Let’s travel once more back to last summer. Since I stepped down from coaching youth soccer, I had been able to spend more time on the sidelines as a parent, and that means I can sketch more rather than take note. I still take notes, force of habit, but it’s nice to try and capture the games in a way that the photos taken a long-distance on our not-zoomed-in camera phones do not. Did I just use the term ‘camera phone’? Ok grandad. I know you are supposed to just say ‘phone’ instead of ‘camera phone’ now, and nobody has cameras now unless they are a photographer, so we say ‘phone’ to talk about the thing we primarily use for taking photos, and occasionally use to make calls on. One day I might invent the sketchbook-phone. My poor eyes cannot zoom in, but I tried to draw the action as best I could. Here are some sketches form various tournaments our team AYSO United Davis went to. Above, and the next couple below, are sketches from the Stanford Cup, which was held in various locations around Silicon Valley. It was bloody hot, and I stood in what shade I could find. In the end the team did not advance to the final, though it was close, but they played well and didn’t give much away.
The third match was at a big high school football stadium. I only drew half the field, but the other half looks like that so you can imagine it. When playing soccer on these American football fields it is always difficult to know where the lines are, as the soccer field is wider, and will often use less-distinct yellow lines. So you get people taking throw-ins from the wrong place, about a metre or so inside the bounds, and as for the penalty area, there’s a lot going on on these fields. Still with all the extra lines it’s easier to spot an offside (or ‘offsides’ as they say here). We were quite high up and had a good view of proceedings.
These ones, drawn in one of those pencils I got at one of the Urban Sketching Symposiums, were form the Wolves Cup tournament down in one of those places in the East Bay, I forget now. Diablo Valley, Antioch, that’s it. The local Diablo Valley teams had badges like Wolverhampton Wanderers, I think they might be connected. I know Tottenham had an ‘East Bay Spurs’ youth club, though I don’t think they are still connected. Last season we played one team in San Francisco that had a historical connection to Celtic, they knocked us out of the State Cup (1-0 with a last-minute goal, that was gutting). It’s quite common over here, though when a club has a name like Juventus or Ajax I don’t know if they are actually connected or just named after them. I liked meeting the people from all the youth soccer teams over the years, and had some good sideline banter with some of the nicer coaches; though you get a few who are a bit much, most were very friendly. Parents can be a thing, oh yes. We always had a good parent culture on our teams and strived to keep everybody positive, though we played some teams were parents would be sent off the sidelines for their behaviour. Those refs have a tough job; respect the referees. This was a good little tournament though, everyone was nice. My son scored the first goal, in our opening 4-0 win.
The sketch below was against a team who I can’t completely remember, but played in neon yellow, so I did a few sketches. This may have been the team where the opposing players were really quite unfriendly, and the parents were saying pretty unpleasant things too, and our coaches actually stopped the game and took the players off. Fair play to them for that. This might have been a different game though. It’s not always clear what’s being said out on the field, and I was off in the shade sketching. It was not long after my skin operation so I was sticking to myself and avoiding people in general, getting what shade I could. One thing I learned was that if you use a neon highlighter to colour in the neon shirts, that won’t really come out in the scan, so I had to add the neon yellow scribble back in with Photoshop afterwards.
This final one was done digitally on my iPad, so no scanning issues there. It was from a Halloween themed tournament in which our team dressed up as Minions, and ended up winning the whole thing, their first medal as a team. They won the final on penalties, with my son’s best friend scoring the winning spot-kick. The game sketched below was a group game against the team they ended up beating in the final, and they lost this one 2-1 in a tight contest. I like drawing these on the iPad because I can use layers and get the background drawn quickly, adding in players over the top. Still had to be quick.