Good evening everybody! Hope ya’ll are well! I am sorry that I am just getting my blog up. Things have been a little hectic and crazier than normal this week, so I couldn’t get it up on my normal Wednesday! I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! Lets see, last time things were not so great with me. I had a separated shoulder and I was missing the trip out to LA to play the Galaxy on the 4th, and I was missing a couple US Open cup games. I must say now that things are much better in my life! My shoulder still nags me a bit, especially after a grueling training session, but it is nothing I cant handle or play through. I was quite fortunate with my injury, thank God! A separated shoulder is very rarely something that needs surgery, or keeps one out for a long time. It is not that bad of an injury in terms of recovery. I was back practicing after about a week and a half, but it is pretty painful. I am just thankful that it was not my collarbone or something more serious. I can’t tell ya’ll how frustrating it is having to sit on the sidelines and watch practice or miss a game or trip. It was great getting back out on the pitch and back in the swing of things.
Now, lets get down to the on-field and performance side of things. Things are going well for us, we still remain on top of the league and have had a good past couple weeks! Last Tuesday we, in US Open Cup play, managed to beat the Richmond Kickers 3-0. I was not able to be at the game because I was home in bed sleeping the pain and frustration off from being injured. I was proud of the guys for their effort and result. It was a quick turn around, as the team left on Wednesday to head out to LA to prepare for the July 4th match against the Galaxy! Usually we leave for an away match the day before, but when we head to the West Coast we try and get out there a couple days before in order to get rid of the jetlag and in hopes of being more refreshed and adjusted come game time. I was eagerly anticipating the match against LA before my injury. It would have been a great atmosphere with it being July 4th and in a sold out stadium. I think everyone would agree that playing in a sold out stadium is every players wish. The boys once again handled business in LA and came out on top 2-1. Adam Christman, one of my best friends on the team and a great guy, notched both goals and lead the charge for us in the win. My hat goes off to Adam for his performance and also for his selection and honor as the MLS Player of the week-congrats buddy!
Our next test was against USL-2 side Crystal Palace Baltimore and they did prove to be a tough test for us! They came prepared to play and play hard and were by no means intimidated by us. We had the better and more of the play, but after they equalized early to make it 1-1, we could not find a way to breakthrough and go on top. After a long and hard fought battle against a worthy opponent and two fifteen minute overtimes the game was headed to penalty kicks. Doug Warren came up huge for us in net, and we defeated Crystal Palace 5-3 on penalty kicks. Alot of people I’m sure were thinking and have thought about why we had such a hard time beating a USL-2 team. The thing about soccer is that it’s a game where any team on any given night can beat another team. So we were fortunate to escape a hungry Baltimore team and next we face D.C. United in the semifinals of the US Open Cup.
Off the field things have been great and the weather sure has been nice! Coming from good ole North Carolina, I love the sun, heat, and hot weather. I absolutely love it, for me the hotter the better! We do not get too much of that kind of weather up in Mass, so it is always nice when we do. I live on a lake with a wonderful family, the Marks’. They have graciously taken me in and let me live with them. They have two boats, a pontoon and a ski boat and graciously let me use them whenever I please. So I have been taking advantage of the hot weather and been out and about on the lake in the pontoon boat, fishing and swimming and just relaxing! Steve Ralston, Adam Christman, and Chase Hilgenbrinck all came over to go bass fishing with me. We caught quite a few bass combined, but really nothing to brag about. It was just nice being outside in the warm weather with company enjoying the great outdoors and some of God’s wonderful creations! I am more of a hunter than fisherman, but Steve Ralston has been teaching me some of his tricks, so I caught the fishing fever. I can’t seem to get enough of it!
Anyway, before I leave I would like to give a shout-out and want to give props and respect to my teammates Shalrie Joseph, Matt Reis, and Mike Parkhurst on their selections for the MLS All-Star team and Best XI. I feel honored and grateful to know these guys and to be able to play, learn, and interact with them day in and day out-it is a true pleasure! Congrats fellas!
Ya’ll take care and God bless! Until next time, be easy!