Be Gentle With Me, It’s My First Time: A 53 Year Old Footy Rookie

Tangled Up In Red

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I haven't played in goal since ~1986. What does wetting the gloves do? How wet (soak, mist ?)

I don't know if any crossover utility, but in my vintage baseball league, upper knuckles get broken/jammed/dislocated often. A number of guys play with these, or similar, inside their gardening gloves.
 

DJnVa

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I haven't played in goal since ~1986. What does wetting the gloves do? How wet (soak, mist ?)

I don't know if any crossover utility, but in my vintage baseball league, upper knuckles get broken/jammed/dislocated often. A number of guys play with these, or similar, inside their gardening gloves.
Water activates the latex and makes it sticky. If you play with dry gloves the latex will slough off pretty quickly. In the end, at our level, it's all about what *feels* right to each player. I generally moisten a few hours before my game, then dump a bit on right before taking the field and at halftime.



 

InstaFace

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You know, now that I think about it, I can recall watching pro games where during a break in the action the goalie takes their water bottle, squirts in their mouth, then squirts on their hands (gloves) and rubs a bit. And it always struck me as ritualistic and odd, and it's good to know that it at least is reputed to have some purpose.
 

Saints Rest

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Even better if you use Gatorade instead of water. That sugar will help with the sticky.

I was backup keeper for my indoor team in NYC over-30 league for many years. Not futsal. We played on turf with a regular size 5 ball and walls in play. One of my teammates had been in the academy system in England before moving to US where he played for St John's. I asked him about how best to deal with breakaways and point-blank shots. His suggestion was that right at that moment when the shooter puts his head down to locate the ball, jump out at him. It cuts down the angle but in a way that he is not expecting because you end up closer to him by 2-3' than you were when he last located you.
 

SocrManiac

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Why did you think goalkeepers spit on their gloves?

There's no universe in which I'd use something with sugar to wet gloves I was going to keep. Even if you're absolutely religious about cleaning them immediately after a game you're begging for a bacteria growth that would wreck your gloves, equipment bag, and anything else associated with it. If you want tackiness, Glove Glu exists.

As an addendum, gloves do need to be washed regularly to lengthen their lifespan. Embedded dirt, sweat, and bacteria breaks the latex down and makes it crusty/slippery. I don't think you necessarily need to buy glove wash (though it's definitely the best), but a mild shampoo is a fantastic way of cleaning gloves. I did it in the shower after every match. You can be absolutely vicious with them in terms of handling, squeezing, and scrubbing. After noticing my wife's "delicate" laundry bag (aka bra bag) I got one for washing gloves in the clothes washer. It was okay, not as good as a shower scrub, but still better than nothing.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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You know, now that I think about it, I can recall watching pro games where during a break in the action the goalie takes their water bottle, squirts in their mouth, then squirts on their hands (gloves) and rubs a bit. And it always struck me as ritualistic and odd, and it's good to know that it at least is reputed to have some purpose.
It's not "reputed to have purpose". Water LITERALLY activates the latex. You know, chemically ;) It's specifically why gloves are made with latex.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Win for the first time tonight, 11-6. Sm, the electrical tape on my banged up finger was great. Let in two howlers but had some great saves. More important is the distribution, I’m comfortable in the box but still nervous with the ball. More after a well deserved victory burger
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Here's the question heading into tonight's game. Distribution, including goal kicks. This is 6v6 on a basketball court. There is a rule against a goal kick that lands for the first time over the halfcourt line, ie I can fizz a ball on the floor the length of the court and there is no offside but I can't loft it and have it land in the attacking half.

In practice, for outlets I'm looking at a bunch of people around halfcourt, and a defender deep in my own end. I don't know the game well enough to say if my teammates should or shouldn't be doing anything differently about making themselves available for receiving passes. They don't seem to be moving around to present a target.

In my self-education program I've seen advice re: getting the ball at least past the first attacker. I've also seen guidance re: don't screw around and try to win the game with a perfect pass, and just play the first available safe pass. If that is the defender who's back with me, that defender often comes under immediate pressure.

What do you think?
 

SocrManiac

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Futsal is its own animal. I don't think you can set up a hard and fast rule. If you can hit a runner for a counter, do it. If not, play safe. If your players are gasping, slow things down. If it was a fortuitous counter and you'd been applying pressure at the other end, put them back under pressure ASAP.

The first thing I'd do is talk it over with teammates to see how they're most comfortable playing. You can also try to motivate a change in their behavior. Get them moving once you've secured the ball. You shouldn't have to pick between a hospital pass and a straight turnover because your guys aren't moving.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Futsal is its own animal. I don't think you can set up a hard and fast rule. If you can hit a runner for a counter, do it. If not, play safe. If your players are gasping, slow things down. If it was a fortuitous counter and you'd been applying pressure at the other end, put them back under pressure ASAP.

The first thing I'd do is talk it over with teammates to see how they're most comfortable playing. You can also try to motivate a change in their behavior. Get them moving once you've secured the ball. You shouldn't have to pick between a hospital pass and a straight turnover because your guys aren't moving.
This is it, innit?

Here's one of the issues. We have this one guy. He's German, about 6'3". Very good player- this is not a beginner league. Between size and skill he is almost impossible for the other side to play through. He wins every ball and advances more or less at will. But he is erratic. He doesn't keep to one position, that's not unusual for the small playing surface but there's not much of a team concept. It's kind of big-German-hero-ball, he freelances and everyone else stands around. He is usually the best player on the field but some of our others are almost as good and it seems as if we do a better job of playing as a team when he's not out there.
 

SocrManiac

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Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. It's a very difficult spot to be in.

The good news is... Goalkeepers are team leaders, full stop. You should have the gravity at this point to have this team chat before or even during a game. "Guys, I'm struggling with distribution. I can try to find runners, I can play an open guy that will immediately be under pressure, or I can straight turn the ball over. What can we do differently so we all have options?"

If they're only static when the German is on, then just give it to him and let whatever is going to happen, happen. If they're better about moving around when he's off, play to that, point it out. Keep talking, too. "Check to, Steve." Yell praise for folks that are doing it right and they'll catch on. "Well done, Johnny." "Way to find space, kid!" Shit like that.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Yeah, he comes back to claim the goal kick from me. I’m a little leery of just giving it to him or another defender in my own box, they get closed down so fast, but I’ve made bad passes leading to goals by trying to be cute. I’ve also had a couple of assists too be fair.

I’m well established enough to have that talk. I especially want one of my teammates to immediately leak-toward the attack as soon as I claim. It won’t be on every time but if I can catch them napping great. It would also pull the other side out of shape.
 

Zososoxfan

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I'm just laughing over here because these problems are so common to moderately competitive pub league sides (like mine).

Yesterday in 11v11, there was a stiff wind at the field. Our stopper is a former NCAA D1 football kicker at a major program (won several NCs), so he can kick the ball plenty far even with a strong headwind. Our front 4-5 was all spread out on the opponent's side of the 50 for 2-3 goal kicks in a row before I yelled at everyone to drop 10-15 yards and make a smaller target. The next kick went over everyone's heads (the wind died for a moment), but then we were pressing as a unit in the attacking third. Pub league teams are terrific fun but frustrating when things aren't going well. It's tough in a small-sided game, but trying to string together passes and keep compact on full-sided games with weekend warriors?!?? Thank god we drink in the parking lot together afterwards or we'd fight each other.
 

DJnVa

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Had our big matchup against the team that has 6 former men's college players and 3 former women's college players. All these players no older than their mid-20s. My team has me (50 year old keeper), 2 guys in their 40s, and our youngest player is a 25 year old.

This was my opposing keeper: https://vwuathletics.com/sports/mens-soccer/roster/griffin-potter/10421

Shots from these dudes just moved different. Was down 2-0 at half--saved a shot, pushed it wide, but not wide enough and they got to rebound, and I was screened and didn't see the shot on the second. We pulled one back and with 10 minutes left it was 2-1 when....BOOM. Two missiles--one, left-footed, on the volley, from off the glass (remember, this is indoor) to upper 90 and 4 minutes later it was 5-1, final 7-1 as we pushed to try to get back in it.

They way these guys and girls moved and passed and shot--just another level. No matter who they went to with the ball, a shot was HARD and with lots of movement. Most games you can funnel the ball to certain players. Not this team. Was fun, but man. They need to move up a level.
 

SocrManiac

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Because I’m an idiot, I’ve agreed to come out of retirement… I’m joining a group a guys I don’t know at all, with the exception of my company owner’s son and my son’s soccer coach. The coach was heralded as being a former part of the USMNT player pool. Not intimidating at all.

I haven’t touched a size 5 in years and I’m coming off ankle bursitis. This is going to go spectacularly well.

My next note will be from the hospital.
 

DJnVa

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When do you start?

And let me say, for indoor--pants are a game changer. Two shutouts in my last 9 games with them. In indoor that's pretty decent.
 

SocrManiac

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Last night.

I won't be doing any somersaults today, but I'm in better shape than I expected. The top three players were missing, which is always fun. I was fairly competitive in the open leagues with the kids, in an Over 30 I feel a little higher in the pecking order, if that makes sense.

I'll look into pants. They were awful years ago, and I'd always rip the stirrups out of my shoes.

In coaching and playing with the younger kids for the last few years I've become accustomed to a Size 4 ball. It's easier to go up to a 5 than it was to go down to a 4, but it's still taking adjustment.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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So yesterday, at the last class of my Footy 101 skills class, the group was warming up with a lap around the track, ending in a sprint. Very bad headache came on suddenly, with some shortness of breath and dizziness. Sharp pain like an ice pick. Never experienced anything like it.

With my personal history right away I’m fearing “clot” and I’m going to die. Sat down for awhile, didn’t clear up. Walked to the nearest deli, got some food, that helped a little. Was on the fence about whether to go to ER, so I went to meet my wife & daughter, who were at my daughters violin lesson . When I got out of the car I was dizzy and started to feel numb in my left arm and that put me over the top re: going to ER. Vitals were ok, all tests ok, a little phosphorus deficiency but no brain bleed or heart attack. A muscle spasm headache- I’ve been cramping a lot , hamstrings quads etc and although I’ve been trying to hydrate, stretch and elevate my potassium to minimize cramping etc this was the same thing, except cramped muscles in my head and neck, according to the ER doc maybe made worse by stress. Still dull headache today, feels like a bad hangover.

so as I’m sitting in the ER I’m thinking what a moron I am, trying to keep up with a bunch of 28 year olds at 53. I’ve enjoyed playing and I’m going to stick with playing keeper where I can get away with the age difference a little more but still, I think I need to manage my fitness a little better.
 

67YAZ

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Hope you’re doing much better today, @OCST. We can’t let you go without seeing Everton relegated.
 

Zososoxfan

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So yesterday, at the last class of my Footy 101 skills class, the group was warming up with a lap around the track, ending in a sprint. Very bad headache came on suddenly, with some shortness of breath and dizziness. Sharp pain like an ice pick. Never experienced anything like it.

With my personal history right away I’m fearing “clot” and I’m going to die. Sat down for awhile, didn’t clear up. Walked to the nearest deli, got some food, that helped a little. Was on the fence about whether to go to ER, so I went to meet my wife & daughter, who were at my daughters violin lesson . When I got out of the car I was dizzy and started to feel numb in my left arm and that put me over the top re: going to ER. Vitals were ok, all tests ok, a little phosphorus deficiency but no brain bleed or heart attack. A muscle spasm headache- I’ve been cramping a lot , hamstrings quads etc and although I’ve been trying to hydrate, stretch and elevate my potassium to minimize cramping etc this was the same thing, except cramped muscles in my head and neck, according to the ER doc maybe made worse by stress. Still dull headache today, feels like a bad hangover.

so as I’m sitting in the ER I’m thinking what a moron I am, trying to keep up with a bunch of 28 year olds at 53. I’ve enjoyed playing and I’m going to stick with playing keeper where I can get away with the age difference a little more but still, I think I need to manage my fitness a little better.
I too am a chronic cramper, due to being an older guy (late 30s) playing in leagues filled with younger players. First thing I'll recommend is to track your water intake. It's a lot more than you might think, and it helps with weight loss too since it gives you the sensation of feeling full. Second, I'd recommend starting to supplement your water intake with some Vitamin C if drinking more water isn't cutting it. Finally, I've recently started taking some mu gua 2x daily. Mu gua is a supplement derived from Chinese quince fruit, and I'm only 2 weeks in, but I trust my personal trainer/fitness guru on these matters. Stay well @OCST !
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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I too am a chronic cramper, due to being an older guy (late 30s) playing in leagues filled with younger players. First thing I'll recommend is to track your water intake. It's a lot more than you might think, and it helps with weight loss too since it gives you the sensation of feeling full. Second, I'd recommend starting to supplement your water intake with some Vitamin C if drinking more water isn't cutting it. Finally, I've recently started taking some mu gua 2x daily. Mu gua is a supplement derived from Chinese quince fruit, and I'm only 2 weeks in, but I trust my personal trainer/fitness guru on these matters. Stay well @OCST !
Vitamin C?

I've heard or read of potassium and magnesium as being important for preventing cramping, but not C.
 

SocrManiac

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Vitamin C?

I've heard or read of potassium and magnesium as being important for preventing cramping, but not C.
News enough to me that I googled it. Sure as shit, looks to be the case. Might be on the newer side of the research curve (compared to when I last really cared).
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Today I’m fine. Seems to have been a one off. Let’s hope anyway.
Sucks to get old but please be careful. I know a bit of what you are going through as I spent Christmas night in an ER after seeing flashes of light in my eyes. Turns out probably nothing but I keep wondering. . . .
 

DJnVa

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I've had nights where I played multiple games and didn't eat enough during the day and had some tunnel vision creeping in. I don't like eating directly before a game, or really even dinner even if we play later (our games ar at 7:10, 8, 8:50, or 9:40) so I need to make sure that I eat enough at breakfast and lunch those days.
 

67YAZ

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For many years I played with my brother in law. Once a match and my wife’s birthday fell on the same day, so my brother in law brought my mother in law over to make dinner for everyone - my wife’s absolute favorite, a Korean spicy chicken stew that I’ve never seen anywhere else. But it’s my wife’s favorite for a reason.

We gorged ourselves and then spent 75% of the match doubled over in pain on the sideline. But In the drive home we agreed that it was completely worth it.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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I did a junior-year-abroad in London. Somehow I got roped into playing rugby out in North London with some fellows who worked for a distribution center, a UPS depot or somesuch. I played one game, scared out of my fucking gourd, not knowing what I was doing. I still have the socks, as a badge of pride.

But I wasn't proud one night at practice, when I started to feel queasy during warmups. After a few sprints, dropped to my knees and started puking my brains out. These guys were all laughing at me - 'look at the fucking Yank, what a nonce, he can't handle a real man's game, let him go put his helmet and pads on,' etc. Mostly in fun. Mostly.

When I got home, I found out that my roommate had been likewise sick, although not in front of two dozen large men mocking him. We'd got hold of some bad fish.
 

InstaFace

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...A muscle spasm headache- I’ve been cramping a lot , hamstrings quads etc and although I’ve been trying to hydrate, stretch and elevate my potassium to minimize cramping etc this was the same thing, except cramped muscles in my head and neck, according to the ER doc maybe made worse by stress. Still dull headache today, feels like a bad hangover.
Wow, so you literally got a brain cramp? Call the NEJM!

I too hope you're taking care of yourself and feeling better. I know the history, so I'd have been scared in your shoes. I also know what it feels like to go up against the 20-somethings, not knowing whether you're going to die of cardiac arrest, or of embarrassment. My only consolation has been that if you do make a play on them, they never hear the end of it.
 

DJnVa

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Got absolutely pummeled last night. Other team needed to win to make playoffs, we were spoiler (and a new team). We lost 9-5 (it was 7-5 until last 2 minutes) and one dude put 5 past me. He was a former D1 signee, sat the bench, transferred to D2, and started (and is half my age). I did make a few decent saves on him, but he was showboating a little and he and a teammate of mine ended up getting red cards for rough foul that turned into mano a mano chest thumping and raised voices.

He's also a cop, so there could be more to this story... :oops:
 

DJnVa

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So, we had our championship game last night, and I've been in my head the last week or so. The post above (giving up 9 goals) then the very next day giving up 8 to a bad team (albeit with a really good guest player). We had nothing to play for that game, but it still sucked.

Anway, last night, playing for the CHAMPIONSHIP T-SHIRT---I gave up a goal just 4 minutes in that wasn't great. Maybe 20 feet away and I was slightly off center and just didn't get to it. We took a 2-1 lead and then they tied it up on a rocket with like 4 minutes left. OT is golden goal then PKs, neither of which I wanted to deal with. I almost got my wish as they nearly scored with 12 seconds left--dipping, swerving shot that I got a cleat on and pushed wide. Onto OT--the other team never touched the ball. A loose ball across the face of their goal and one of our guys got to it first and put it away. Pitch Invaders FC gets the t-shirt and the plastic cup of champions.

Really nice to play well after a rough week. Now. I'm onto making a sand soccer team for the North American Sand Soccer Tournament in June.
 
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SocrManiac

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Very cool. Congratulations!

I have hung onto those things forever before relegating them to yardwork and other stuff. Take more pride than I did.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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I'm in a 7v7 beginner league with a bunch of other free agents this spring. I've registered as a keeper.

I'm taking a class again, which will be the keepers' class. Both start next week.

The last couple of weeks I've been moving boxes (closing office) and hydration/coconut water/supplementation have so far held off cramping. I'm increasingly confident that what happened was a one-off.
 

DJnVa

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Good luck.

I'm moving to 4 nights/week for next 2 months. I may die.
 

SocrManiac

Tommy Seebach’s mustache
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Good luck.

I'm moving to 4 nights/week for next 2 months. I may die.
When I was going that much, I found that I had to get a run or something in on the rest days. If I didn’t maintain activity I would get into trouble.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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So the spring league started last weekend. 7v7 coed on outdoor turf. I played one half as a keeper; the team captain played the other half. He's a good guy. Really like our team, we're a collection of free agents but it seems like we've got a good vibe.

We lost 3-2 and I let in a terrible goal. It was a pretty ordinary shot along the floor from some distance. I was caught out and tripped over my feet getting to it. Other than that I didn't face a shot, although I did well to interfere with a dribbler on my near post and get him to dribble past the goal line, and did decent with collection and distribution. I had one of my wingers primed to sneak past the defense but my otherwise excellent out-ball was intercepted by my own left back, who thought it was for him. He turned and started a decent attack but the winger, a woman who is probably our most skilled player, would have had nothing but turf in front of her.

I hydrated well and have been taking my supplements and so did not have head spasms, or any other cramps. It was very cold.

I was a little disoriented. Turf field, under the lights, right on the water. Difficult shadows, light was tough bouncing off the turf. Hard to gauge where I was in the box relative to my own goal, did not have a good sense of how far out I was and where I was relative to the posts - I hit on the idea of using the other goal to orient myself (why I never thought of this I don't know although indoors, in a brightly lit gym, I guess I didn't need it).

Less worried about saves than collection, distribution, and game-sense at this point. Knowing where to be, having a good sense for what to do with the ball when I get it.
 

SocrManiac

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The other goal is great for positioning if both goals are centered. They often aren’t. I pace off my posts before each half and make sure my side is lined up so I can rely on field markings.

Playing at night is incredibly difficult for all of the reasons you mentioned. Depth perception is simply different, especially when the ball is in the air and backed by the sky. Crosses and corners are a new experience.

Outdoor turf with even a hint of moisture makes the ball act like it’s on ice. I’m sure you’re going to be hard on yourself for any goal, especially if you tripped up, but I suspect the shot was a bit of a new look for you. Be kind to yourself as you’re learning.
 

Zososoxfan

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I play both my leagues on turf, and when I have a bye week in one league or just want to get another day of ball in I play pickup on grass. The grass is sooooooo much better for touch and for my body. Playing on turf (decent turf mind you, not the greatest but not astroturf either) takes a huge toll on my body, namely ankles, knees, and hips. I'm currently nursing sprained ankle ligaments that have been giving me pain for a year. Although if I'm being honest, I was using some old sneakers far too long and that certainly contributed to my issues. I'll also echo the complaints about difficult shadows playing at dusk under the lights. We always try to make it to the field early to defend the southern end first, so that our keeper doesn't have the sun in his eyes, as the sun usually sets by 2nd half. It's a real bitch to pickup lofted balls at that time of day.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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The other goal is great for positioning if both goals are centered. They often aren’t. I pace off my posts before each half and make sure my side is lined up so I can rely on field markings.

Playing at night is incredibly difficult for all of the reasons you mentioned. Depth perception is simply different, especially when the ball is in the air and backed by the sky. Crosses and corners are a new experience.

Outdoor turf with even a hint of moisture makes the ball act like it’s on ice. I’m sure you’re going to be hard on yourself for any goal, especially if you tripped up, but I suspect the shot was a bit of a new look for you. Be kind to yourself as you’re learning.
“A new look” is a good way to put it. I felt literally at sea on this turf field, under the lights, on a windy night in the 30s. This field is also on an old cargo pier in Brooklyn Bridge Park, so its surrounded by water which is black at night, kind of merging with the sky and all kinds of wierd light pollution from Manhattan, only a thousand feet or so away.

Beautiful but when the ball came skimming across the turf- which was a little frosty, msking the ball slide faster snd distorting the light even more, it was like, “oh am I supposed to stop that? Interesting.”

But my teammates are super cool. The captain is the other keeper and he couldn’t have been nicer.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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D71CEAAB-3D62-4D01-9296-621D45B43D02.jpeg

Lower right pier in this one. The CL finals broadcast had their studio set in this pitch.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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How many balls go into the water?
We were on the last pitch toward the end of the pier. The 7v7 pitches are laid out crosswise the full-size pitch, with the goals on the touchlines, between the halfway line and the corner flag. So in the second half, we were attacking west, and our winger skied a shot over the screens and I think into the harbor. A ball eventually came back but I don't think it was the same one.

That looks like an incredible place to play.
It is. I live walking distance so I'm there a lot. It's a great park. Other piers have kids' playgrounds with swings, 30 foot slide, and climbing stuff, a roller rink, hoops, handball, beach volleyball, or just wilderness/rolling hills, and there's a little marina for sailboats and kayaks. There are hills behind with paths that wind in and out, our dog loves it. These fields are in use for soccer, flag football, or lacrosse 16/7, colleges and high schools practice there, youth and adult leagues, etc.

In the summertime it's very pleasant. There's a pizza place with beer and wine, and BBQ grills and picnic tables although you have to get there at dawn to grab one. But JFC it gets cold. I had my daughter playing soccer til she was 8, but when we started a fall league and went down to this pier at 8 am on a November Saturday, and had one of those cold winds stop us dead in our tracks, she told me that she didn't want to play soccer anymore. She said she didn't like the other kids slamming into her, which of course is what soccer is at that age, it's the clump around the ball. She told me instead she wanted to play softball, which I had never heard before. Now she's a catcher and a good one. But given how much she relishes the contact behind the plate and on the bases, I still think that it was the wind that morning that had her give up on soccer.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
54,629
I took my eye off the ball last night and allowed a soft back pass to roll into the net in a 4-3 loss, so.... GAH!