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Soccer It To Me

By Wyatt Earp | September 23, 2007

Kyle (center) after his team scored a goal.

So, my six-year old son Kyle is in the midst of soccer season at the Philadelphia Soccer Club. Saturdays are usually game days, but yesterday was different: Verizon Wireless was sponsoring a Kids’ Soccer Clinic at the field.

The missus took Kyle for early registration – where he received a jersey, water bottle, and sports bag. I arrived soon after to relieve the family, and – of course – the skies opened up. It rained cats and dogs for about 30 minutes, and I was soaked. Thankfully, Kyle is a tough kid, and thought playing soccer in the rain was cool. A lot of parents/kids didn’t agree: they fled the field, never to be seen again.

When the rain slowed, the clinic resumed. The director was an outgoing personality who kept the kids busy instead of bored. They did drills and played games that illustrated the basics of the game. After two hours, Kyle was exhausted, but had a great time. And I think he learned a lot, too.

Any hoo, at the end of the clinic, the director gave every child a ticket. Apparently, the plan was to raffle off donated items to the kids. The first couple of prizes were shin guards and hats, but the piece de resistance was the final item: a brand new pair of indoor soccer cleats.

The director read off the number: 8, 3 . . . 2, 2 . . . 9 . . . 7!

Kyle jumped up! “That’s me!” He won the cleats, and was the envy of every kid there.

After the raffle, one of the instructors, Martin Zuniga – a goalkeeper for Chivas USA – autographed the kids’ jerseys. It was a blast. At the end of the day, Kyle received a jersey, water bottle, equipment bag, and a pair of new cleats: all for the registration fee of . . . nothing. The clinic was free.

What a country!

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