Anyone want some dirt?
As of this morning there have been no takers… we’ll see about when I get home this evening…
Bill took the day off yesterday and Patrick stayed an extra day so they could continue working on pulling the roots from the front. They made a lot of progress:
Now all we need to do is work on tilling the ground some more and digging out the sprinkler system. Hopefully we’ll be able to order sod before Winter!
This weekend we also had the opportunity to watch some great soccer. All last week US Soccer was hosting their Development Academy Finals Week at the Home Depot Center down here in Carson. The Development Academy is a new youth program (this marked the end of their first year) that hopes to cultivate youth players and turn them into adult players who will actually be competitive in future World Cups. The head guys at US Soccer took a look at the youth programs in other countries and came up with this academy of 64 teams throughout the country. By next year there will be more teams including a team sponsored by every MLS team. The players expenses are all covered by the program. (which is awesome) But the players aren’t allowed to play in any other league except high school. To me, it sounds like a great program that will provide fantastic players for MLS teams and the US National Teams. Who knows… maybe the US will actually have a chance in the World Cup?
Friday evening Bill and I ventured out to watch the final match for the U-18s. A friend of ours, Colin, was one of the assistant referees on the match. The teams were Baltimore Bays vs. LAFC. Needless to say there was a big turnout for LA. We guessed there were approximately a thousand people… and a band. Nothing says soccer like a trumpet and a tuba.
Short video of our view:
We arrived just after halftime and the stands were completely full. It was a great game… complete with four send-offs! LA even scored a goal when they were down a man. When the game went into overtime the stadium lights went out and it took about fifteen minutes to get them on again. It was hilarious and Bill and I were both kicking ourselves for not remembering to record the game. It was being aired live on either ESPN2 or ESPN-U.
Saturday evening we were joined by Patrick and we went to watch the final match for the U-16s; Carmel United (that’s Carmel, Indiana) vs. PDA Larsson (New Jersey). Our friend Mike was an assistant referee on this match. It was also a great game, albeit a bit calmer than the previous night, no band. There were also significantly fewer fans. We actually had a place to sit. Another fellow referee, Jason, drove in from the valley to watch too. After the game we were able to steal Colin and Mike away and take them to a late dinner at the Yard House.
Bill, me and Patrick on the left. Colin, Mike and Jason on the right. Colin’s face when he saw what a “half yard” of beer was was priceless.
Bill, Patrick and I haven’t seen these guys in over five years since we stopped refereeing soccer. College and work became more important at the time and, even though we had a wonderful support staff of adult volunteers, we lost the ability to spend an entire weekend at the soccer field. I do miss the program. I miss the games. I miss the other referees most of all as we had developed a sort of bond to each other, even though we lived all over Northern California. We all hung out together at tournaments, spending the nights before a big game in one hotel room having a shoe-shining party. We always watched each other’s games and had pointers and advice to offer one another. There was a real camaraderie among us. And it became stronger when we traveled out of state for tournaments. Referees from CalNorth had (and might still have) a reputation of being tightly knit and probably a bit snobbish, but also very supportive of each other. As we got older and new referees were coming up the ranks, the attitudes changed a little and politicking became part of it. The change made it pretty easy to leave. Bill and I have talked about taking the referee class again and picking up some youth games locally. We haven’t partly because we have other stuff we need to do on weekends. But, most of all, I think neither of us want to be a CalSouth referee.