|Eastern Europeans of indeterminate origin|
|Man-On-Bluff doesn't realize admission is free at this level|
|'Bald Bull Saving Pre-Pubescent keepers ass, wait, that doesn't sound right...|
|Ref asserting his will|
|The delivery on Wings first goal|
Game 1 (Dirty South)
KLS Silverbacks 2
Wings Select 2
USASA (ADASL) (5th Division) vs. USASA (ADASL) (5th Division)
11/17/13 11:00 AM
Agnes Scott College Decatur, GA
It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t of left you, without some largely irrelevant amateur soccer to attest to… Ok, Ok, wack rhymes aside, It’s great to be back soccer watching. That’s not to say that the last 6 months have been completely devoid of soccer watching, there are a few unfiled accounts of games floating around, some of which may resurface this winter, and a few that may never make it to the live interwebs. I mean, you been to one game at Gillette, you been to ‘em all, right? I can guarantee the US Open Cup game in Boston is coming soon for all who have been asking about it.
DITP is making some changes, the most immediately apparent one being that I am now based in Atlanta, so the focus of the blog will be adjusted for the local scene. For pyramid junkies, this is actually a huge plus. You all know the status of USASA games, they are what they are in terms of culture, but you also know how much the New England PDL, NPSL, USL PRO, and NASL culture either is terrible (PDL, NPSL) or non-existent (USL PRO, NASL). Check one of @MindofAbram’s maps for a reference. The South is the epicenter of lower division teams. I’m looking forward to some IRL linkups with the NE Revs Couch Brigade, going to Chattanooga, Charleston, Pensacola, and all manner of exotic new locales.
Closer to home, a decision looms as to whether to throw my support behind New England’s namesake Georgia Revolution, or all associated levels of the Atlanta Silverbacks internal pyramid structure. In taking the first step toward making that decision, I dragged my self out for a virgin expedition into the Georgia morning mist at Agnes Scott College, a woman’s college In Decatur to check out the lowest (albeit loosely) affiliated arm of the Silverbacks, KLS Silverbacks, an adult team in the top USASA affiliated league in the Atlanta metro area, the Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League, the direct equivalent to the BSSL, MSSL, etc. in New England. Not only does this team carry the brand name recognition of the Silverbacks, they have a fiery English coach, who wears a blazer and cuffed jeans doing his best Danny Dyer impression on the sidelines and they sport an unexplainable acronym laden prefix in their name.
In contrast with typical Boston area fields, the field at Agnes Scott was a very nice self contained, grass surfaced, no football or multisport, but running track surrounded venue. If I were to rank it from 1 to 10 on a “soccer hipster ideal” scale, with a worn out field turf football lined field like Madison Park being a 1 (Its actually more like a 3, bonus points for the Boston skyline views and cement “terracing”) and Shores Street and Lusitano getting 10’s, Agnes Scott is a solid 7.5. I arrived in high spirits, Dunkin cup in hand. (misunderstanding at the drive thru over the definition of “regular” having been resolved) I was joined on the morning by a crowd of 10, including a pair of rumpled gentlemen walking laps and chatting looks absolutely professorial, the obligatory middle aged Eastern European couple looking like they stepped straight out of DITP central casting, she in high boots and he in earth tones. There was the apparent former/retired/currently serving a 1 game suspension coach-in-track-jacket, and even a AiTP-esque man-on-bluff-overlooking-field, a truly astounding array for a crowd of 10.
After some initial confusion as to which team was actually the Silverbacks, as they were in red and white not black, the first (next) thing I noticed was that Wings Select, who were by all accounts a decent Fifth Division (First Division) team, were starting an awkward 12 year old boy in goal. The most remarkable feature beyond his general gangliness, was his preference for difficult Tukka-esque kick saves when hands would do, his penchant for kicking the ball out of bounds inside his own half on goal kicks, and his favoring of the two handed slap-and-bounce over either the clean catch or the punch. Frankly, the kid was a hot mess, and only survived because he had Bald Bull beast moding in front of him at center back. The ref was letting everything go even though no one was interested in doing much other than complaining in the first half, and the linesman was patrolling at half speed. What a sweet sound it was though, to once again hear such classic tunes as “What game are you watching” emanating from the mouths of players. The first half ended at 0-0.
The second half started with a lot more energy and I positioned myself between the two benches on the opposite side to catch all the action. Shortly after the half, KLS Silverbacks had an obvious last man breakaway on when the Silverbacks forward was brought down from behind. The ref appeared to have initially (and rightly) pointed to the spot, and then abruptly changed his mind and positioned the kick just outside the box. Danny Dyer was flippin out on the sideline but karma had the last say as KLS buried the kick on the top corner to take the 1-0 lead. Immediately Wings sprung a counter off the ensuing kick and hit the crossbar on the breakaway. Five minutes later, after several rounds of possession and pressure, Wings tied it up from a beautiful Left to Right free kick 30 yards out and 5 yards off the left sideline that found the head of a Wings player in the box who buried it on the back of the net. Wings kept the pressure up and in the 60th minute the KLS keeper made his save of the game with a full extension left to right dive, that was bettered 2 minutes later by a beautiful clear off the line when a KLS defender saved the keepers ass when he was sucked out of position. KLS retook the lead a few minutes later on a break and Wings responded for the final goal to guarantee a well deserved 2-2 draw. The second half definitely made up for the first in terms of action, and believe me we are just scratching the surface of what the Atlanta soccer culture has to offer. Stay tuned for more adventures from Deep In The (Dirty South) Pyramid.