Whoever Invented Soccer Should be Worshipped as God

(Hugo Sanchez)

            I have played soccer since I was six years old.
After transferring to a different club when I was eleven, I always played in the respective highest possible league for my age. We even won the State Championship for our age group in 1996 (outdoor) and in 2000 (indoor). While I started out as an offensively minded midfielder, I eventually found “my” position in the central defensive midfield, i.e., as a classic “number 6”.

        After the junior leagues, I transferred to the club Bonner SC. I played semi-professionally in the fourth division in Germany for three years while doing my civil service and my first two years of college. During that time, I also won the Under 20 National Championship with my State Selection Team (prize: a trip to Kazakhstan).

            After two years of studying in Germany, I took the opportunity to transfer to Berry College in Rome, GA - on a soccer scholarship! In my first year there we made it to the Final Four of the NAIA National Tournament, but unfortunately lost the semi-final despite being the better team. The following year I was selected to be a Second Team All American.

        My “serious” soccer career unfortunately ended when I graduated from college. However, even during my PhD program, I always took the time to play soccer regularly. I joined AC Mellon, the newly founded CMU club soccer team, in the spring semester of my first year and have played with them since. Starting in 2010 I also took on the coaching position for the team.

        With my body failing me more and more often due to age and excessive training during my teens, coaching is probably the future. But I’m not quite ready to let go of playing myself yet...