Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo Essay - This Is Our Soccer Life

A few weeks ago we traveled back to the land of beer and cheese, Wisconsin, for a family reunion. Wisconsin is the place where the idea for the Free Beer Movement was birthed (induced... with beer, of course) and the where we cut our teeth playing soccer from the youth level on up to college (intramurals... let's not get ahead of ourselves).

We're always looking for opportunities to define what it means to be a soccer fan in America and for many that fandom comes from playing the game growing up. A life-long passion for the sport is something that other soccer nations already have established and we're finally pulling up to them.

We decided to re-trace our own soccer playing days when we went home. What follows are the places that were most special to us growing up and playing soccer in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and through college at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

The tree and the power box. One used to be a lot smaller, but this was my first goal. Measured it off and the distance "post" to "post" is pretty close to regulation.  My sisiter and I used to practice in the backyard almost every day.
Sis and I after one of her varsity soccer games. Practice paid off!
Sheehan Park. All of my home youth games were played here. In a sea of softball fields... our one soccer field. The town now boasts dozens of fields.

Ashley Field. Grew up in a football and baseball town and so we played where we got space. The high school football coach refused to mow the field saying it gave his players better grip in games. The far sideline crossed through the dirt of the baseball infield. The new high school built has its own soccer practice field and a varsity field unmolested by baseball.

*** I searched the house desperately to find a photo of me "in action: from high school, but alas... buried to deep in some box, some where. Instead you can have this....

Senior year of high school we sneaked a keg (of root beer) into the school and played various drinking games in the cafeteria to the dismay of the principals. Consider it the beginning of the FBM legend...
Absolutely my most favorite place to play. Playoff and state took place here at Breese Stevens Field every year. It's hosted a variety of sporting events since its construction in 1926 including baseball, circuses, track and field, ice skating, midget car racing, and many Sun Prairie post-season disappointments. 

Attended my first Major League Soccer game. Chicago Fire in Naperville in 2002.
Training field for the University of Wisconsin -Madison men's and women's soccer teams. Right around the corner from my house junior and senior years, my roommates used to sneak underneath the fence and play on here all the time.

First "international friendly". Manchester United vs. Celtic in Seattle, 2003.

Intramural fields at UW-Madison where teams I played on won five different league championships. I've got the free t-shirts to prove it!

One of my part-time jobs during college was coaching "select" middle school soccer. Here's my merry bunch of Eighth graders.

Indoor soccer champions, "Derek and the Dominoes".

Wisconsin to Ohio road trip with teammates and my dad. Best weekend ever. Even met Marcelo Balboa!
USA vs. Mexico. Columbus: Sept. 3, 2005. Dos a cero!
Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from


John Paz said...

Fantastic. Good on ya for digging these up and sharing.

Robyn said...

Breese Stevens is magical. It was a sad day when the state tournament moved to Uihlein.

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