Early last week, a buddy of mine asked me to play on his team for this charity tournament that I had heard absolutely nothing about. I jumped at the chance because, other than it being a chance to play futbol for a worthy cause, I saw it as an opportunity to practice with my intramural team… Sadly, most of the boys were going home for the weekend so I was forced to make up an entirely new squad. A few calls and text messages later I assembled the first championship LBF team in history. More on that later.
Instead of telling you about the charity myself, I’ll let the former president of Kappa Phi Gamma sorority, inc. Mya George do so:
The sisterhood follows our 8 principles on a daily basis- Sisterhood, Character, Leadership, Scholarship, Service, Womanhood, Culture, Self. We host various programs for our university and community that highlight and strengthen our knowledge of each principle.
Our philanthropy is Cancer Awareness and we host an annual CARE Week which stands for Cancer Awareness A Real Effort
Kick for the Cure was our first soccer tournament in an effort for us to raise money for the Fox Chase Cancer Center and we made $900 at the tournament with 14 diff teams playing
I arrived at the field and to my surprise, there were well over 100 people there. I was a bit confused because most of the guys I play pick up with at Temple hadn’t heard about the tournament, and we are usually on top of that sort of thing. Anyhow, we paid the team fee and began to get ready. Almost immediately there were eyes on us because we all had on the Classic LBF shirt and people thought we were some sort of legitimate team. We weren’t. We were simply a group of guys who sometimes play pick up together. The first game was won 4-0. The second was a performance of Arsenal proportions. You know the one where you can’t seem to figure out a way to win and the team capitulates under pressure; complete with a shambolic defensive display. Yeah. Based on the weird and utterly complex rules of the tournament we advanced to the knock-out round based on our goal difference instead of accumulated points. I wasn’t complaining.
The third team had a great deal of fight in them and the game ended in a goalless draw. Since this was the QF, the referee called an additional 5 minutes of play with the game being decided by golden goal. After I failed to convert a corner into a goal, Keith stepped up and put the game to bed. Somehow between capitulating and this game we had figured out how to stay strong and see the game through. This newly found mental strength (hello, Arsene) would come into play in the Semis.
The team we faced in the semi finals was a familiar group of faces. They were all guys we play pick up with/against so we were all familiar, and to be fair, they were one of the strongest sides in the tournament. They were unable to find the back of the net after bouts of great passing and link up play, and, as a lone striker, neither could I. I began feeling a bit like Fernando Torres. Game goes into sudden death, which favored us because we had just been successful, while our opponents had breezed through the tournament recording victories of Barcelona proportions (Think 8-0).
Keith, the star of the QF sends a cross into my path and I chest to control with my back facing the goal, turn and nutmeg the defender (last man) as the ball finds its way into the back of the net. I began feeling a bit like Lionel Messi.
Remember the squad that embarrassed us in the second game? Yeah, they were our opponents in the final. No sweat. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. And the LBF boys were not to be shamed twice. Both teams agreed to widen the pitch and lengthen the game. This favored both teams’ style of play, but their failure to adjust their defensive shape after the pitch extension proved fatal. Once I cut in from the outside to score, the next I drew the full back out wide, only to slip the ball through to Mo’ who found the back of the net. GOoooooooooooooooooool. Champions. No better feeling in the world.
In case you read absolutely none of that, it’s ok, I hope some of these photos convey the message. Enjoy.
Tomes. Hard man.
All of the Lights…All of the Lights.
Mo’ doing some sort of Gatorade x LBF commercial thing. Gatorade if you’re reading this, let’s make it happen.
Those belong to Kutaiba. A pretty crafty freshman kid who could pass as Carlota Fabregas’ brother.
Brendan. This kid is a workhorse. Great footwork, great attitude and never loses a fight for the ball.
Yours truly using my hands to breakdown the complexity of my quantum-physics-like footwork.
(I’m actually just doing some weird twisted thing with my fingers)
The first LBF Championship team. Onto greater endeavors.
L to R: Kutaiba, Keith, Mohamed, Ebun, Brendan, Tomi (missing: Karl + Keith R)
Champions with the girls of Kappa Phi Gamma.
Thanks for reading!! Many thanks to the lovely TaioShooes for the photogs. Lots more to come around here. As usual, follow me on Twitter and Like LBF on Facebook!