Well, one of the most rewarding soccer seasons of my lifetime has come to a disappointing close. This was my second season with the FC Rogue Soccer team, and we returned only four players from a disappointing 2-9 season. We made some great pickups to essentially form an entirely new squad, and the group of men that we assembled truly defined the word team. We began training in August, and ended our season with two trophies and a final record of 8-3-1 placing both second in our league, and second in the Cup Tournament.
In the final cup game, yesterday, against 1st place Real Cotija, (final record of 12-1, with their only loss to us), we saw the Spanish refs almost single handedly hand a far inferior and outmatched Cotija the Cup trophy. Despite what I can honestly say was racist officiating (an all Spanish crew), Rogue was riding a dominating performance into the final six minutes of the match when Cotija had their 40th case of “lets roll-around the turf and fake a major injury.” After a whistle, a yellow card,, and with the ref and players from both teams tending to the injured man, a Cotija player took a shot from 30 yards that bounced and found its way into an empty net. Stunningly, the referee pointed to the center spot indicating a goal. This is a clear rule violation, as the referee must blow the whistle to restart play. The other team didn’t even know what was going on, and didn’t even celebrate until they saw us going ballistic to the ref. Still in shock, we let in another cheap goal, and were forced to sudden death overtime.
In overtime Cotija struck first, 5 minutes into the first extra period with goal off of a possession they should never have had (once again, thanks Mr. Spanish referee). In FC Rogue fashion, we never quite, and scored the equalizing goal , with 3 minutes to play in the match. The game would be decided by a shootout.
After 120 minutes of play, and with tired cramping legs, my penalty kick was saved by the opposing goalkeeper. We lost 4-3 after six rounds of penalty kicks. I will see that shot for the rest of my life. I definitely feel like after one of the best seasons of my life, I failed my team in the end. It’s not a feeling that I cannot truly describe, nor will I attempt to. Yet still, I am proud of my performance, I am proud of my team, I am proud of our season, and I am extremely proud to say that we got promoted to the next division. Not bad for a bunch of guys that met in August. We truly had a special season.
Finally, I would like to thank our most loyal supporters: Amy, Erin, Jimmy, Juliana, Megan, Chris, Betty, and the rest of the gang. You all were our 12th man on the field, and played a bigger role than you know. A special thanks to Amy for supporting me and the rest of the team, and giving up almost every Sunday for the past year…and likely for years to come.
Oh yeah, the memories are just that. We have three weeks off, and begin training for our first match of the next season. See you all on February 6th to kick off the next campaign.
FYI - We have a virus on the home machine. Pictures will be updated ASAP.