(Note: that picture on this post is not from a Morgantown pickup soccer field, but it is the kind of field some people imagine we are playing on as we envision stories of playing anytime+anyplace.)
So, this was kinda cool…
This morning, I just read news about how Kadeisha Buchanan, a Canadian National Team player, scored her first international goal…against the US and Hope Solo. And as soon as I saw the picture I thought, “hey, I think I just played pickup soccer against her last week at the Rec Center!” She was there with two others, and as I dug in more into her profile this morning, I realized that the “Ash” she kept passing between during pickup is a teammate of hers on the Canadian National Team!
I first noticed Kadeisha when she got quite “handsy” trying to push me off the ball (you can see some evidence of what I experienced in the video as she cleared space for herself on that header!). She was fairly aggressive during pickup at certain times; not completely out-of-control annoying, but she did go after it if she wanted it. I remember thinking that this was someone who had a real love for the game. She was also of course very very good. I happened to hold my own against her better than most of the young folks on my team (probably because I used my brain more while the young folks tried to keep up with her, which was not possible.) Ashley was also fun to play with and good, but I took Kadeisha on as my own responsibility after she scored a few goals early in pickup so I knew exactly who she was as soon as I saw the news.
She was very nice; I had complimented her and wished her well in her soccer career…I didn’t mean to indirectly help train or encourage a US opponent, especially so close to a International game between the two…but it never came up. She only mentioned that she was playing at WVU when we talked.
And the craziest part is that this is the second time this exact thing has happened to me playing pickup in Morgantown. First time was probably 6+ years ago before the Rec Center outdoor fields existed…back when we played at the Mountain Lair every night. And I came home wondering how this quite small person was just running circles around everyone. It wasn’t until I read some news a while later about WVU standout Amanda Cicchini, another Canadian National Team player, that I recognized her as that really good player from “The Lair”.
I remember feeling slightly frustrated in the game and then satisfied when learning that it wasn’t just me losing a bunch of steps. This time, I know I have lost many steps, so I just really appreciate having the opportunity to play pickup with such good players every once in a while in an enjoyable setting. Hopefully this post is fun and brings back some good memories for all the nice people that have ever played pickup soccer in Morgantown.