Saturday, July 18, 2009

A New Chapter and A New Country

At the moment I am currently sitting in my hotel room full of emotions. You see to weeks ago I was back home, enjoying summer in Central Oregon planning on heading back to Chiropractic School, content and happy with my soccer experience in Europe. I had given it my best shot, well God really has no intention of making things predictable, becuase just over a week ago I recieved an email from an agent I had been in contact with in Germany. He said he had a professional Opportunity for me in Estonia (now if you are like me I had to google that.......haha......it is actually just south of Finland in Northeastern Europe). They play in the Meistrleague in Estonia, the top professional league there. And the offer on the table if I could be there within a week was a flat and living expenses covered and 400-500 euro a month to start, with 1000-2000 euro a month possible later on if I make a serious impact. So as a result I am sitting in my hotel in Frankfurt Germany, full of excitement, full of nerves and full of wonder of what is to come. It is all on me now.......will I play well enough to earn the spot on the team and the contract on the table and officially start my professional soccer career? I truly thank God that I even have this opportunity in front of me, I would never have dreamed of soccer taking me where it has. I will find out soon enough as I am going to be flying to Tartu, Estonia in the morning set to begin training on Monday!!! I will keep you all posted.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Still Kickin!!!!

Hey everyone!!!! Hope everyone out there is excited for summer to be upon us. Seems like the good weather is finally sticking around here in Germany. Spring and Summer is really quite beautiful here.

Anyway.....Shoot....I am sorry it has been so long since my last update....I am sure you are all just on the edge of your seat waiting to hear what is happening with me....haha. Well I am been through a lot of ups and downs over the past couple of months, it has been stressful and frustrating at times but am learning more and more about myself through these bumps in the road. But in all honesty life would be pretty boring if everything went as planned or expected and that has truly been the story of my life as of late.

The most significant and stressful event was about a month ago, I had to move out of my previous living situation, and only had a weekend to find something or I had to go home. I still do not know exactly what the reason was, it was very weird and completely out of nowhere. But God has a plan for everything and he showed that to me first hand. With the help of contacts through my team I found a room with a family who owns a Greek Restaurant. So I get a room food and a little bit of work, when I dont have training, about 80 euro a week, and I am not paying anything. So it is actually a better deal, and all in all far less stressful.

Well in terms of soccer last time you heard from me we were getting ready to start the second half of the season and that I was playing well in the friendly games leading up to that. Well I came off of the bench in the first official game, assist the goal that put us ahead 2-1 then 5 minutes later got a sent off for a late tackel....yeah a red card, I really had no malicious intentions but the ref saw it differently. So because of that I missed 3 games, which sucks cause there were only 12 games remaining, but on the switch side of things I did not have to stress about missing a couple games because I was invited on a trip to go to Belgium with a group of american players. So we spent a week and a half in Belgium and we play 3 1st division teams and a 3rd division team there. That was an awesome experience, and got some great exposure from that, and some awesome contact, and overall I had a blast!!!

Then it was back to Germany, I sat out the remainder of suspension, man anyone who has played soccer competitively can feel me on this when I say the time goes by sooo slow when you know you can play but you cant!!!! But I made it through. And have been playing well since. Often starting but when guys come down from the 1st team I am usually the first sub into the game. Till now I have played in 10 games and have 5 starts and 1 goal and 1 assist. Now I have been playing Outside Right Midfield which I do ok at but my postition is up front and it is there that I feel I am most effective. Now I do well and usually play up front in training but the coach does not sub either of our forwards out ever, they play 90 min every game. So that has been a bit frustrating, but you got to roll with it. And I love playing here and the atmousphere is unreal even at this level. But the season is coming to an end and I have to figure what I want to do with my life now.

There are some possibilities pending for tryouts this summer, through a few agents I have been in touch with the past few months, so I am waiting to hear if anything opens up through them. I could come back here, I have a pretty good living situation, and a possibility for a work visa and a job through the team if I want to stay, but at the same time, I am still not sure if I would be starting every game, which is important to me if I was to stay. Also at the same time, I have come to realize that it is a pretty long shot that I would ever make a real living playing soccer here. At 25 I am just a little to old and do not bring enough to the table, so there is a big part of me that in leaning toward heading back to school. So there is a lot of thing up in the air, but no matter what happens I do not and will not have any regrets, I truly gave it my all.

I will keep you all updated and let you know where things end up in the next couple of weeks.

Take care and God Bless.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Back In Germany........

Hello everyone, it has been a while!!!! I was home in Oregon for a few months for the holidays and to save up some money. But I am now back in Germany. I flew in February 1st and started training with the team here February 2nd. Didnt waste any time....haha

And it has been quite a different experience coming back after having lived here for 3 months. Things are no longer foreign anymore, I felt like I even understood the language better than when I left. Oh and it is absolutely freezing cold and very wet this time of year here. But it does seem like the weather is starting to turn and get a bit warmer. It has been great to see and hang out with my friends here.

But most of all I am so excited to be back here in Germany in the pursuit of my ultimate dream......"PLAYING PROFESSINAL SOCCER".....But trust me as much as I love the sport this is certainly one of the most difficult and challenging endeavours that I have ever attemted. You see playing soccer at this level is no longer just for fun it's a business, although don't get me wrong I still have a blast when I am playing, but there are very high expectations and you have to be consistent and get results everytime you step onto the pitch. And I have to tell you, that is probably 75% or greater of the eaquation of whether or not you succeed at the professional level. I know I have the stregth, speed, and technique to play professional soccer, but can I perform well consistently, and can I perform best when the team needs it most. And being 25 years old that is absolutely essential to my success, because I am not worth the money at my age if the team has to wait for me to develop.

Now for all of you who may not be up to date with everything. When I was first here I was only training with the team, because I was waiting on my german players card, and I would be eligible to play by January 1. Well.......IT SHOWED UP......WOOHOO....no more waiting, except for the weather to get better so the season can start....there's always something else, isnt there? And the team that am playing with here is an amature team that plays at in the 6th league here in Germany, they are also the reserve squad for a 4th league/semi-pro team. So that is my goal by the end of the season, to be playing with or getting looks by the first team if I am going to continue to stay here in Germany.

BUT something new just came into the picture for me this last week, I have been speaking with and Pro Soccer Consulting agency for the past few months since I have been playing here in germany. And they have envited me along with 18 other players from the US to attend a soccer tour in Belgium. We will play 4 to 5 games against 1st, 2nd and 3rd League professional teams from Belgium and Holland. All which many coaches have been envited to attend. So this is an incredible opportunity to get some professional exposure and potentially open up even more doors for me or possibly even get a professional contract. No matter what I will be playing with and against players at a very high level of soccer, so no matter what it will be very good experience for me and give me a good idea if I have what it takes to make it at the professional level here in Europe and also back home in the US. And if nothing immediate comes out of it, I will continue playing which FC Bamberg in Germany through the end of May and see where that goes.

I have been working hard and am truly giving this opportunity everything I have. And I know that if professional soccer is in my future things will start opening up in the next few months. And if not, I am also looking forward to getting back to Chiropractic school and continuing towards my passion and career in Sports Medicine.

As always I will continue to keep everyone posted on what is going on and def fill me in on your thoughts and everything that is going on in your lives. I enjoy hearing from everyone.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Coming Home for the Holidays!!!!

Last time most of you heard from me I was in the process of getting my players card and I would probably be playing by now, right???? Well I ran into MORE technical difficulties......you see my card came, but since I played in a league in america (the NPSL in San Jose) less than 6 months ago, I have to wait until January 1st 2009 to play (who would'a thunk it would be so hard to get eligible to play amateur soccer...hehe). The real bummer is if I would have gotten my application into the German Soccer Federation two weeks earlier, I would be eligible to play. Yeah....I Know Right.....It Really Sucks!!! But at least I am going to be 100% eligible to play for the second half of the season. So between now and then I am going to continue to work my booty off.....continue to get into better shape.....and make sure they have no excuse not to play me when the time comes. I have been training 4 times a week with the team here, and am really feeling like I am a part of the team now, and am playing well with them, so I really cannot wait to play with these guys. It has been a lot of fun to this point even considering the fact I am not playing, but shoot the experience has been absolutely priceless and I have learned and actually accomplished quite a lot to this point.

-I have my German Player's Card
-I got my German Residency
-I am eligible to work here in Germany
-Learned a lot of German, yet I am still far from fluent though
-Experienced the Ultimate Beer Fest (Oktoberfest..haha..I sure non of you knew what I meant)
-Have become a DIEHARD Bayern Munich Fan
-Learned that a Weisen just may be the best beer in the World, of course, my Black Butte Porter from the Deschutes Brewery is a close second!!!!

So yeah I really can't complaign, life here has been a pretty sweet experience!!!!!

As for my current financial situation.....AHHHH.......I AM OUT OF MONEY. I have been working at Burger King now for about a month ....WOOOHOOO...... so much fun!!! But they just have not been able to give me very many hours (McDonalds is kind of pushing Burger King out of business here, so they are not busy at all), and nothing else is looking very promising right now in terms of a second job or a better job. So I think I am going to take my chances with the economy and come home for about 2 months and try to find work there. Back home I know a lot more people that might be able to help me find something temporary and with the holidays a lot of the stores are hiring on extra help too. So we will see.......I just think I will have a better chance to make more money at home than here, plus I will be home for my B-day (Nov. 17...I expect a gift from all of you...hehe) and the Holidays......and I really love Central Oregon this time of Year. 

So the plan is I will be home for a little more than 2 months. I will be flying home the 12th of November and then will head back January 20th to begin training again and then season starts up again at the beginning of March. And it is going to be all out from that point on......I have 12 games to prove myself and hopefully get some looks to play at the professional level next year. 

The DREAM is still alive and that is all I can ask for. Nobody said it would be easy and I sure have had to persevere to make it this far, and will certainly have to continue to find strength and guidance from the lord over the next 6 months. I know that if it is meant to be and it is the Lord's Will, the doors will open up. Which is a really comforting thought, makes it easy to relax and not stress about everything.

I miss all of you and can't wait to get home and see everyone. Hope this finds everyone doing well. Take care and God Bless.

Friday, September 26, 2008

OKTOBERFEST!!!!!!!!! Picture Diary.....:)

OK I know everyone knows the stories and I am sure many of you have seen the movie "Beer Fest" but let me tell you there is know way you can have any IDEA how huge Oktoberfest is until you see it for yourself in Person. Wow....it has certainly got to be the only place that you will find upwards of 100,000 people drinking and partying at 11am. Wow....and these are pictures from only one day of Oktoberfest....it is 3 weeks long and everyday is as big as the next. And to make it even better I went to a Bayern Munich game that night, and it was not just any Bayern Munich game is was a German DFB Cup Derby, with their closest rival, FC Nurnberg...one of the biggest games of the year!!!!! My day began at 8am and ended at 3am the next morning.....to say the least I was exhausted. But boy it was worth it!!!!! I tried to find the best pics to highlight everything from the day for you, but like I said...if you like what you see, pictures just do not do it justice...........

.....click on the pic to see it larger.....


Bus To Munich....Note this is the bus that drives the team I play for.....FC Eintracht Bamberg....REPRESENT!!!!

Here we are at the stadium....10am ready to head to oktoberfest!!!!!

We are here....the entrance to the Beer Drinkers Paradise....huh....looks like a Giant Carnival....

Outside the first tent....ok....they are not exactly tents....well the tops look like tents, so I guess it is not totally a lie....but the call them tents none the less....haha

This is inside the first Tent.....yeah this is 11am in the morning....so where are we going to find a seat????

Our first "Mas" that is the only size you can order if you want beer here....haha....That is a Full Liter of BEER!!!!!!

The Haufbrahouse Tent!!!!! Didnt make it in but notice the crowd of people outside...and you cant find a seat inside the tents....there are about 20 of them all seating 5,000 to 10,000 people....You do the math but that is a lot of people....

Inside the Second Tent.............

DINNER TIME......Not even a joke this is all I ate since breakfast....but they have a saying here...."7 beers 1 snitchel now its time to drink".....you see 7 beers have the equivalent nutritional value of 1 snitchel (basically a breaded pork chop) so I guess this is all I needed with all the beer I was drinking....Right????

Hat Lady.....she actually sold hats.....haha.....but her hat was definitely cooler than any she was selling....haha.

Alright.....enough drinking!!!!! Let's go to the Game!!!!! HAHAHA.........Look at my new hat.....:)

Pretty Sweet View huh.....there are not to many things more beautiful than this.....

Wow!!!!!!! I love Germany!!!!!

Good Seats Huh?????? Is that a beautiful sight or what....I would die a happy man just getting to warm up on a pitch like that.....:)

Hahahahaha......NOPE......Actually these are my seats.....well I was not sitting in them though.....boy it doesnt get any better than this....next step would be to be playing out there.

Sold Out......65,000 Strong......boy it was loud!!!
video
This video is just a taste......and it teaches one of the million chants they have for the team....keep in mind this crowd was not silent for almost 3 hours.......Boy it was intense.......

I can't get over this....these guys are the best in the world!!!!!! (well one of the best in the world) I wouldnt want to affend anyone....heheheh
video
This is a clip of the game.....from my cell phone mind you.....I really was this close......Still totally pumped.....can't wait till the next game!!!!!!

Luca Toni!!!!!!!!!

2-0 Bayern Munchin........

Well wow I have to say that was def an experience of a lifetime.....could not do that every day.....but I am looking forward to my next Oktoberfest experience.....this definitely will not be the last!!!!!!!!!!!

Take care everyone there is more to come............

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Chase Continues

Shoot I think it has been about 3 weeks since I touched base with everyone last. Wow I still can't believe the time is going by so fast. So I have been here for 5 weeks now, but it honestly feels like it has been so much longer though. 
Well things have been going good, I am chasing my dream....and The Chase Continues....So I cant complain!!! The past couple of weeks I have been trying to pull everything together here to get my residency, well I finally got it....Yaaaaaahhhh!!!!! So now pending the reciept of my players card this next week, I should be 100% eligible to play next weekend. So I am totally stoked for that. 
Boy that was a process though and with all the ups and downs and the language barrier it is a bit frustrating at times. Those of you that know me well might know this but when it comes to anything I am doing I get quite frustrated when things don't go perfectly the way I had planned. Something that I think has been a bit of a crutch of mine that I have been really working on over the past few years of my life. I need to get better at just "letting go, and letting God", like my mother always says to me (I Love You Mom). I mean I knew in the back of my mind that all of this might take time to get rolling but I get my hopes up, and when things don't work out right away I getting frustrated. But the bottom line is now I have my residency and now I finally get to see how I hold up playing soccer here in germany. 
Now here is how it is going work. The team I will be playing with is a 6th division ameuture/semi-pro team, if I do well I might get a little money here and there, but nothing is guaranteed. But the goal is to make the starting 11 by the end of the first half of the season, which ends October 31. The second half of the season I would be looking to get some looks by the 1st team, which is in the 4th division here, where I would be guaranteed a bit more money on the starting 11. But this level is still not professional, they are one step below, 3rd division here in Germany is the first professional level which is my ultimate goal here. So it is just a ladder and if I do well and am consistent in my play I will move up. 
Along the way I my have the opportunity to try out for a couple professional teams in both Sweden and possibly Denmark (they are pending right now). And during the winter offseason, I am trying to get in the "professional combine" in florida, with which will get me many looks from pro teams in the states and in Europe. 
So it is SOCCER SOCCER SOCCER for the next few month (well I am hoping the next couple of years), but I do have to make money, not alot but some to pay the few bill I have here and back in the states (Damn Student Loans). So keep in mind the options are a bit limited here since my German is not very good, but i may be working at Burger King here...haha....yeah I never thought I would be saying that but money is money right, and I have a few other things pending but this is the first thing that came up. So as long as I pass the training I will  also probably be starting that this week as well. 
So that is my life right now.....very unpredictable right now, but I cannot remember the last time my life was anything but.....so I am happy and can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me next. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers, I will take any extra help I can get over here.........:)
Take care and I hope all is well for all of you......

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Soccer Update......

Well last time many of you have heard from me, I was getting ready to sign with the reserve team here in Bamberg. Well although my performance has be plenty good enough I found out the day I was supposed to sign that I have to obtain my German residency first, the equivilence of a green card in the US. So that was a bit of a downer. In the past week I have gottin everything together, and have a job lined up and pending approval of the German governement I should be eligible to play in a few weeks to a month. Which for me is much to long, I am here to play soccer and I know that I am capable at playing at a high level here. But patience is a virtue right? Well I hope so, cause I am keeping my cool, well trying to, things do get a bit frustrating when dealing with a new government, and I do not speak the native language so that certainly makes things tuff, but I do believe that everything will work out the way the Lord has planned for me, and if that has me playing soccer here, everything will work out smoothly, if not, you all might be seeing me again a bit sooner that you might have expected. Anyway, of course I will keep the updates coming......ciao.