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Shaking hands before the match

The piccoli amici soccer tournament, called off last Saturday for rain, took place this Saturday at Don Bosco. The 2007 and 2008 Don Bosco kids split into two squads, while Sant’Angelo was the other team, and each squad played two half-hour matches.

This was Micah’s first real match in Italy, even though it was still a ‘friendly’; none of the boys will be able to play a proper match until we get all the paperwork for their player cards (some good news; we were notified today that our Permessi di Soggiorno will be available to collect in about two weeks).

The coaches have been playing him in defense most of the time in practice, and he does fine, though he’s been a bit tentative to go forward. Last week he began to come out of his shell, however. He is making friends with some other players on his team (especially Ricardo, who also goes to the same scuola materna), and that helps a lot. He did make the most of his chance in the first match on Saturday, scoring the lone goal for his team in the first game (1:10 in the video, from a tight angle):

(Note that the Firefox browser often does not display YouTube videos properly; you may need to use a different browser.)

So yes, we’ve become ‘those parents’ who post youth soccer goals on the Internet.

Thanking the parents

Thanking the parents

Afterwards, Jakob played a friendly against Madonna del Alta. They were a tough squad, being very physical, but also having a good deal of talent, and the visitors prevailed, though not by much. Jakob is learning how to play as a line-to-line winger, which is exhausting, but exciting as well. He’s no. 7 this year.

Simon’s coach wants to move him to defense (he’s played winger and defensive midfield so far in practice), because he is now just barely shorter than I am, and will probably pass me up around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday morning. Given that overall, Italian defenders are probably the best in the world, it seems like a great opportunity for him to learn. He plays his first friendly against another team Monday night near Lake Trasimeno.

Today we teamed up with our friends the Graham-Wrights from Arezzo, and the Iveys, a lovely family that has just moved to Perugia (their blog is here), and watched the AC Perugia – Pisa match in Serie C, during which I worked on my proficiency in Italian profanity. Simon plans to post more on that game, I think.

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Perugia v. Pisa. There were many more fans in the stands on the other sides of the field…