Jack played his first ever game on a team. This child has been kicking a soccer ball since he could walk, but in a country where the first organized sport opportunities occur for 16 year olds and above. So he was pretty nervous driving to his game, wearing the jersey, and doubting his worthiness. His team is undefeated, and they played the only other undefeated team in the league. Jack started as a left-sided striker, and played all but about ten minutes of the match. And he played hard, got the ball, had drove through the defense, and had many strikes on goal. In the second half he finally scored, which went a LONG way in boosting his confidence. Another of his strikes bounced off the inside of the post, and was probably over the goal line. He also drew a foul in the box that resulted in a team score, and had many good passes. And at the end of a very close and exciting game, he consistently ran back to help the defense, even though he looked exhausted. The final result was a tie 6 to 6, and by that time it was so dark we could barely see which kid on the field was ours.
So we feel one step closer to being real Americans this weekend. Now all four of our kids have played community soccer (Luke in 2nd grade and Caleb in Kindergarten in 2000; Julia in the U14 and Jack in the U13 groups in 2010). It was fun and nerve-wracking to cheer on the sidelines, and a huge relief to see each of them score and celebrate with friends and start to feel a part of things.