Friday, December 16, 2011

Calendar for the Upcoming Weeks

Happy holidays!

Please note the following schedule of matches (all games will be at Shawnee Mission North):
- Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) - 9am - regular Saturday match
- Sunday, December 25 (Christmas Day) - NO SUNDAY MATCH
- Monday, December 26 - 9am - Special Boxing Day match
- Saturday, December 31 (New Years Eve) - 9am - regular Saturday match
- Sunday, January 1 (New Years Day) - 3:30pm - regular Sunday match
- Monday, January 2 (first Monday of the year) - 9am - Special Monday match

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lost & Found

A yellow Premiership ball & XL black adidas pants were left at the field today. Please let me know if they are yours or if you need any additional information.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sunday match begins this week - 3:30pm

Watching the sun set earlier and earlier, it was decided to begin the Sunday games at 3:30. This coming Sunday, November 13, will be the first week we play. Shawnee Mission North is the place - hope you can make it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Saturdays are back at SMN

Beginning this Saturday, we will return to Shawnee Mission North at the intersection of Johnson Drive and Melcalf. The time is still 9am.

Hope you can make it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday Game Back on Nov. 13

Beginning Sunday, November 13 we will be playing at 4pm on the Shawnee Mission North field. Hope you can make it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wednesday match now 5pm

In an effort to stay ahead of the ever-diminishing daylight, we are moving the time up for our Wednesday game to 5pm. Hope you can make it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lost & Found

L - Black Sweatshirt
2009 TLC Groundhog Run
Light Gray adidas pants

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Interim field change

The fall schedule looks pretty congested at North, so beginning tonight we will move to Maple Hills Park until the conclusion of the high school football season. This is for both weekly matches. There are map links in the section on the right, and you can contact me directly here if needed.

Wednesdays will return to 5:30pm to maximize our daylight hours.

Hope to see you on the pitch!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lost & found

Left at Maple Hills Park

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Moving to Maple Hills Park

Moving to Maple Hills Park at 85th & Switzer.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wednesday match now 6:15pm

Now that school is back in session, the field is going to get busy. The first ongoing happening we have to deal with is afternoon / evening football practice. They are scheduled to be done at 6, so we will start as soon as possible afterward. Please be ready to go by 6:15 as the daylight will be getting shorter and shorter as the weeks pass.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Today only

SMN is in use. We are headed to SME at Mission & 75th St. If that field is not available, Porter Park is our next stop.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wednesdays back to 5:30pm

We are back to the regular schedule as listed in the Ongoing Matches section on the right of this page. Hope you can make it!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

No lightening = game on!

No lightening = game on!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 7pm

Last week worked well, so let's do it again: 7pm start time this Wednesday. Trying to outsmart Mother Nature is not always easy... Hope you can make it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wednesday, July 20 - 7pm

Due to the expected triple-digit temps predicted by the experts for Wednesday, we are changing the game time to 7pm. This is a one-time change for July 20, 2011 only. The match will still be at Shawnee Mission North.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lost and found

There have been some items left on the field after recent games. Please check out the photos and let me know if anything is yours.

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 2, 2011

Here are some pictures from the Saturday game. Thank you, Ramiro, for the great shots!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Historical Match on Monday, July 4

For the first time in the history of this game, we have a true grudge match. Here is a portion of Wasim's email that made this match a reality:

  I suggest a contest between under 30 (white) vs over 30 (dark)

I remember there being more to it when I read it originally, but it is what it is. Many large events started with a simple sentence. World War II, for example.

Hope you can make it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Game on! The field is

Game on! The field is being assembled as we speak. Hope to see you out there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One-time game location change - Wed. 05.18.2011

Shawnee Mission North will be hosting graduations tonight (05.17), tomorrow (05.18), and Thursday (05.19) so the field will not be available. Since Shawnee Mission East's graduation is Wednesday, we feel reasonably confident that the school will not be using their field at 5:30. Therefore, we will move tomorrow's match to SME, 75th Street & Mission Road.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

We are back at North

We are back at North today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

One time game location change

This coming Saturday - April 30, 2011 - we will move to Shawnee Mission East, as SMN will be hosting a district-wide track meet.  The start-time remains 9am.  Hope you can make it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wednesday field move - SMN

We will be playing at Shawnee Mission North on Wednesdays at 5:30pm.  If the main field is in use, we will try the practice field just west of the main field, behind the large grandstand.  Hope you can make it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

One-time field change - Sat. Mar, 19

SMN is booked tomorrow. We will play at Maple Hills Park, 85th and Switzer, 9 am.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Simon Walley

Where were you born?
I was born in Crewe in North West England.

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
I arrived in Kansas City in July 2010 following a job relocation.  Previously I lived in Harrisburg, PA., Santa Rosa, CA., Wellington, New Zealand and Swindon, England.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
Manchester United I have followed them for as long as I can remember thanks to my Uncle Duncan.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
Getting a teddy bear at about four years old with a Manchester United kit on it.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
Dane Broadie and I work together and he told me about the group.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
I look after the food enzyme business for my company in NAFTA and the coolest thing my company can do is turn sugar into car tires using enzymes.  Click on the link below to learn more:

On the personal front I have two beautiful daughters aged 21 months and 6 months and a wonderful wife who doesn’t flip out when I take off on Saturday mornings to play soccer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Nyk Edinger

Where were you born?
I was born in Bismarck, North Dakota and grew up across the Missouri River in Mandan, ND. (Sorry Troy but your answer was so well worded!)

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
I arrived in Olathe, Kansas in August of 1987 to play soccer for MidAmerica Nazarene University.  We played one season. I started on the bench but after an injury to our starting keeper I started as keeper for several matches until I, too, was put on crutches and finished the season watching from the sidelines. They cut the team the following summer.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
I have supported the Wizards/Sporting since the day we heard there was a possibility of their existence.  I attended the opening match at Arrowhead and had attended most home matches until I moved back to North Dakota in 2004 and have attended at least 1 match each year since I left. I also support Hannover 96, Die Roten!!, in the Bundesliga.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
The day I learned of its existence.  I transferred to a private school in Mandan in 1981 (the same school as Troy) and the guys played this game called soccer at this school.  I never heard of it much less played it so I was stuck between the posts (probably two jackets or cones, I don't remember) and loved it! The following year I joined the team as an 8th grader and have played ever since.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
Troy and I grew up together in North Dakota and both attended the same University in Olathe and both remained living in Olathe after College so one day we set out to find a place to kick the ball around outdoors on Saturday mornings and eventually decided upon Maple Hills Park. Some days it was just him and I in 4 inches of snow but eventually other great guys joined us and I am privileged to have met and shared the pitch with each of them!

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
Most of you don't know me at all but for those that do, you might not know that I have been a vocalist in a death/black metal band since 1989 and am currently recording my 8th cd.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Tunde Ogunmekan

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria the capital, I came here in 1980 to join my parents who were ambassadors to the US, the family had travelled quite a bi at the time living in New Delhi in India, London in UK and Rabat in Morocco. When the opportunity came to visit here I figured I’d go to college then leave soon as I was done. Started a business in college, got naturalized ( my mum is citizen) and been here ever since.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
As I kid I supported the Shooting Stars of Ibadan and The Green Eagles (later Super Eagles) of Nigeria, the best 11 team ever in all soccer was the team that was robbed of the chance to play in world cup because of internal politics, it featured the mathematician (Segun Odegbami) who would dribble on the line from the his own 30 yards all the way to opponents 18 then take a shot from a ridiculous angle and SCORE!! That’s why they called him the mathematician, from the goalie (Best Ogedengbe) to defender ( Pat Okpala) midfield (Muda Lawal) wingers (Adokiye Emeka) it stacked here is link from the African Cup of Nations :

When a got older and politics started to dominate national team selection I became a staunch Chelsea fan, have been even though we SUCK right now.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
My earliest is the afore mentioned Cup of Nations with video link above, I was already a fan, that made me a foaming at the mouth frenzied, play with a broken bone fanatic of the game.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
Atabong I believe invited me to my first game way back in the stone age 2005, its feels like such a long time now, I can bealy remember anymore. I do remember meeting Troy, Tom, Wasim, Johnny, Bill, Annette and Afam and saying what an eclectic and great group of guys. Many moons and haven step on someone’s toes about 20 times later, I think I’ve missed a total of 6 Saturday’s (other than weather or cancellations) since then.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group will know?
This might come as a shock to most but I’m black, I know! I Know! Imagine my surprise when a found out! And oh I love my Youngs Park family

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Wasim Zaman

Where were you born?
I was born in Bangladesh.

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
I came to USA in 1991 to go to College. I went to Emporia State University and studied Marketing and Economics.  After graduating in 1995, I worked in Emporia for 5 years. I moved to KC in 2000 to be with my then fiance and now wife.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
I do not have a favorite team. I follow English Premier League and often find myself supporting any smaller club playing against Man U, Chelsea, or Arsenal. I do support the Wizards when I watch them play.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
My dad started to take me to watch Division 1 soccer games in Bangladesh since I was a little boy. It involved riding a bus, rickshaw, and walking to get there and avoiding the riots often broke out after the major soccer games. Those are my earliest and some of the best memories in life.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
Tom was my neighbor and he introduced me to this game in 2002. We used to play at Maple Hills Park then. It was a very challenging time for us as we often didn't have enough players to play a decent game. 4 v 4 was a rare and exciting event. We had to beg people to come out and play. Troy and Tom put in tremendous amount of effort in promoting and maintaining this game. It is very gratifying to see our group grow.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
Everyone tells me that I am pretty competitive.......I continue to deny it. I don't like to lose though.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Bill Lepentis

Where were you born?
Sydney, Australia

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
My parents immigrated to Australia from Greece after the Greek Civil War. Around 1974, my mother’s kid brother passed-away while we were visiting Greece. Actually, my parents were considering moving the family back there, but the death obviously shook my mother enough to stop the process and we decided to stay in Australia. Sixth months later, my mother’s close cousin also passed away. My mother had another brother living in KC and in 1976, we decided to move here to be closer to his family. This must have done the trick because we’ve lived here ever since. I haven’t ventured far; only to The University of Kansas for school. My parents eventually retired and moved to Chicago.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
Arsenal FC (as a fanatic)
AEK Athens (as a religion)
Greek MNT (as a rite-of-passage)
Sydney Roosters (Rugby League Club)

What is your earliest soccer memory?
We won our division in Sydney when I was seven and a few months later, moved to KC. My parents had some Greek friends who were affiliated with the Roeland Park (Kansas) Soccer Club, and enrolled me into one of the youth clubs. I’ve been playing organized and pick-up ever since including a semester of “club” at The University of Kansas.

How did you find the Youngs Park Game?
I walked-on the Loose Park Wednesday night game and made a few friends. One of them was Johnny “ONE MORE” Vazquez. He mentioned that a few of the Loose Park crew played Saturdays at Young’s Park. That’s when my park-league skills really excelled.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group will know?
I was one of “The Best In Soccer” as picked by local metro coaches for 1986-1987 season. That obviously took me places…

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Jürgen Hoedel

Where were you born?
In a small town called Geislingen an der Steige in the south of Germany – it has the distinction of featuring the steepest railroad grade of any major railway line in Europe. The same steep grade prompted some robber baron to build a fortress about a thousand years ago in order to extract money from travelers and wagon trains for safe passage. Today the German railway just charges exorbitant ticket prices for the same privilege.

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
I went to KU as a grad student (they actually paid me to go to school – go figure) where I met my wife. After living with her in Germany for ten years nobody was any longer willing to extend us any credit – that’s why we moved here in 1996. Oh, she was also tired of the weather in Central Europe and the unfriendly attitude of my compatriots. Don’t know how my attitude slipped through the cracks for so long.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
I am a stout (literally!) supporter of Bayern Munich and the German national team. I am also an avid fan of all teams in the US lingerie league.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
First of all, we don’t erroneously call it soccer where I come from. I guess it would be playing ‘Fussball’ with my uncle in the backyard. And then the legendary non-goal in the 1966 World Cup Final. We finally got even with the English last year.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
I have GPS. No, I am an old teammate of Troy’s from back when he still used to show up for our Friday noon games at All-American, before he let work interfere with fun.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
I have a right foot so I don’t fall down when I kick with my left – no wait, everybody knows that. I guess it would be that in my case, the older I get, the better I was.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunday game is at noon

Those who voted for the noon start time have prevailed! Hope you can make it out this week!

Who Are Ya!! - Tom Reynolds

Where were you born?
I was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1953. Although Southern and Eastern European immigrants brought soccer to Western Pennsylvania around the turn of the last century, it had practically disappeared by the time I came of age.

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
I moved to Kansas City in 1980, after serving a brief stint as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Guatemala and Venezuela. At the time, we were looking for a place that offered both family support and job prospects. I was reluctant to raise a family in New Jersey where Mary and I attended Rutgers University, but Western Pennsylvanua was not an option.: The steel industry had recently collapsed and the local economy was in a severe crisis.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
My favorite soccer team of all time is the New York Cosmos. I was living in New Jersey during the late 70's Cosmos heyday and attended many good games against such foes as World Champion Argentina, Bayern Munich, the Peoples Republic of China etc. I also met and briefly chatted with Pele during his second week in the U.S., while he was filming a kids' soccer clinic for network television. (We gained admission to Downing Stadium on Randalls Island when my Dad flashed his police badge.) During that time, I saw many notable players compete either for or against the Cosmos: Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Mueller, Roberto Rivelino, Eusebio, George Best, Carlos Alberto, Giorgio Chinaglia, a 17 year-old Maradona, and of course, Pele.

I currently enjoy watching F.C Barcelona dismember their opponents and continue to root for the two big teams from Medellin, Colombia (Atletico Nacional and DIM).

What is your earliest soccer memory?
One of my earliest soccer memories involves trying to stay awake while watching U.S. based pro soccer when it was first televised regularly in 1967. I actually started playing as a high-school exchange student in Ecuador; then later as a college student in Colombia. Upon returning from South America, I introduced the sport to my hometown friends and later played regular pick-up games in New Brunswick, New Jersey and Pittsburgh.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
Regarding what would become the Youngs Park game, I first met Troy in 2001 (?) after my sons observed a small group playing in Maple Hill Park. Troy was gracious and welcoming on that occasion and I like to think we have continued in that spirit.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
One thing people may not know about me are my politics: I consider myself both a Christian and socialist. Subsequently, I have major problems with both U.S. domestic and foreign policy. However, when it comes to soccer, I am proud to be an American player and I avidly support our U.S. National Team.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No games this weekend

The games for Saturday and Sunday have both been called off this week.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Bill Black

Where were you born?
Detroit, Michigan

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
We arrived in 2006 when June and I took positions as professors at UMKC.  Galen, our youngest, moved to KD with us from our home in Northern California.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
Newell’s Old Boys.  Rosario, Argentina.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
I started playing soccer when I was 23.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
 I learned of the Young’s Park game from Troy.  We were both playing at Rockhurst U.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
I was Charles Keating’s (Lincoln S&L) least favorite regulator.  He hired private investigators twice to investigate me, sued me for $400 million, and famously instructed his chief political fixer:  “Highest Priority:  Get Black … Kill Him Dead.”  In context, this was almost certainly merely an order to get me fired.  That effort was joined by Speaker of the House Jim Wright.  I’m a serial whistleblower, including blowing the whistle on Speaker Wright.  My notes of the meeting with the “Keating Five” (five U.S. Senators who Keating induced to try to keep us from taking enforcement action against Keating’s Lincoln S&L) helped prompt the Senate ethics investigation.  I have a genius for making friends in high places, which is consistent with being dumb enough to put my body in the way of a screaming soccer ball.  Yeah defenders!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Brian Werner

Where were you born?
St. Louis, MO. I lived about 2 miles from "the Hill" where a number of US soccer greats from way back hailed from (and the non soccer great: Yogi Berra).  Apparently not close enough to pick up some ball handling skills.

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
I came to Kansas City in August of 2009 for grad school. I'm a second year PhD student in economics at UMKC.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
I grew up in St. Louis, which despite being a big soccer town doesn't have a pro team. For a while we went to a lot of indoor games watching the St. Louis Ambush(not around anymore), but definitely watched a lot more of Cardinals baseball.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
All of grade school soccer is kind of one big blur of running around somewhat aimlessly in the cold and mud, orange wedges, and usually losing the game.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
I met Bill Black at an orientation event at pizza 51and jumped on the chance to play.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
I would say that my highest level achievement in soccer was playing in pickup games during a cherry picking stint in New Zealand with a few guys who were rumored to be on the national team of the country of Vanuatu.

Ultimate frisbee is actually my primary sport. I play ultimate most of the year including traveling to tournaments in nearby states. I play a lot of music too. I sing in the choir at UMKC and play guitar, mandolin, and accordion and other things.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Annette Luke

Where were you born? 
I was born in Independence, MO.  I have lived in Blue Springs, MO, most of my life.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
Of course, I support the KC Wizards/Sporting KC. 

What is your earliest soccer memory? 
My earliest soccer memory does not involve me as a player but as a spectator.  I became interested in soccer when I was forced to watch my younger brother play in recreational leagues as we were growing up.  My dad coached his team for several years.  I was even his “assistant coach” a few times.  Finally, when I was 15, I started playing myself. 

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
Troy invited me to the game.  At the time, I was playing with him on an indoor team at the KC Soccerdome.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
I am going to tell you the rest of the story about how/why I started playing soccer.  Like I said before, I watched my brother play as we were growing up.  During that time, I was a gymnast aspiring to become an Olympic medalist.  In early spring a few months before I turned 16, I finally went to the doctor about my nagging back pain.  The doctor gave me devastating news.  He told me I needed to quit gymnastics or live with back pain for the rest of my life.  After a great deal of soul-searching, I admitted that it was very unlikely that I would ever be good enough to get to the Olympics.  So, I decided to try playing soccer.  My first experience was that spring in a recreational church league in Independence.  That fall, as a sophomore, I tried out for the boys’ soccer team at Blue Springs High School.  (A girls’ team did not exist at my high school at that time.)  That was an extremely rough but very beneficial experience!  However, I did make the “C” team.  Even though I knew I had made the team only because I was a girl, I was very excited!  I was certain I would learn the game much more quickly in that setting.  My love for soccer grew from that experience.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter soccer in KC

Our club photographer was hard at work again on Saturday.  Ken captured some of the action.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Eddie Villegas

Where were you born?
Born and raised in KC. But I grew up spending our summers in Mexico visiting family.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
I grew up a Mexico and Guadalajara Chivas fan. I also support US Soccer and I'm torn when USA plays Mexico. But I always seem to pull for Mexico, my dad and my uncles just burned it into my brain. I'm also a huge fan of Barcelona and their style of football.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
I don't remember how old I was but in my first soccer game ever, back when All American was on Bannister Rd, I was kicked in the face with the ball on my very first play. I remember how bad it hurt but somehow it didn't turn me away from the sport. 

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
Alicia McGarry and I used to work together. As I got to know her and Gage, they invited me to play one weekend. It was nice to see a group of people committed to playing every week. Its because of this, Gage, Gonzalo and I started playing together and formed a team called Youngs Park with several guys from the group. We competed in Jackson County League and finished 4-4. But in our second season together we went 8-0. The face of the team has changed over the years but Youngs Park now competes in Wyandotte County, working our way from Div. 2 to Division 1. From 2007-2010 we have made the playoffs each season and finished as high as 2nd in the tournament and first with overall points. Today, no one on the roster is from Youngs Park but the name of where lasting friendships began still carries on.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
After college I had high hopes to further my soccer career but I blew out my knee playing hoops just before the quarter-finals of a major tournament. It required reconstructive surgery and about a full year of training before I could be fit enough to play again. Then a few years later, I tore up the same knee again in a soccer match. More surgery. More rehab. I haven't been the same since but I'm fortunate enough to play the sport I love for fun for as long as these legs will carry me. Thanks to the individuals who make the Youngs Park game possible year-round!

Monday, January 17, 2011

We have a field for Monday

The 6 who shoveled are in-- we will have to decide how many players make a full game based on the space available.  Second game on the snowy field is a possibility.

Who Are Ya!! - Bob Good

Where were you born?
I was born in the Denver area.

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
My Mom married my step Dad who was from this area.  So we moved to the Kansas City area during my high school years.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
I attend many KC Wizards/Sporting games, and watch most USA National Team games, but I really enjoy watching Barcelona and the Spain National Team.  I believe the possession style game they play is the way the game should be played.  I don't think the USA National Team will achieve greatness until the American kids learn how to possess the ball.  It will take a youth coaching revolution to convert youth coaches from kick and run-direct soccer style of coaching to a skillful possession style of coaching.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
My Mom signed me up for recreational soccer when I was in grade school.  At the time we attended a few Colorado Caribou NASL games at Mile High Stadium back in the late 70's.  I've been playing soccer off and on ever since.

How did you find the Young's Park game?
Myself and a few co-workers in Lenexa started an indoor pick-up game on Fridays at lunch at All American Indoor Sports during the early 1990's.  I no longer attend this game, but as far as I know they still meet every Friday at noon.  Sometime in the late 90's or early 2000's Troy B. visited the Friday game.  I learned about the Young's Park game through Troy.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
I graduated from UMKC in the early 90's.  I'm a Project Engineer with a local manufacturer.  I've been married 18 years to my wife who puts up with my favorite hobby of playing soccer, coaching my children in soccer, watching FOX Soccer Channel, and going to Wizards soccer games.  I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ, and try to learn and live His ways.  Although through the stresses of marriage, raising kids, work, and frustrating myself on the soccer field, I fall well short of a perfect life and can only rely on Christ's grace and sacrifice.  I have been playing acoustic guitar for about 2 years proving you "can teach an old dog new tricks".  I organize a small monthly investment group to learn and share ideas about stock and bond investing.  My soccer heros are "old" professional soccer players who still play pro ball: Blanco, Beckham, Del Piero, etc.  My favorite local soccer player is Annette :)  That girl plays more soccer than anybody I know - keep it up Annette!!  My favorite foods and restaurants are too many too number.  My favorite music is 80's pop, some country, and Christian Hymns.  I like many kinds of movies, and really enjoy catching up on all the movies I missed with Netflix.  God Bless.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Scott Watson

Where were you born?
I was born in Newton, KS, but spent the majority of my childhood in Wichita, KS.

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
I went to college at Missouri Southern in Joplin on a soccer scholarship. Many of my good friends and teammates at MoSo were from the KC area. After a short stint back in Wichita post graduation, I moved up to the KC area and went on the job hunt. I believe this was around 1991. The rest is history, and I have lived in the KC metro ever since.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
Like Troy, I have supported the Wiz/Wizards/Sporting since the first season as a season ticket holder. Very excited about the new stadium!! I also like to follow the EPL ever since Time Warner added Fox Soccer Channel years ago. I really don't have one specific team I follow, but love to root for the underdogs to stay up in the Premiership. In recent history I pulled for Fulham since they employed several Americans. This current season I have sort of hitched my wagon to Blackpool, and would like to see them succeed. Historically I always liked Newcastle for a couple reasons: 1. Good Beer. 2. My 1st over 30 team went by the same name. Glad to see they worked their way back up to the top division. Non soccer related teams: Kansas Jayhawks, KC Chiefs, KC Royals, Boston-Red Sox -Celtics-Bruins-& NE Patriots (I will explain my Boston allegiance in the next section)

What is your earliest soccer memory?
As I mentioned earlier, the majority of my childhood was spent in Wichita. My stepdad at the time was in the Air Force stationed in Wichita. During my 1st grade year we were transferred to Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, MA. I lived in Mass for 3 years (1st -3rd grades). Although only in the area for 3 short years it made a big impact on my life, as this is where I discovered the beautiful game! Also where I experienced my first visits to professional sports venues (thus, I have always had an allegiance to the Boston area teams). My 1st love in sports was baseball, as my dad had me in a uniform, mitt, with bat and ball at the ripe ol' age of two! But then I discoved soccer in 1st grade. My mom was looking for an activity for me to get involved in upon our move so I could meet some new friends. She signed me up for soccer, and I took to it immediately. I went to my first practice and a ball was kicked in my direction, it was love at first touch of the ball. I just started kicking it around like a madman. I was very fortunate that soccer had found it's way to the midwest when I moved back to Wichita in the 4th grade. That year I joined the world famous "Purple People Eaters" of the Wichita AYSO league coached by my friends dad. Soccer soon consumed my life and became my year round focus starting around junior high. I no longer had time to play any other sports competitively, including baseball, my 1st love. All the time spent on soccer paid off as it helped pay for my college education, and also introduced me to life long friends.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
Luckily my wife Stephanie works at the same company as Troy. Years ago around it's inception, my wife told me about a pickup game her friend at worked played in at a park located at 77th & Antioch. I think she was just trying to get me out of the house, but it worked out good for me. This was very convenient, as my house is on 79th St, just west of Antioch. So I show up one Saturday morn, and just kept going back. Some games back then were very thin (3v3, 4v4), but we always had a great time regardless of numbers. In recent years due to injuries(old age),my daughters activities, & other family obligations, I have not been able to play as consistently as I would like. However, I know the game will always be there for me when I can make it. Thanks to the founders and die hards like Troy & Tom.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
Although soccer is my main passion, I love almost any sport or competition. I really love playing basketball and had thoughts of pursuing that when I was younger. However in junior high I think the coach squelched any NBA aspirations I may have had when he told me this. "You have two things going against you, FEET!!". He wasn't talking about my footwork (as I was rather quick and coordinated), but rather my unique stature. Although painful at the time, it was probably something I needed to hear. I think I have taken up enough of your time, thanks for getting to know me better.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Who Are Ya!! - Troy Bragg

Where were you born?
I was born in Bismarck, North Dakota and grew up across the Missouri River in Mandan, ND.

If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC? 

In August of 1986, I came to the KC area to go to MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe.  Back then, the college was smaller (it became a university in 1996) and my freshman year was the first year it had a varsity mens soccer program (it was abandoned after the 1987 season but was re-started in the late 90s or early 00s).  I would have had a small scholarship if I made the team, but I injured my knee playing church league softball (* cough *) about a month before I was supposed to report to camp fully fit.

What team(s) do you support as a fan?
I have been a Wiz / Wizards / Sporting fan since they were a gleam in Lamar Hunt's eye. 
When the English Premiership was first shown regularly in the Kansas City area, I took a liking to Leeds United.  They were young and fearless, and their manager, David O'Leary, was confident in his young players.  Also, I have tried to pay attention to Lazio in Italy since Serie A came to Fox Soccer Channel (Fox Sports World then).  At that time, they had an attacking team unlike a lot of the very defensive-minded sides they faced.

What is your earliest soccer memory?
As a kid growing up in North Dakota in the 70s, soccer was not really on my radar until I was in 5th grade.  That year I began attending a small private school which had been started, in part, by a family from upstate New York.  We didn't have any playground equipment, but we did have a large open space on one side of the school... and a ball.  It was there I was introduced to the sport by the kids who came from NY.  Pele was playing for the Cosmos and there was an NASL team in Minneapolis, so we did get some games on t.v. from time to time.  When I entered 7th grade, my school started an actual team and played games in South Dakota.  Two years later there were 5 other high school-age teams in North Dakota that we would play against leading up to the South Dakota tournament.

How did you find the Youngs Park game?
I built the first set of goals out of PVC pipe in 2000.  I invited a few friends and we tried out a few fields before settling at Maple Hills Park.  The game floundered with low numbers until Tom and his two sons walked across the street from their house and asked if we had room for them to play.  Of course we did, and the rest is history.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?
Most probably know this, but the most interesting thing about me is that I have been fortunate to attend the opening World Cup match for the US since 1998.  My buddy got me a ticket for the 1994 US opener in Detroit, but I was unable to take time off work.  After missing that match, I have made sure to make time.  We have been to Europe twice, Asia, and Africa for matches.  We have had a great run so far!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Who Are Ya!!

This is a great idea suggested by Bob G:

We have played soccer together over the years, yet many of us don't know each other that well. In this section of the Youngs Park Blog, please share about yourself so others can get to know you. Keep in mind this is the Internet, so be careful posting sensitive information, but include as much as possible to let people know Who Are Ya!!.

You can use the following questions as a starting point, if you like, or just write whatever comes to mind:

  1. Where were you born?
  2. If you were not born in the Kansas City area, when did you arrive and what circumstances brought you to KC?
  3. What team(s) do you support as a fan?
  4. What is your earliest soccer memory?
  5. How did you find the Youngs Park game?
  6. Can you tell us something about yourself that not everyone in the group would know?

If you would like to participate, please send me an email. I will run them in the order they are sent, posting one a week.

Hope you find this interesting!