Out of Bounds
O.K., summer is complete and it's time to head back to school. This means only one thing — it's time for the annual ABCs of soccer. I know all of you soccer players are back in school, so we'll get you back into the thinking side of things a little early.
By the way, when I was a kid, I couldn't stand it when we saw the "back to school" commercials on TV in JUNE. Are you kidding me? School just ended and your trusty department store has just run an advertisement for "back to school" shopping? Okay, enough of the rants. Here we go.
- As in ACL. Do we really have to go here again? The next time you watch a girls' soccer game, count how many injured players are on the sideline with ACL injuries. Coaches, get the proper education to make sure your players stay healthy.
- As in Bicycle Kick. Saw a Cal-South ODP player, 13 years old, do a bicycle kick to score a goal on an Oregon ODP team back in 2008 and it is still one of the most amazing goals I've ever seen from a 13-year old.
- As in Center-Mid. I'm going to guess 49,000 of the 55,000 soccer players in the state of Oregon think they can play center-mid. Learn to be versatile.
- As in Dissent. Ah, yes, the favorite act of conducting a highly passionate, brilliantly stated and totally ineffective debate with the referee.
- As in Ejection. Technically, this is a player substitution by the referee.
- As in Faking an Injury or Flopping. Let's just call it the Vlade Divac act of soccer. Divac was the master flopper back in his NBA days with Sacramento, L.A., etc.
- As in Goal Mouth. Let's just call this a keeper who likes to talk a lot. We've all heard them.
- As in Halfback. Let's just call this a fullback after a diet. Deal?
- As in Irate Fan. This person can usually be distinguished by his or her constant pacing of the sideline, muttering to the referee with a megaphone hooked to their belt. They sit in the "get-a-life section" as well. Parents, don't live your life through your kids. Just let them play.
- As in Jerk. This is usually the spectator on the sidelines most likely to have the loudest opinion and the least understanding of the sport. They also sit in the "get-a-life section."
- As in Knee Brace. An all-too-common treatment or uniform addition for female soccer players. Can you tell I'm bugged by injuries that are preventable?
- As in Linesman. They run up and down the sideline, they take all the abuse from the coaches and parents, they create a path on the grass fields, and they all look like referees in training.
- As in Midfield. This is the area of the field identified by the largest mud puddle, the deepest pool of stagnant water or the barest patch of ground.
- As in Nutmeg. A great spice for apple cider on those cold winter nights. Did summer really come and go that fast this year? Not sure I'm ready for the cold weather yet.
- As in Out of Bounds. The legendary name of this column and the location on the field where poorly executed throw-ins take place.
- As in Pre-game pep talk. The short meeting before the game where important matters are discussed, then forgotten, then brought up again at half time, then forgotten again and then discussed after the game at Dairy Queen.
- As in Questionable Call. Has there ever not been a questionable call in youth soccer?
- As in Red Card. An overreaction by a referee, unless the player is hurt or the famous F and S words are used.
- As in Shootout. Just my take, but every soccer game should have a shootout. Is it me or does a tournament just stop when they know a shootout is taking place?
- As in Tie game. Everybody goes home happy, everybody gets a point, nobody feels disappointed
NOBODY WINS THE GAME. Shootout, anyone?
- As in Uniforms. The one time when parents and players actually agree that the sizes are wrong, the gear is not nice enough and they blame the team manager or coach who had absolutely nothing to do with the uniform purchase or order.
- As in Victory. Wait a minute, this would require a shootout, considering more than half of all soccer games end in a tie. Say it with me now
shootout, shootout, shootout. We'll start the shootout revolution now.
- As in Winter Soccer in Oregon. Soccer typified by 10-second halftimes, umbrellas, propane heaters, hand warmers and lots of coffee.
- As in X-ray. Soccer's version of team photos.
- As in Yellow Card. Sometimes mistaken for the referee's business card, it's the card where, as a player, you know you just got away with something. It's the yellow light of a traffic light. You don't pay much attention to it, but red is right around the corner.
- As in Zigzag. It's moving in an unpredictable manner to confuse your opponent and to make your coach think you know what you are doing.
Special thanks to The Dictionary of Soccer. Until next time, stay healthy and make sure you have enough pencils for school.