That was awesome, and here is why: Apparently there is a thing called the US Open Cup, which is a single-elimination soccer tournament where pro and amateur soccer clubs across America face off. One such amateur club is Christos FC, a Baltimore-based team that doesn’t train and meets at a liquor store. Yes, a liquor store. And last night, they took DC United for all they could, including scoring that awesome goal. Not only did the amateurs score on United, they went into the half tied.
WaPo – …the amateurs sponsored by an Anne Arundel County liquor store, the college stars who now have day jobs, haven’t had a real training session in forever and gave the Washington pros everything they wanted for 80 minutes. I sort of felt like a Christos FC fan this month too; “I think we all kind of were,” said United Coach Ben Olsen.
The 4-1 final score wasn’t what anyone will remember from this game. What they’ll remember is the 23rd-minute blast from Mamadou Kansaye that gave Christos a 1-0 lead, and sent the supporters streaming down a hill at the Maryland SoccerPlex so they could rage with their younger selves.
“I’m going to have a heart attack” one screamed as he emerged from the mosh pit.
It’s even better when you read a little more about who these guys are:
Collin Fisher, the starting right back on the team that doesn’t train, had just been asked how he stays in shape. Sure, Christos FC’s most tenacious defender plays pickup indoor soccer games on occasion, but what about off the field? Did he lift weights? Belong to a gym? Ogle a treadmill?
“The last time I ran was probably in high school,” he said.
Fisher doesn’t have time to train, at least not during the weeks he is on call 24 hours a day as a plumber/gas fitter. Neither does attacking midfielder Daniel Baxter, an X-ray technician working night shifts in the shock trauma center of Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center. Or starting center back Josh Taylor, an audio/visual equipment sales manager whose only practice tool is his daughter’s size-3 soccer ball.
Christos FC does not conduct practice, doesn’t scout opponents or study film. Game-planning typically occurs a few minutes before matches, when coaches pick a lineup based on who could get off work to show up.
I mean, are these the coolest guys ever? They are named after a liquor store, they don’t train, they don’t practice, and they just took DC United for all they were worth. Oh, and they just get drunk all the time. Because duh.
Following their Open Cup win in Chicago, they said a group of opposing players shook their heads when they saw a cluster of Christos players roll up to the hotel pool lugging 30-packs of beer, one day before their rematch in a separate tournament. And several players said they went out the night before a national final in Milwaukee last summer, then won despite coping with an early red card. “I doubt many guys remember that night very well,” midfielder Brian Graham said.
This is how you live your life.
And the thing is, they are good. They dominate the 2nd division of the Maryland Major Soccer League (braggggg) and had a 50 game winning streak snapped in April. The team is composed of mostly college soccer players, with a couple guys who dabbled at higher levels. So it’s not like they are bums, they are just guys who used to play competitively who now come together every week, drink 8-15 Miller Lites, and bang around DC United. Christos FC is easily my favorite soccer team, and I’m not sure it’s even close.