Soccer Dreams for My New DaughterWhat changes will come of the soccer landscape as my newborn child grows up?
by Chris Enger | Thursday, July 05, 2012
I’ve had quite the surprising couple of weeks with plenty of time to sit and contemplate. My wife has been in the hospital on bed rest as we awaited the birth of our fourth child; and lucky for, us she was there for only two weeks.
It’s been interesting to see how the birth of each child has come in a different moment in my soccer conversion and story.
My first child was born when I was still wallowing in my ignorance and disdain for soccer. I fully admit I used to be pretty much an idiot regarding the sport. I was one of those who regurgitated all the clichés that go with the typical soccer hater. How original we all were.
My second child was born the day after Real Salt Lake’s home opener against Colorado. As my wife laid on her hospital bed enjoying the precious gift that is an epidural I had plenty of time to reflect on my experience the day before. At the time, I was trying to figure out how to purchase Fox Soccer without her knowing, as well as how I could get myself in the supporter’s section for the next home match.
I was an instant fan and all I needed was one home match to make me so.
Child number three came during the roller-coaster ride that was RSL’s championship season. I was so used to watching local professional teams fail to live up to the hype that I didn’t expect RSL to do what they did that year. Jason Kreis was still developing as a manager and the core of players RSL has now were playing their first full season together.
So here I sit, with my new little beautiful five-pound girl and am using this time to reflect. Maybe I should think about what the future world that she will grow up in will look like – and yes I should be thinking on buying a shotgun to keep future boyfriends away – but my thoughts move to the past but still revolve around her, my kids and the passion that has engulfed me these last seven years.
Who cares about politics, the Supreme Court, finances and work. What kind of soccer world my daughter will grow up in?
First and foremost I would love for her to grow up in a world without FIFA corruption. It’s disheartening when every decision that comes down the FIFA governing body is followed by conversations about back room deals and money changing hands. The game is so beautifully simple that the complexities of its governing board disappoint even the most hardcore fans. Transparency is the word those in charge like to use but fail to stand by. It’s devastating that most decisions made by FIFA are driven by money and/or politics and never by sound reason or the game's best interest first.
Will the world of soccer truly change that much for my daughter now that goal line technology was given the green light today? If players and coaches are now in a position to check every oxygen, saturation and blood pressure level, then being able to see if the ball crossed the end line shouldn’t be too much to ask, nor would technology impede the growth and popularity of The World's Game.
Perhaps as my daughter grows, an MLS team will win the CONCACAF Champions League and it will be the first of many to do so.
With soccer’s growing popularity in The States, athletes who would normally choose gridiron football or basketball will start choosing soccer and that will only increase the potential that is the sleeping giant yet to be fully awakened in this country.
Jurgen Klinsmann will be given time to teach his possession and pressure philosophy and the US Men’s National Team will finally be transformed to the juggernaut it has been waiting to become. My daughter will not only see USA win its group, but she will see them make it to the finals and eventually win a World Cup.
In my daughter’s future, MLS will become one of the more unique leagues in the world. MLS will be able to have a top league with more than 20 teams and make it work as more fans across the United States become converted.
And finally, I hope my daughter will continue the family tradition began by myself of buying season tickets to her local soccer club and experiencing the beauty and passion of the game with her children.