South Africa hasn’t been the only place to see scintillating soccer skills over the past few weeks. Once again the Club coaches put on an equally sublime show at Lehigh County Fields in the Spring edition of the Coaches Game. And no matter what problems the teams in South Africa may have had with the Jabulani ball the coaches showed that at their skill level the ball makes no difference.
With numbers depleted through various coaches having other commitments and the hot and humid evening, the pace of the game was somewhat leisurely, though with the notable exception of Trevin Berger for Jim Fell’s Black team who made the Energizer bunny look positively idle. Trevin spearheaded the Black team’s 5-4 win with a hat-trick though he owed much to renewing his u-12 Premier Boys coaching alliance with Brad Evans. Brad’s calm organizing and faultless distribution (man among boys after all) were the key for the Black team and despite holding the team together in midfield/defense for most of the night he also managed to score twice. With no subs available the Black team suffered an early reverse when Greg Herczeg, visiting from New York but subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by brother Vinnie by being ’invited’ to play, pulled a hamstring.
Even facing 10 men, however, John Madeira’s Red team struggled to find each other and the net. Maybe John, like his compatriot Ronaldo in South Africa, found the pressure of the occasion too much while Bert Mukkulainen seemed to be still trying to come to terms with the fact that Sweden failed even to qualify for the World Cup. Towards the end it looked like playing much of the game with 10 men might tell on the Black team but with Jim Fell an immovable force in midfield and the Red team finding the goalkeeper rather than the back of the net they held on to secure a narrow win.
As ever it was a fun game, however, and we look forward to the Fall renewal.