Tonight marks the end of a six games in six days run for Bryson Pink, and I am celebrating with a retro re-cap.
Wednesday night Bryson starts at left wing for the Winter Springs Bears against Lake Brantley. He is very active and the team plays some good soccer for the first twenty minutes. Aesthetically, it doesn’t get any better, but the Springs earn a much-needed 3-1 win. Bryson logs 52 minutes on both wings and as a holding midfielder.
Shortly after 9pm, we are on the road to Bradenton for Super Y Nationals with FC America. The always reliable Mike Kemp has secured the hotel room and leaves our key on top of his right rear tire in the parking lot as he is apparently prone to falling asleep before midnight. We arrive at 11:20pm, find the key and find Mike awake celebrating a minutes-old North Carolina win over top-ranked Michigan State. Bryson passes out before making much of a contribution to the conversation.
6:00am the alarm sounds, and Kemp is standing on the foot of my bed. I feel violated. The hotel breakfast is a monumental disappointment as the processed eggs are filled with cheese and there is no crispy bacon or chocolate milk.
We reach the fields by 7:15am, and find ourselves on an isolated field pitted against the tournament favorite BW Gotchee from New York. Our team is a shadow of it’s former self having lost seven players to Academy soccer. Within the first five minutes it is obvious we need to park the bus in front of the goal and play for the draw. The strategy held for 45 minutes before falling to a three goal charge that substantially impaired our ability to get out of group play.
The 8:00am kick off left us with plenty of time to kill. We had lunch and watched a few games. The highlight was our impromptu invasion of the new IMG football complex to kick field goals and run some routes. We hit Applebees later that night for some food and laughs.
Friday saw the sun rise just before we did for another 8:00am kick off against a team from Washington DC. They were average and we built a 2-0 lead midway through the second half. A mishandled shot and an own goal during a disastrous three minute stretch doomed us to a tie and mathematical elimination.
We drove back to Orlando after the game so I could work and practice with my basketball team. Saturday we drive back to Bradenton for our final group game against a team from Maine thay we drew last year at Nationals. The game started with a dubious penalty to the Northerners, but we equalized a minute later before grabbing a lead later. The game seemed destined for a victory until our second own goal in as many days tied it at 2. The result stood.
On Sunday, we were back at IMG for a consolation game against a team from Virginia. We started with the life of a corpse and trailed 2-0 after 15 minutes. We pulled one back before the half, and mor importantly seemed to be bossing the game. We added two more goals in the second and held on to win 3-2 after a series of near-misses by our opponents.
Tonight, Bryson was back in a Bears uniform for a 4-0 win over Seminole. He played 65 minutes in midfield, and did well.
Tomorrow practice at 3:45pm. Soccer life.