Puberty, Soccer Master and Me.

Back in 1993 Soccer Master sent out a request asking for “profiles of American soccer.” I remember I penned some lines about myself, enclosed a really awkward striking photo of myself and dropped it in the mail.

Months passed…I had totally forgotten about the submission. We returned home from a family vacation in Hilton Head and what do I find in the mail? A copy of Soccer Master…but it’s not like the usual Soccer Masters I had received in the past…this one was packaged in a padded envelope.

So I frantically open the envelope and find a catalog, a letter and the hot pic that I had submitted. I figured it was a “thanks for the submission…but the years have not been kind to you” type letter.

Slightly disappointed, I start flipping through the catalog and what do I find tucked into the lower left hand corner on page 9?

Yowzah! I think I was going through puberty as this photo was taken. Don’t ask why it looks like I have two left Copas on…I have my people working on it.

I was pretty fired up to see myself in a catalog. I always assumed that my photo was chosen because a) I brought some diversity to the catalog and b) I mentioned both Marco Van Baster and John Harkes in my letter. Soccer Master had placed on a page with some Lanzera boots. Both Van Basten and Harkes had deals with Lanzera.

So I go running to show my parents…my mom flips through the catalog and then says…”oh, look, Aileen’s on here too.”

“WAT?!” How did my sister snake my catalog debut? Apparently, her coach submitted a photo of their team.

My teammates were very curious as to how I got my gangly photo in the same soccer catalog that they were buying their Copas from. It was the summer before my freshman year…I had lofty ambitions of making my high school’s varsity team as a freshman. Each year one or two freshman had a chance to make the team. Unfortunately, the senior class had like a 13 guys on the team. I scribbled all the possible scenarios that could have gotten me on the team on a scrap of paper. In order for I to have made the team as a freshman, 4 seniors would have had to get cut…that was clearly not going to happen. You can imagine the shit I got from friends when I did not make the varsity team.

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