From One Pro to the Soccer Moms of America, Thank You!
by Daniel Scott
This is an article about two football matches and one amazing woman.
Last week, the Tampa Bay Rowdies beat VSI Tampa 2-1 on their ground in the US Open Cup. Being in separate, some would say rival leagues, this match took on more than the intensity of a local derby and perhaps more even than an elimination cup tie.
Beyond the rivalries between the leagues and clubs though was the opportunity to play in the next round of the US Open Cup and a match against a side who will go down as one of the greatest in Open Cup history, the Seattle Sounders.
Crowds of 30,000 plus at Open Cup finals in a televised match seemed to be the stuff of fantasy a decade ago, but to give the Sounders organization some credit, they have given it their all. I believe that this in turn has convinced other MLS sides to follow. Who can doubt the will to win of both clubs in last year’s final?
But for us here in Florida, the best bit is that we get to bring the Sounders here, to bring a top class side to Tampa Bay and allow our great fans to see some of MLS’s best players that they could normally only see on television.
This is what makes the US Open Cup so enjoyable to be a part of and to watch. The giants visit the humble little stadium of the lower league team. They talk about the magic of the cup in the English media. Well, it’s coming here to our home in St Petersburg.
Tampa Bay Rowdies v Seattle Sounders is of course one of the old classic NASL match ups too.
Perry Van Der Beck, Rodney Marsh and Winston Duboise to name a few, all helped lay the foundation for the Rowdies in the 1970’s. With the rebirth of the Rowdies name in 2012 one can only pay homage to the legends of the past who have helped pave the way for players like myself.
Around the time of the end of the NASL in the 1980’s, a new soccer rivalry was about to start. A rivalry between two brothers. Today, marks the second time in the past three years where my brother and I have the opportunity to compete against each other.
Zach knows how much respect I have for his career as his resume speaks for itself. He is a true consummate professional in every sense and a natural leader.
Zach and I are of course not only brothers but best friends. We follow each other’s careers and give each other encouragement when necessary.
This match however is not all about us and I want to use this article to thank our mother Linda for all her contributions to get us this far.
Every soccer mom in the USA knows the sacrifices that have to be made to get their kids to soccer practice. Few get to see both their sons make it to this level and actually compete against each other.
Growing up, she never told us we played well when we didn’t. As players, we already know when we underperform. She helped guide us by saying we could do better and to never quit. I believe that explains a great deal about the way Zach and I conduct ourselves on the pitch.
So I want to thank her but in doing so, I also want to thank all soccer moms of America reading for all the sacrifices they made and continue to make for soccer. Without you we wouldn’t have any of the great players and matches we see now.
Thank you, to all of you from a professional soccer player.
Here is the link to watch tonight’s game live —-> http://events.soundersfc.com/2013/matches/usoc-01-at-tampa-bay/index.html