I'm really starting to think soccer was something of a weird bust for us, because of the team Gabriel got put on. I learned recently that some of his teammates don't even go to practices -- they just show up for the games. That's not a team, that's a group of ringers.
Today's game was against a different league, so was way the heck out in San Jose and against a different makeup of kids, racially and physically. I noticed that at least 3 of the boys on the other team were overweight, and the parent onlookers were much rowdier. Indian moms wearing sarees in Cupertino never yell "GOOOOOO!!!!!" Gabriel's team looked so much smaller and skinnier and -- well, geekier.
Though the San Jose team put more pressure on Gabriel's team at first, it still wasn't long before Gabriel's team dominated the game anyway. By the second quarter, we were well ahead in goals, most of the action was around the opposing team's goal, and once again, "two-touch" and "no scoring" measures were put in place.
Gabriel was goalie for one quarter, and got a little action. He made a terrific save which I didn't catch on video, but I did catch this save.
(the "ohhhh" of disappointment is when Gabriel fields the kick.)
Later, somehow Gabriel's team got to kick in a penalty shot. Since his team is always so far ahead, the coach lets the weakest players shoot, and this time it was Gabriel's turn. He scored! He was pretty happy about that. He did a great job, actually, a nice kick.
(the cheering is from the opposing team's parents, not ours.)
Our coach and his superstar son left at halftime, so this was a first: Gabriel's team playing without fabulous #8. Turns out, the rest of the team is also so good it didn't matter. Gabriel doesn't even realize he's one of the very weakest players, actually. He has a lot of basic personality traits that would serve him well in soccer, but his inexperience really shows at this age.
He says he wants to do soccer in the fall again, and I'll support that if he really wants to (not just "oh, well, ok"), but I sort of hope he gets on a real team that doesn't just obliterate the competition and actually loses sometimes.