I didn't play soccer growing up. Too much running. Or, maybe I just didn't appreciate the game. Too little scoring, 90 minutes of running and you can end in a tie? No thanks. I'm out.
In fact, it wasn't until I was 22 that I saw my first soccer game. I was really there to watch the eye candy that was my future husband coach on the sidelines. That made soccer way more palatable for me. Fast forward 15 years and I can say without any reservation that I am a fan of soccer. It has taken me a while to learn, appreciate and really get the beauty of soccer.
Tuesday night, my mom and I attended Soccer 101 for Women presented by AdvoCare at the "new" Toyota Stadium where our favorite MLS team, FC Dallas, plays. This was a women-only event limited to just a small group to learn, socialize, have fun and get a peek inside life as a professional athlete.
One of the things that has turned me from casual observer to true fan are events like Soccer 101 that "normalize" professional sports and athletes. Here I am with Stephen Keel, George John and London Woodberry, current FC Dallas players. What girl wouldn't want to spend time with these cuties instead of washing dishes or making lunches?
The 3rd annual free event split participants into four groups and gave each group an opportunity to spend time learning about soccer fundamentals, rules of the game, life as a professional athlete, nutrition and a locker room conversation with players.
Here is the stunning and down-to-earth Molly Cooper, wife of #33 Kenny Cooper. She gave us an inside look at the peaks, valleys and uncertainties of being the wife of a professional athlete. Can you believe she and Kenny met in elementary school?! She even keeps the thank you note and picture of my son and Kenny on their fridge. I would never have imagined this be something that a professional athlete would do but that's one of the beautiful things about FC Dallas. It's a team filled with world-class soccer players (and their significant others) but there aren't the big egos that go with playing a sport for a living.
We also had the chance to head into the locker room and let me tell you, it smelled like one! Actually, it was only in the first few lockers and I am positive it was Raul Fernandez's goalie gloves. Yowza!
There was a question and answer session with Kenny Cooper and Stephen Keel and they were quite the pair of comedians. Did you know they are best friends? Listening to them is like hearing two teenage girls chat. They feed off each other, laugh and it's pretty freaking hilarious.
It's these types of encounters that make me love FC Dallas even more. After you meet these guys, you feel like you are part of their family. Except, as fans, we're probably the crazy cousin no one really talks about. But, it's nice to know they love us anyway.
There are only a few home games left so now that the weather is cooling down, take advantage of some family-friendly fun before it's over. My family has renewed our season tickets so we can continue to show our support for our favorite local sports heroes.
Thanks to FC Dallas for a great night and to the players, staff and coaches for taking the time to make us chicks feel loved! DTID!