I can vividly remember watching the 2010 World Cup with a bunch of friends at the MGM Grand. We were disappointed in the United States ouster, but the crowd was electric.
People were screaming, hugging, and arguing about their favorite teams. Just being in that atmosphere, it made me wonder as to why people get so excited every 4 years for the World Cup, but as soon as it’s done soccer falls off the map.
I grew up playing soccer and it helped shape my childhood. Knee surgeries, broken bones, and a few concussions later, my career ended. Lest I forget, none of those above injuries happened playing soccer, or as some like to call it, futbol.
Moving here to Las Vegas, I was stunned that with the melting pot of people, that there were no soccer leagues, or pro or semi-pro teams. (I am talking about adult leagues)
This past Saturday as I was covering another event, I happened to meet Josh Copeland. Josh, as it turned out is the coach of the Las Vegas Knights, a premier indoor soccerteam full of Vegas guys.
Josh has accomplished quite a lot on the soccer world, unless you consider playing professionally nothing big. It is a huge deal, obviously. Anyhow, Josh played in the MISL, which eventually turned in to the PASL pro division.
Being a professional soccer player doesn’t mean Josh has more than 2 eyes though, so he employs Peter to be his off field vision.
His players are an impressive group. Just watch Travis, who shows an incredible amount of concentration, during a most trying, or should I say painful time.
Josh has now lent his expertise to the Knights. Being one of their top defenders and the head coach, Josh has a lot on his plate. His goal is to be on on-field leader, who gets the best out of his players.
OK, you bounce a ball off your head, and let one of these guys blast another ball off your midsection. You, like me, would be down for the count.
And each and every one of these guys are highly skilled in the indoor game. They know how to use their bodies for leverage, and the walls for that extra advantage.
In another coincidence, I was watching the Las Vegas Sin practice on Wednesday, when I met Mitchell Jenkins.
Mitchell, along with Derik van Gessel are a co-captains of the Knights. Mitchell and Derik are known as the Bash Brothers. The only Bash Bros I remember were Mark McGwire andJose Canseco from their days with the Oakland A’s. Showing my age, Mitchell had to explain to me that they pattern their Bash Bros name after 2 of the characters in the movie “Mighty Ducks 2″. The movie is about a hockey team, but they do play indoors so I understood the correlation.
If you, like me, missed that movie, here is a clip of the Bash Bros. Mind you, for some reason it is sent in reverse, but you get the drift.
Mitchell explained to me that he is one of only 3 players left on the Knight’s from their first season 6 years ago. The other 2 are Derik, and goalie Zeke Sanchez. At practice the night before, two people told me to keep my eye on Sanchez, ’cause he’s the real deal. He proved their point by stoning many of the would-be scorers even in practice.
If you love soccer, and love the fact that these guys make their home in the valley, then you need to get out to Las Vegas Indoor Soccer and catch a game…or maybe even a practice.
Check my calendar for upcoming games. There may be some additions soon, as the Knights are planning to add a couple more home games.
So get on out and support the guys. Don’t wait for the World Cup to get your soccer on, not when you have great players in your own back yard.
January 26th, 2012
by: Bill Mahoney