Nos da un gran gusto ver a los miembros de la familia pamboleando con sus respectivos equipos. Mientras Jogo anotaba otro gol (se lo anularon debido a un fuera de lugar) contra el equipo nacional sub-17 de Estados Unidos en Florida (tercer juego consecutivo anotando), Johan tuvo una asistencia en el amistoso (debido al paro por la fecha FIFA) del FC Porto. Para culminar bien el día, el tercer Jogo se despachó con la cuchara grande y anotó un “hat trick”. Los goles y las asistencias siempre serán el resultado del juego de conjunto y a veces hasta circunstanciales pero nunca se darán en exceso; hay que celebrarlos mientras se pueda. A final de cuentas, nos fascina que estén disfrutando el “deporte de las masas” tal y como debe de jugarse con alegría y disciplina. Y por cierto, ya falta un día menos para reunir a la familia.
The tournament did not start well for the team. However, anybody who knows a thing or two about out of town soccer tournaments knows that playing the host team for the first game is always challenging. You end up playing against their crowd, their fields, their weather, their rules, etc. You then factor in the long flight 24 hours earlier, returning from the holiday break, a fragile roster with depth issues and all bets are off. I must say, the scoreline (1-3) for the first game was deceiving. For those of us who watched the game, it had its moments of decent FCD soccer with SIMA gold elite (SIMA from here on) playing very direct and using their speed to create the more dangerous chances overall. It is important to note that going down 0-1 in the first five minutes of the match (on top of my pretexts given above) against a top quality opponent is like ice-skating uphill trying to come back. At the end of the match, the boys and the coaching staff quickly shifted their focus to the second game…
The quality of soccer improved in the second game against Valencia and the coaching staff finally learned their rules (ex. unlimited substitutions and reentries permitted). Furthermore, FCD did not fall victim of overconfidence and there were no early forced substitutions due to injuries (incredible player management by the club on the eve of a U20 MNT camp). Also, Valencia plays a different brand of soccer so it was easier to stick to a ball possession plan. Overall, Valencia was supposed to be the opponent to beat but my guess is that this was not their “A” team. I find it interesting that a Spanish team would fly 11 hours to come play a “meh” tournament in the middle of their season (according to their schedule, they are supposed to play a regular season game in a few hours). Anyway, the final score was a tie with us conceding a soft goal in the winding minutes of the match for the second consecutive game. We really could have used those two points to secure a smoother pathway to the championship game but hey, live and learn…
Given SIMA’s dominance in their first two matches, it was a “do or die” situation for FCD’s third game against Esporte Clube Jacuipense . On paper, the Brazilians appeared to be the least known and most flexible opposition and that was indeed the case. FCD had the majority of the opportunities with our GK and defense having very little to do throughout the game. FCD went up on the score in the first half with a PK and closed the deal in the second half off of another set piece. 2-0 was the final score and that in conjunction with the continued dominance of SIMA (undefeated in the first three matches) setup a must see rematch for the “championship” game between SIMA and FCD.
Keeping the score tied at zero in the first 20 minutes of the championship game was of utmost importance in order to start playing our game (possession and mental); however, that was almost achieved until a soft PK call was given to the host team around the 10th minute. After going down 0-1, our team realized that PK calls were going to be soft and we ended up benefiting from two in our favor; one of our players is a master of that art. The game quickly turned more intense and aggressive with players on each team earning a red card and some yellows earned in the process as well. This was a battle not just against SIMA, the crowd, the fields, but their long winning tradition. SIMA had never lost this tournament in the 9 years they had organized it. Good job players and staff for the collective and individual hardware…it was a “good ride”. Thank you.
Congratulations to you Jogo and the entire team (staff included) on winning the 2019 Nike Friendlies. The decision to have an odd-number birth year participate was fortunate for us; the competition, the weather, the timing was all great and well thought out. In the end, it was a good collective team effort to finish in first place and an excellent way for this group to close out the U16-BNT cycle. The future could be bright for a lot of the members of this team (staff included); however, with bigger accomplishments comes bigger responsibilities. Are you all ready for them? Good luck!
We are happy to see members of the family footballing away with their respective teams. While Jogo scored again (called back due to offside) against the US U17 MNT in Florida (3rd consecutive game scoring), Johan had a good assist on the Porto scrimmage (due to FIFA international break) as well. To top the day off, the third Jogo III had a hat trick. Goals are a team effort and sometimes circumstantial but they are not abundant; celebrate them while you can. In the end, we are happy that you guys are enjoying “the beautiful game” as it’s meant to be played…..btw, one less day to reunite the family.
Well, you did it Jogo. We were worried about your health going into the game and what do you end up doing? You scored a banger on your aunt’s birthday against top international competition (Netherlands). We are sure she was looking down and cheering you on. What a way to honor her! #theGomezway
Psalm 147:3. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
It was an indescribable experience for all of us as well. To top it off, the team came back in a miraculous way from a two goal differential in the last few minutes to earn a tie that tasted like a victory. Great experience. We learn, we work, and we progress but most importantly, we remain humble and thankful for the support.
We have mixed feelings about your participation tomorrow. While we know the game is a great opportunity for you to showcase your talents, we worry that today’s injury (but most importantly the challenges this past week) may hinder your performance. We trust the Lord and your judgement that you will know when your body is unable to perform. However, having been in your shoes before, the heat of the moment can offset any pain that you may be experiencing. Please know that we are so proud of you and that no matter how the game goes, we will be back home supporting you and figuring out what the next logical steps will be. Love you son. Your family.
Lo hiciste una vez más cabezón. Estábamos muy preocupados por tu salud en la antesala de éste encuentro y ¿qué haces? Terminas anotando un verdadero golazo en el cumpleaños de tu tía y nada menos que en contra de un rival complicado (la naranja mecánica). No nos cabe la menor duda que desde arriba, te estaba echando porras “la Lore”. ¡Qué mejor forma de honrarla hijo! #theGomezway
Fué una experienca indescriptible para todos nosotros. Y la cereza en el pastel fué que el equipo se supo recuperar de un marcador adverso en una forma milagrosa al poder empatar el encuentro en los últimos minutos. Sin duda alguna…una gran experiencia. Seguimos en modo de aprendizaje, de trabajo, y progresando pero lo más importante, seguimos humildes y agradecidos con el apoyo de la fanaticada. Nunca olvides de donde venimos ni a donde vamos.