Saturday, March 17, 2012

Talking Turkey


That’s right, yours truly finally scored my first goal since I arrived in Europe.  We played Enkoping IS, another (the only other?) club in the town.  I was the only player to start both of the first games to play today, but it worked out well for me.  I played very well and was probably the player of the game.  We won 3-1.  In addition to my goal I also got an assist and should have had two more.  If the other starting attackers were playing then we would have won 8-0.

My goal was a rebound.  We crossed the ball in and got a strong header.  The goalie made a good save, but the rebound spilled to me and I finished it.  I was happy with my performance, but the game itself was terrible.  We dominated but just didn’t have the composure to create great chances.  We didn’t pass enough to open up the defense so we ended up just banging our head against a wall.  Even though we won, by the end of the game all of our players were incredibly frustrated.  This picture was posted on the team's website.  The other guy is another American named Tim Ritter.  He scored 35 goals last year in the 5th tier and he's definitely good enough to play for Enkoping and be a big part of the team.  Hopefully they sign him.

Moving on from the game, the coach and I had earlier planned to talk about a contract today but he’s sick now so the talk didn’t happen.  Maybe we can figure it out tomorrow.  The wages being thrown around at the moment aren’t amazing, but they are definitely good by my standards.  I’ve heard through the grapevine that in Sweden there is a minimum salary for foreign players of 15,000 kronor per month, which is about $2100. If that’s true, then I’ll happily accept any contract they offer.  I’ve said it many times, but I’m not playing for the money (not yet) but instead the opportunity.  I want to make lots of money, but I’ve got to start somewhere.  The first stop doesn’t have to pay great as long as the rest of the stops do.

I’m sorry, but I have to now go on a rant about one of the trialists here with me.  His name is Eric and he is an absolute nightmare.  First, he arrived here with no money whatsoever.  Not just no Swedish money, but no money at all.  That means that I’ve had to pay for everything for him.  Groceries, a sim card and minutes for his phone and as of tonight a 6-pack of beers.  I don’t really mind paying for someone, but he hasn’t said thank you even once.  In fact, as I type this sentence he’s come into my room and opened up my bag of candy and helped himself.  He didn’t say one word to me, just walked in and took some candy and walked out.  Are you kidding me?  Who does something like that?  I’ll stop ranting because there’s no reason to dwell on it.  I am 100% sure though that he will never pay me any money back.

Ok I said I wouldn’t dwell on it but I lied.  I have to mention this.  Eric has been wearing my coat, gloves, hat and scarf because he’s cold.  That means that I have no gloves, scarf and a not-so-heavy jacket.  Also, Eric has nothing to entertain himself.  No books, Ipad, laptop or anything.  So he just comes into my room without knocking and sits on the bed and just watches whatever I’m watching on my laptop.  He is bothering me about going to a bar, but I don’t want to, mostly because I know that I’ll have to pay for everything.  There’s nothing fun about supporting an adult man that you can’t stand to be around.  Now I’m done.

Enkoping SK has the next two days off and then on Tuesday they leave for Turkey for training camp.  The coach wants me to go, but it will depend on if they can convince the travel company to give them favorable rates since I’m such a last-minute addition.  If I go that’s awesome, but if not I guess I will just take a vacation somewhere.  I’ll have to see what the cheapest flights out of Stockholm are and then visit there.  Or maybe I’ll take a train to Denmark.  It’s possible I could train with an Allsvenskan or Superettan team during the week just to stay in shape, but that’s up to the Swedish agent to find it if I’m not going to Turkey.

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