Soccer Saturday

‘Tis the season for soccer. Cor started a sort of training camp for his high school soccer team this week. They practice for four hours a day. And when he comes home, he watches YouTube videos about soccer and practices more soccer in our back yard. It’s a lot of soccer. Today, though, we got to experience even more soccer than usual. A sort of “Soccer Saturday,” if you will.

Cor was supposed to have team pictures in the morning. Unfortunately, the photographer needed to cancel the photo shoot because he came down with COVID-19. So I took some pictures of Cor wearing his uniform in our back yard instead. But then, this afternoon, Cor had his first interscholastic scrimmage of the season — at Green High School between Akron and Canton. It was crazy-hot, but Cor and his team played well. They won 3-0, and Cor even got the assist for one of those goals.

Immediately following the scrimmage, though, we piled into our car (together with Elliot and Cor’s friend Carter). We blasted the air conditioning, and we blasted the music to keep the energy high. And then we drove down to Columbus for a professional soccer game between the Columbus Crew and Atlanta United.

Cor chose this game as his “birthday party” — even though the birthday won’t come until three weeks later, and the party included 20,000 other strangers. But the thing that was especially remarkable about this birthday party was that it was our first time going to a Crew game downtown, in Columbus’s Arena District.

We got “seats” in the Nordecke — although there are no actual seats in that section, just cupholders. It was actually way more fun than I expected it would be, though. Even though we were exhausted from the heat and the scrimmage earlier in the day… even though we had to stay on our feet the whole time… and even though the Crew lost the game, 3-2… It was such a great experience! The downtown stadium creates a dynamic environment. Every goal is a blackout assault on the senses, especially in the Nordecke.

I lost my voice, as I trying keeping up with the Nordecke singing and chanting. I don’t consider myself to be a deeply-devoted soccer fan. But if I were to have a few more “Soccer Saturday” experiences like this one, I might become one.

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