Team Canada for Street Soccer at Rio 2010 Homeless World Cup Day 8

Coach Alan Bates writes:

Hi Street Soccer Canada fans,

I’ve fallen even further behind with these updates. A lot happens in a day for some of our guys, even when they’re not participating in a soccer tournament in Rio.

Some of you have probably already found photos for Day 8 at:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=493079&id=852065453&l=470e63b66e

Every morning as we leave the hostel, we gather in a circle and someone says something about Canada before we do a 1-2-3-Canada! cheer. You might not have guessed that some or our players are really into the history channel. Things shared in our morning ritual have included Billy Bishop shooting down the Red Baron, Canadians figuring out how to deal with mustard gas, and German POWs being well-treated (apparently with steak dinners?) in Eastern Canada during WWII. Although these are all related to conflicts with Germany, one of our players also told me that he really likes Germans and feels that of all the European cultures, theirs is most like his own First Nations culture. I didn’t get a lot of details, but there must be a Sociology thesis there somewhere.

Day 8 was relatively uneventful from a soccer point of view. We only had one game and I feel like there’s not a lot to say about it. Either that or I’m too tired to remember details. We played Finland, didn’t score, and got scored on a lot. We didn’t have a bad game, they were just a better team and we didn’t get any bounces. I’ve got to emphasize again how good the guys have been at just accepting very lopsided games like this, keeping a positive attitude and moving on.

The highlight of the day came off the pitch with our ride on the Santa Teresa streetcar. It only costs 60 cents (or whatever they’re called here) for an amazing 40-or-so minute trip. After a section of elevated track that makes it feel like you’re slowly floating (in a clunky kind of way) over the city in a streetcar, the tracks wind up narrow curving roads. The scenery includes restaurants, homes, and very impressive street art/graffiti. In addition to the paying customers, scores of kids hop on and off all the way up, barely missing telephone poles and buses going the other way as they hang from the side. Of course, our players couldn’t miss out on that kind of reckless fun so they also had a go at barely avoiding utility poles and side-mirrors. We’ve spent a lot of time near the tournament venue in Copacabana and this felt like a much more genuine part of the city. After the streetcar trip, the Theatro Municipal was also really spectacular at night with lights coming through all the stained-glass windows.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch up on the updates tomorrow.

Thanks for your support,

Alan

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  1. karen tsang
    September 27, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks to all of you for representing Canada with such awesome spirit! I especially loved the story following the Cambodia games. When a moment has passed, all you have are the next moments. You guys truly proved that all you have to do to improve the next moments (when the ones that have just passed sucked) is to improve your point of view. Congratulations on the games thus far!

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