursdays to 3v3’s at sportsplex from 8:00-11:00. So now on Tuesdays I go to practice and after that go straight to sportsplex from like 9:30-11:00 and on thursdays go to practice then back home and then back to sportplex from 8:00 to 11:00 for 3v3’s then at 11:00 I go to the big field to play with who I used to until 12:30. And I will be having my next game on February 20 which is less than a month away, against Barca Academy CLB BA Blue 05B. So yeah that is what I have done in soccer so far and I am really hoping to be able to accomplish way more than what I already have. And remember if you truly want something go for it and don't give up and sacrifice things for a little so you can accomplish your big goal. Also “ talent is nothing without hard work” (Cristiano Ronaldo) so put in that hard work and you'll stand out if you're doing more than others and one last thing is you have to get out of your comfort zone and try to look for connections and to start talking and going to play with different people. Now I'm done haha, thank you for reading my personal narrative. Hopefully you enjoyed it and have a good day!

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