Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Bromance and Matchday 4

There is a budding bromance happening in my apartment, and I’m not involved.


seems appropriate for my complaining.
As you may know, I share an apartment with Anthony Dafaa.  We get along well and have similar personalities.  We also both are willing to cook and clean so our place stays clean at all times and there’s no problems.  Our only real difference is our taste in music: He loves reggae; I absolutely hate reggae.  Well that’s no problem, right?  Surely he’s not playing reggae music as loud as his computer speakers can blast it 24 hours a day, right? Wrong.  I often have to ask Anthony to turn his music down, kind of like if I was his grandpa and babysitting.  To his credit, he always does or puts in headphones.  Ironically the headphones are worse, because then I can’t hear the professionally produced song, but instead can only hear Anthony singing!  Needless to say, even though we get along great, the bromance isn’t between me and Anthony.  Enter Tomi Ameobi.


Tomi just so happens to live very close to our apartment.  In fact, we can see his place from our living room window.  When he first got here, he didn’t have an internet connection at his place so he was kind of forced to hang out at our place in order to have internet access.  It actually was good for us because we all got to know each other better.  We all get along great so it’s nice when he comes by.  My relationship with each of them though is nothing compared to their relationship with one another.   In like three weeks these guys have become bff’s.  At the heart of their friendship is the fact that Anthony is the biggest jokester ever and Tomi loves to laugh more than anyone you’ve ever met.  I sit in my room watching movies while these guys talk and laugh hysterically for hours at a time.  Sometimes I pop out and have a laugh with them as well, but I’m certainly not in the inner circle of this man-love.  I mention the bromance not because it’s terribly interesting in my life, but more because I know that the fans love Anthony and Tomi so I think you guys would be interested in knowing that those guys are best friends.


I’ve been away for awhile, so I missed a few things.  The most interesting of which was May Day, a holiday that I don’t quite understand.  If I’m being honest, I missed most of the festivities on May 1 because I was a part of some of the festivities on April 30, if you know what I mean.  If you don’t, I mean that I drank a lot of beer on April 30 and slept until about 2pm on May Day.  To be fair to me, I did a hard workout at the gym on April 30 and May 2 so my one night out didn’t affect my performance in training or the match.  I don’t really have much to say about May Day.  I walked around the entire city which was kind of nice, but really it just seemed like a normal day aside from the packed city center.  The real action from May 1 came once I got back home, to see that my apartment had been infested (carefully chosen word, lol) by a bunch of my teammates.  Tomi had brought over his Playstation 3 and he, Bamo Alfat, Karsten Smith and Anthony were having an impromptu Fifa 2013 competition/tournament.  I am perhaps the only soccer player in the world who doesn’t care for Fifa, so I didn’t play, but I did spend about an hour watching these guys do battle and getting increasingly frustrated.  Just as those old at-home laser tag kits ruined many a child friendships, Fifa temporarily ruins friendships of pro athletes in their 20s (except Bamo, who won’t turn 20 until like 2015).  At any given moment of time, the two people last to play the game weren’t on speaking terms.  It was hilarious to me as an outside observer.


I’m kind of burying the lead here, but a few days ago we played out Round 4 league match against RoPS.  More than your average game, there were many ups and downs both for the team and for myself.  First the team got off to a bad start almost immediately with Henri going down with an injury in the first five minutes.  He tried to shake off the injury, but in reality he only served to end his shutout streak because a few minutes later a RoPS player hit an amazing goal from almost 30 yards.  It was to Henri’s left, so he couldn’t go for it, but to be honest even if he hadn’t have been hurt it would have been useless to try and save that shot.  It would have taken two goalies to keep it out.  Another down note for the team came later, when Tomi aggravated his ankle and was forced to come off.  Fortunately, he was able to get on the end of a…let’s call it a “cross” from Toni Bjork (It was clearly a terrible shot haha).  After 27 minutes he was the second player to have to be substituted.  From there though we played great and were able to fight back and win 3-1, despite me having a goal wrongly(wrongfully?) disallowed for offside and a missed penalty kick.  The team showed a lot of heart and proved yet again that we will be a force in this league.  We may not necessarily be the best team in the league, but I don’t think too many people are looking forward to VPS on their schedule.


As for me, the game also had highs and lows.  I started out with the bold and brave move to sit on the front row of the bench.  Usually this row is reserved for the staff, but I got my seat early and held strong through some confused looks from doctors and coaches.  In many ways I’m like the Rosa Parks of the VPS bench.  Don’t call me a hero, I’m just trying to pave the way for the people who come after me J. (note: You can call me a hero if you want.)  I started the game on the bench which no player likes to do, but I ended up coming on much sooner than anyone planned.  I scored a goal which got called back for offside, even though the video shows that I timed my run perfectly to Sebastian’s shot that deflected into my path.  I also drew a penalty kick through sheer hustle going after a ball that most players on the pitch assumed was gonna land out of bounds.  I’m fair with myself though and I realize that there were plenty of bad things about my game as well.  I didn’t provide enough movement for the team when I first came on or at the very end when I was a bit tired.  I also had some touches that would be more at home at the donkey World Cup than in a professional soccer game for humans.  I also should have done more to pressure RoPS’ center backs, as they were essentially just defender versions of me: strong, fast but with the occasional (and predictable) poor touch/pass.  If I would have worked harder on defense I’m sure I could have caused them more problems.  That said, I think those defenders are happy to know that they won’t be seeing me for another couple of months.
my goal: STOLEN!


Lastly, I’ve got mention again that my work in the gym is paying off.  I’ve never really been a huge gym person, but since I’ve been in Vaasa I go all the time.  I haven’t taken more than 3-4 days off since I arrived and it’s really helping my game.  When I first came on last game I created a chance out of nothing just because I was stronger than my opponent.  Someone (Jyki I think) played a long pass into the box.  I went up with the center back, and even though he won the header, I put enough force into the challenge that the ball fell to me.  I should have chipped the goalie, but instead I went for power and didn’t hit it right.  Later when I drew the penalty I used my increased strength to get the ball off the center back on the line and then fight him off.  He was forced to make a terrible slide tackle because he simply couldn’t body me off the ball.  Without weight training I’m sure he would have pushed me off the ball either on the sideline or somewhere outside of the box.  It would have still been a foul, but not a penalty which is obviously a significantly higher chance to score.  Those are just two examples of ways my strength training has created chances that I otherwise would not have.  Even though they didn’t lead to any goals last game doesn’t mean that I won’t get some going forward.  Anyway, I don’t have a bike yet so my plea for a ride to the gym still stands.  Feel free to honk your horn and offer to drive me.  I’ll be the only guy in the history of Vaasa walking around with dreads and a backpack J


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