The first season of North American Adult Soccer Association-Riverside came to a close Sunday night with the NAASA95 Cup final at Ab Brown Soccer Complex.
And if you play for Inland FC, as I do, today is not the best ever.
We lost, 1-0, to Riverside Madrid on goal I allowed midway through the second half.
From a goalkeeper’s perspective, it sucks. I know I played out-of-my-mind and it still wasn’t enough to get the job done. I finished with six or seven saves — some of them critical — but all I can think about is how I reacted slowly in my dive attempt; That the ball was out of my reach before I was even at full stretch, and how I watched it rattle the netting in the back of the goal.
The harder part to assess are the other aspects of the game (like all of the play which happened on the other end of the field) but we were stout in defense and I’m proud that we allowed just one goal in each of our two postseason games.
We had our chances to score vs. Madrid — mostly in the first half — but we lost the middle of the field in the second half and were forced to repel attack after attack.
While the loss is sure to linger through the winter, there are several data worth noting for me.
I finished the season as the only Inland FC player to be on the field for every minute of every game. That’s more than 1,110 minutes, and it means I’ve now started and finished 27 consecutive games for my club dating back three seasons.
Overall, I allowed 22 goals in nine regular-season NAASA95 games*, finished with a 2.44 goals-against average, and even had one assist.
It was a memorable campaign and would not have been so without the efforts of my teammates (in alphabetical order): Daniel Arreaga, Ranjit Chahal, Alvaro Contreras, Leon Enderica, Sherif Fathy, Adrian Garcia, Hector Garcia, Aaron Lambert, Eric Lambert, Ryan Leonard, Hugo Oliveros, Juan Otero, Rene Perez, Cesar Reynoso, Kwaku Sarpong-Agyeman and Fabian Sythoff.
Each played integral roles, and contributed to the betterment of the league. Our quality forced the other teams to sign better players, which in turn gave the league the epic final it needed.
Now to use it as a springboard into next season…
* — Inland FC’s had one game cancelled after thieves stole essential components (copper wiring) to the lights at Ab Brown Soccer Complex.