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View from the End Line: Nerves are Kicking In

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Finding ways to vent nervous anticipation of preseason.

Columbus Crew v Orlando City Soccer Club - Disney Pro Soccer Classic
Remember this strip
Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The preseason is one week old, and other than the little glimpses we get from the Orlando City’s social media team, there are only a few things we know right now. Those are the things that people should be focused on, not the random speculation and wild rides on the rumor mill, although I have absolutely chuckled at some of the things I have seen on social media lately. We are a mere four weeks and six days from opening day of the MLS season, and I, for one, cannot wait, but it is getting more and more difficult to be patient.

This past Friday, I jumped on the chance to go cover the newest of the Orlando sports teams, the Orlando SeaWolves, as they played a match at the Silver Spurs Arena. I was familiar with indoor soccer, as I have played it numerous times since I moved to Florida, but not on this level. It was fast, it was hectic, and it certainly made for a very entertaining evening — well, as entertaining as it could be being a member of the media. As glamorous as it sounds, being with “the media,” it is a good bit of work.

Deadlines being deadlines, and all of them being tight, I usually have my laptop open and am typing notes on the match while watching. This has really made me wish I had paid more attention in high school when we had typing class. In case you don’t know, there is a very specific reason why the “f” and “j” keys have some form of raised mark on them. I can somewhat type without looking, but I really need to hone that skill, especially when I cover the SeaWolves again.

MASL indoor is fast, a four-quarter match that can only be described as a strange mixture of soccer and hockey. It is a wonderful mix of ball control, strength, physics, and geometry that created this whirling dervish of action from start to finish that I need to visit again, purely as a spectator, so I can enjoy an adult beverage and watch from a different mindset. It also reminded me just how much I enjoy soccer, at any level. It was an unfortunate loss for the SeaWolves, having a shot deflect off of multiple bodies and into the goal with only about six seconds left was heartbreaking, especially to witness as my first match. That loss balances out the midweek match I watched where my adopted Scottish team Kilmarnock FC beat Rangers FC, and then traveled to Aberdeen yesterday and secured a point. Taking four points in four days from two of the top four teams is pretty good in my book.

Social media has kept me busy as well, watching and waiting for every little bit of factual information I can get. This week had very little of that, other than a few club notifications or factual points from some of our friendly information sources. I am a bit shocked at the level of discussion surrounding the leaked new home kit. I mean, I get it, this is a somewhat symbolic representation of who and what we are. By we, I mean this club, this city, and this fandom. Fans take the “look” of the kit very seriously I guess, based on what I have read this week on the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I just never realized how much time and energy folks put into chasing leaks on the new kit, versus, well, I honestly don’t know. In a single entity league, with one supplier for all of the MLS kits, do you really suspect the club will come out with something mind blowing (I would completely buy a ton of the Guy Fieri black with purple flame shirts if that ever becomes a reality). Let me remind you all that every keeper in MLS had the exact same designed kit for last season. Only the crest, sponsors, and colors available changed. I have a black strip, and I will keep that black strip until the club makes the playoffs. I stated this seasons ago, and I will stand by it. I have a feeling I will be buying a new strip this season.

Is it nerves that get people off on tangents like this? Fear of the unknown can be a dangerous thing. Fear typically invokes an individual’s fight or flight mechanism, which can sometimes manifest into strange behaviors. I am keeping my nerves in check by staying focused on March 2, knowing that it is going to be an interesting season. More change is coming, and it should be expected. I have found a few outlets to help me keep those nerves in check. What are you doing to balance out the need for the season to start and staving off the nervous tension we all feel?