Last Saturday CF and I flew to Utah to see J. play in the third annual XFINITY  High School Football Challenge at Rio Tinto Stadium.  The intent of this invitational is to give competition for the 2 Utah high school teams of Alta and Jordan.  One of the teams selected to attend was J.‘s  Allentown NJ high school team – a young team recognized as “emerging” after posting a 9-2 record last season.  Rio Tinto Stadium and the city of Sandy, hosted the event with numerous festivities for the boys and their families over the course of the week.

Rio Tinto Stadium is the home of Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer team.  RSL’s coach is Jason Kreis – a former player who began his career in Dallas with the Dallas Burn, ultimately ending up playing for Real Salt Lake and, in May 2007, becoming their coach.

The purpose of this blog has always been to share my beliefs and learnings so that – at some point – Little a. and J. would know me on a deeper level.  In doing so, I have found the research and thought that I put into posts to be clarifying and illuminating and have helped me to be a more considerate person.  The invitation to Utah provided an opportunity to realize all the above.

My brother is/was a huge soccer fan and former player himself.  Jason Kreis  played in Dallas from whence we traveled for the game and where we have lived for 7 years.   He was born in Omaha Nebraska.  Earlier in his life my brother lived in Nebraska.  Some may dismiss all this as coincidence – but not me.  I subscribe to the Jungian philosophy of synchronicity.  He posited that coincidences, in fact,  are opportunities to understand the world on a more meaningful level and that, if you pay close attention, there are deeply rich lessons to be learned.  And so it was in Utah.

Upon becoming the coach for the RSL, Kreiss wrote an article for the local paper reflecting on his new position and the values for the organization.  I witnessed those values at play during my 36 hours in Utah;   Belief, Passion, Desire, Determination, Commitment and Sacrifice.  Impressively, Kreiss believes in the “value of unselfishly placing the collective ahead of the individual”  – a proposition I believe to be as much about teamwork as it is a statement about leadership and ego.

Lastly, the slogan of the RSL is Audentis Fortuna Juvat – latin for Fortune Favors the Bold.  A nice reminder for all that you get what you give.  We have one life, why not live it boldly?

What I saw as these young men took the field was all heart.  The Allentown Redbirds exhibited all the values that a soccer coach breathed into a stadium and reflected back the dizzying affects of lessons learned ahead of their time.  I am so proud of J.  He played a game with intelligence, perseverance, strength and in the end heart.  I know this to be true as I had a camera fixed to his every move.  I love the boy he was and the man he is becoming.

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