What a day, with a 70% chance of rain, and I checked seven times in the earlier half, I would have bet it was going to pour, hail and thunderstorm (so the weather-folk predicted), and I would have lost, big time. The sun was out, blazing, evaporating the nights heavy rainfall even as clouds quickly passed overhead occasionally obscuring the sunshine for a brief moment. All the players were happy to be outside, finally, in the nice warm weather and all the hosts were asking if they had on enough sun-screen and had plenty to drink!
The U-15 SCD players vs the Terriers got underway at the appointed time and what a game it was. From the first whistle SCD dominated play with wonderful passing, terrific shots on goal and excellent team work. They scored during the first half with a super passing combination and held the lead for most of the game until one of the Terriers had a quick, lucky, break and was able to squeeze a ball into the back of the net.
The UK-15’s followed the Terriers unexpected goal with an array of passing and shots to dazzle the spectators in the stands, however, the Terriers goalie played brilliantly and thwarted each attempt (and there were many in the last few moments) a seven to one ratio. In the end it was a very hard fought and well played match by both squads concluding with a 1-1 tie. I believe SCD would have taken it had the game been closer to regulation time. It was simply too short, only an hour long in total.
In the stands the temperature dropped a few degrees and the clouds slowly crept in. Hmmmm, maybe the weather-dudes weren’t going to be wrong after all. There was a brief rest period while the Terriers changed from White to Dark Blue Jersey’s. At the appropriate time the SCD U-18’s took to the field anxious to challenge the Terriers who were ably assisted by some of the SCD U-15 players. Another well played hour long match. The SCD 18’s had a passing element which kept the Terriers guessing and running and running and
you get the picture. Not long into the first half the SCD-18’s scored. George Holland scored a beautiful header off a Luke King cross (George is staying at my house). Not taking credit, but we did serve home-made pancakes topped with strawberries and powdered sugar along with thickly sliced perfectly cooked bacon for brunch.
The SCD squad continued to put on a skillful display of teamwork and George Holland notched his second with a great individual effort off a dead ball just outside of the 18 yard box, curling the ball into far post (dedicated to his brother William). Luke King then tallied the third goal and as the minutes wore on they were able to tally another goal. The final score was 4-0 and they culminated their USA visit with an undefeated record.
At the games conclusion the temperature dropped even further and the clouds blanketed the sky as we climbed into our vehicles to head back to our separate houses for the farewell night.
For those SCD parents who want to know
YES, your son’s were a true delight in every way. They were courteous, thoughtful, helpful, gracious, respectful and always thankful
on and off the field. After talking to most, if not all of the host families, I’d have to conclude that everyone was thrilled to have your young men stay in their homes and become part of their families (even for the briefest of time), we will miss them when they leave tomorrow and will look forward to the next SCD football ambassadors with open arms.
p.s. I am sending home CD’s containing higher res versions of all the jpegs you saw on-line + many more (almost 200 in total) with the SCD players who stayed at my house along with a few copies for the coaches. So check with George, Gus, Jake or Nils if you’d like to see all the images.