Taylor “retired” from soccer a year and half ago. She play a year and half for the Loveland Soccer Club, but then decided to focus on swimming.

Well, she has decided to get back into soccer.  Her friend, Natalie, plays for Thunder United and talked her into trying out for their team.  It had been over a year since she had last touched a soccer ball, so we went out in the back yard and practiced for an hour or so.  She was definitely a little rusty at the start, but was looking pretty good by the end of it.

I took to the try outs. It was a very “cold” day.  I was cold, but it was probably perfect for the soccer players. There were a lot of girls there trying out for the various high school age teams.  The thing about trying out for a program that you have never been a part of you don’t really know how many teams and girls they are looking to fill out their rosters.  Plus you have different age groups trying out together, so you don’t know which girls would be competing for the same teams.

After some warm ups the first thing they did was to do a 5 vs. 5 drill.  They did this for an our with the groups shifting from field to field to mix up who were they we playing against and which coaches were watching.  I thought Taylor looked pretty good. Of course I am the biased dad, but still she was making some good moves, passing, and hustling.  They did this drill for about an hour.

After that they switched to 11 v 11 scrimmages.  Taylor mostly played mid-fielder.  She was hustling and making some good passes (almost had an assist, but the girls shot wide right).  She did a good job of playing her position in regards to where she should be on the field in various situations.  She played forward some, but the ball was mostly down at her goal so she didn’t get many touches as a forward.

That was pretty much it.  It is hard to judge where you stand at a tryout like that, because you don’t know what the coaches are looking for. A couple of coaches talked to Taylor one on one and I thought she looked good, but it is not always about who is the best player.  We left only knowing they would be calling in the next day or two.

One of the coaches called the next day.  She said their was some confusion about Taylor’s experience. She said some of the coaches were under the impression that Taylor had not played for a year, but she thought they must be mistaken and that it really was that Taylor has played Select for a year.  I told her in fact Taylor had no played for a year and had not even touched a ball in over a year.  She said something along the lines of “You wouldn’t know it.”  It was quite the compliment.

Well, they wanted to see if Taylor was interested in coming to a call back to look at a smaller group of girls.  Of course the answer was, “Yes.”  So we put in another round of practice in the back yard to help her be prepared.  She really looked good in my opinion.

So, it was off to another try out.  This time it was hot and sunny.  Their were less girls, but still a pretty good group.  Once again it would be hard to tell how Taylor was measuring up from a try out since many of those girls were already on the club.

This time they followed warm ups with a 1 vs. 1 drill.  If you got the ball you attempted to score on your goal or if you didn’t have the ball you were to defend.  If you scored, you stayed out on defense until you were scored on.  One time Taylor took the ball, scored, and then ripped the ball from the next 3 girls in a row scoring each time.  Once again I thought she looked pretty good.

The next thing they did was a 7 v 7 scrimmage on a reduced field with no keepers.  Again Taylor looked pretty good.  Not only did she hustle, pass, and defend, but she showed her soccer knowledge by making smart drop and cross passes. She scored a couple of goals, too.

When the try out ended, I thought she had done a good job.  They called over about 6 girls to talk to.  These must have been the girls trying to make the team.  I couldn’t really be sure how she measured up against them, since I didn’t know who was who during the tryout.  Then the coaches told us parents that they had two teams they were looking for a few players.  One team was their U15 Competition 2 team and the other was U15 Competition 4 (or maybe 3 depending). They needed to review their notes and then they would get back to everybody. Natalie plays for the C1 team, so either way Taylor wouldn’t be playing on her team.

Before we even got home the phone was wringing.  The coach of the C2 team wanted to let Taylor know that she was the best girl by far at the try out and they definitely wanted to extended an offer.  She wanted Taylor on her C2 team, but she only had 2 openings with offers already extended to two other girls.  If one of those dropped out, then Taylor would be on the C2 team.  Otherwise, was definitely a spot for he on the C4 team.  She said she’d know in a day or two.

A couple of day later she called back to say she had a spot on her C2 team and would love to have Taylor on it. Taylor will play for them in the Spring (high school soccer plays in the fall, so there is no select season).  In the meantime Taylor is going to play rec soccer this fall with her friend McKenzie.

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