Altamonte Springs, FL - 39 year old Mike Keating faced a tough decision this year regarding his participation in the Central Florida Soccer League (CFSL). Being 39 he found himself facing being the oldest on the CFFC Spartans Over-30s, but just a bit too young to join the EZ Soccer Club Over-40s.
“It’s not that I have a hard time playing the game, I love playing soccer. The problem is that I have a hard time playing the game with people who don’t know how to stay in formation. Older guys rely less on their physicality and more on their experience and tactical knowledge like the older members down at my Kendo Dojo.”
League rules state that players have to be 40 years old entering the season in order to join the Over-40 league. Keating, who turns 40 in July continued, “July is going to be right in the middle of the season so if I want to play I’ll have to continue on the same team as before and that’s not the kind of high-minded soccer I want to play. I’ve decided that I’m going to take the year off and really spend a lot of time studying tactics and formations by watching soccer matches from multiple leagues every week.”
We talked to one of Keating’s teammates from the Spartans Over-30 team. “Mike talks about how much he loves to play but he can’t keep up with most players. I don’t think he does any jogging or exercise when it’s not game day and he doesn’t even show up to our weekly practices. All he really does during the game is yell about how we aren’t in formation and it’s letting the opposing team get around him.”
Keating told us that he’s really looking forward to joining the over-40’s league next year. “It’s going to be great. I’m going to go in there and be playing guys a lot older than myself which, assuming my team knows how to stay in formation, will allow me to maneuver around them and really run up some goals. This could be my best year of soccer since the U-15 league I was on as a kid. It’s going to be like if Messi joined MLS.”
The Nutmeg News will have more on this next year as Keating finds himself gassed after 5 minutes of playing and finds himself searching if the league does refunds.