Today is the day that every young journalist hopes for, the assignment that could change everything…
Wait, you want ME to play soccer with The New England Revolution…a professional soccer team!?
On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 I laced up my sneakers, packed my inhaler and drove to Gillette Stadium to compete in The New England Revolution’s second annual Media Game and Skills Challenge. After exchanging pleasantries with other members of the local media, we were divided up into small teams and assigned several Revs players to be our coaches. For the next three hours, I played in a series of small soccer matches against various members of “Team Media” while our dedicated coaches chanted and cheered from the sidelines.
Unlike in high school P.E., where I was usually chosen last, my team captain, MLS Broadcaster Brad Feldman and the coaches, Revolution’s forward Juan Agudelo, Scotty Caldwell (Midfield), Andrew Farrell (defender), Donnie Smith (Midfield), and Rev’s Captain and defender Jose Goncalves, encouraged me to step onto the field. For three hours, I attempted to embody the strength, skill and energy of a professional soccer player. I rejoiced as I stared up at the rows of empty bleachers and pretended for just a moment that I too had what it takes to be a Revs player.
The New England Revolution may not yet draw the same number of fans as Bob Kraft’s other team, The New England Patriots, but the followers of the “Beautiful Game” (as it is commonly referred to in most parts of the world) are just as rabid. The players are truly committed to their followers and to the New England community. Their approachability and support for charitable causes is commendable.
A Revs game is a family event and I look forward to catching a game live this season. Of course, I also look forward to next year’s Media Game and Skills Challenge. I will be sure to bring my cleats instead of “fashionable” sneakers! I encourage sports fans to check out a Revolutions soccer game!