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Out of Bounds

Are we honestly less than three months away from Christmas? Somebody mentioned this the other day and I couldn't believe how fast the month of September went.

So in the spirit of Christmas (I know, Halloween is not even here yet), I'm going to give you five things I'd love to see in the soccer world before that magical day in December. So Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad and Happy Hanukkah.

  1. All I want for Christmas is a Timbers playoff win. Maybe I shouldn't go there, but, yikes. I don't think anybody saw a one-and-done coming with this group. For all the success they had early in the season, the late-season meltdown is all anybody will remember. I swear I saw Dikembe Mutombo lying down at mid-field with a ball over his head, screaming as the lower-seeded Denver Nuggets upset the Seattle Supersonics. Oops, wrong sport. I'm still baffled at why soccer will not go to a best-of-three series with no draws and a shoot-out.
  2. All I want for Christmas is a ballpark site for the Portland Beavers. Again, wrong sport, but this does affect the Portland Timbers situation. Beaverton mayor Denny Doyle has stepped up and said they would support a ballpark that would bring the Beavers to Beaverton. For your soccer reference, Doyle is/was a registrar with Westside Metro Soccer Club here in Beaverton. As usual though, Beaverton citizens are not in agreement with the potential cost of bringing a baseball team to their city. They must be buddies with the Portland citizens. Shall we make up the “Keep Beaverton Weird” bumper stickers now?
  3. All I want for Christmas is a club DOC who works for free. Nah, won't go there.
  4. All I want for Christmas is a gigantic field complex in the city of Portland that solves the issue of field space, or lack of field space, with lights, field turf and a shaved ice stand. As we all know, fields are very difficult to find this time of year when the weather turns for the worse. Not only that, that other goofy sport — lacrosse — takes precious field time away from soccer players. By the way, I have a friend from New York who swears by lacrosse. He also says there is a salary cap in baseball and he's a Mets fan, so I put no stock in what he thinks. Back to our complex, though … imagine if Portland had a 25-field complex with turf fields, lights and a shaved ice stand. We would never have field issues for any teams; we could host Regional and National events here in Oregon; and we would have bubble gum shaved ice year-round. Hey, it's my Christmas wish. The question is: what would we call the complex? I'm thinking, “No Lacrosse Allowed Complex.”
  5. All I want for Christmas is a defined plan from U.S. Soccer on what they want to do with the men's side of soccer in the United States. ODP, Academy, Super-Y, Adidas, Nike, Residency … they all serve as the watered-down version of the United States' identification of men's soccer players. And yet, we still wonder why the men's program is so far behind the rest of the soccer world. By the way, the women's side has ODP and that's it. And you wonder why the women's program is so strong within the world right now. Interesting tidbit … I mentioned the same frustration to a national scout earlier this year and he echoed my frustration by saying, “You are exactly right. The system is watered-down.”

Okay, so I'm in the Christmas spirit now. But let's be honest, nothing beats Thanksgiving at mom and dad's place. And while I've got your attention, I swear I'm going to market my Thanksgiving sandwich one of these years. See Recipe below.

Erik's Thanksgiving Sandwich
Hoagie Roll (This should be a roll from Costco in the big bag, homemade is good, too)
Turkey (White meat works best, dark meat gets you to the doctor faster)
Homemade Stuffing
Creamed Corn (I know, sounds weird, but it's good)
Sweet Potatoes (They have to have marshmallows on the top)

By the way, the sandwich above cannot be marketed unless you have the express written consent of Erik Lyslo. Until next time, stay healthy … unless you eat the sandwich.

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