Where is the summer going?
It is July already and the summer seems to be just flying by, or should I say baking by as we have already surpassed the number of 90-degree days that we had all of last year.
I hope, faithful readers, that you are finding a way to stay cool.
This past Sunday you could’ve stayed cool by staying in and watching the Euro final – did you watch? Spain scored in the 14th minute and did not stop as it dismantled the Italians 4-0.
Italy had to play the last 20-plus minutes with only 10 players. Usually a team will play down (a player) because a player received a red card, which means a team can’t replace them. In Italy’s case, it had substituted and then had three more players go down with injuries. In international soccer a team can only make three substitutions, therefore it has to play short. In Italy’s defense, Spain scored its final two goals with Italy only having 10 on the field.
I often wonder what is happening to our youth soccer in this community. I am trying to figure out some solutions but here is an example that something is amiss.
A friend of mine was the center referee for a U11 boys select game last week. Select teams are those with more advanced players, the ones who are committed and interested in playing the game at a higher level.
This referee asks the visiting team if they are watching the Euro tournament, and the players are all excited and talking to him about the games. He then repeats the same question with our Fondy select team and he gets a blank stare. Our young players had no idea what he was talking about.
I have often written that players can improve their game by watching soccer; our young players should be following these matches, which display soccer at its highest level. The question I would ask is, why aren’t they watching?
Another way to improve a player’s game is to play and attend camps. There will be a high school soccer camp from July 16-19: the girls will be from 10 to noon and the boys 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. The camp is open to any player going into ninth through 12th grades. I am hoping to see players from Springs, WLA, Fondy, Campbellsport, Fond du Lac Christian, Waupun, New Holstein and any other school in the area. Forms can be found at gregwinkler.net.
As I finish up today’s column I am looking over at my neighbor’s pool. I think it is time to put on my suit, take him a lemonade, and cool down.
I will keep my Spain jersey in my closet because I think he wanted Italy to win. He has the pool so I don’s want to rub it in and more importantly I want to cool off!
Until next week, stay cool and Keep on Kickin’.
Greg Winkler is the Fond du Lac varsity boys and girls soccer coach