On Tuesday afternoon, Greenpoint United first team members Matteo Lima and Pierre Scheuzger watched their teammates on television as they played a friendly against FC Gozzila in Slovenia. They cheered as Joffre Silver’s technical vs. head special event goal, in the rain no less, gave Greenpoint a 1-0 lead after a quarter of an hour. They were equally thrilled to see Greenpoint hold on to that lead for a 1-0 victory, the squad’s first across all competition since July 17.
But, once the match was done, their traveling teammates would jaunt off sight-seeing around Eastern Europe yet again before their return flight home on Thursday. Meanwhile, the players who consistently play in competitive fixtures continue to sit at home in Brooklyn.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Greenpoint,” said Scheuzger, who was raised in Switzerland. “It’s just, we work so hard week-in and week-out to play in the games that matter and yet, our back-ups are the ones that get to go flying around the world playing in countless different places.”
“It burns a little,” said Lima. “Bruno [Douksas], only plays friendlies, and every week he’s got all these new Facebook friends from all over the world and all of these pictures of girls he meets at the clubs. It’s not fair,” he said, sounding like a petulant child.
There are a number of players who still get to make the trips and sit on the bench, even though they play 90 minutes on Sunday nights. Anthony Baron made the trip to Slovenia this week as a back-up winger, even though he normally is not risked in non-competitive matches. Normally, Mahavir Sharma would be the reserve winger in a friendly, but he was forced out of Sunday’s 4-0 loss to Bree through an accumulation suspension.
“I don’t really like making the road trips,” said Baron, adding, I’m not a fan of flying.”
Meanwhile, some players consider making the trip a sign that they are slumping, rather than as a lovely, sight-seeing vacation. Such is the case of Gert Hardy, whose drop in form saw him on the flight abroad for the first time since the off-season.
“Sure, the change of pace is nice,” said the German midfielder, “but I’d rather be resting at home and preparing for league games on Sunday.”
As for Douksas, being the youngest trainee on the team means he’s not good enough to unseat the regulars in midfield for a competitive match. His only playing experience comes from international friendlies. When he was told of Matteo Lima’s comments this morning, he was taken aback at first, then flashed a coy smile.
“He’s just jealous he doesn’t have the same nightlife I do,” said the young Uruguayan, while likely hungover. “It’s the same at home. He’s just awkward in the bar scene and hates that I get all the ladies.”
Douksas then proceeded to put on a ridiculous pair of sunglasses and look like an idiot.
Greenpoint is next in action on Sunday night as they travel to California (which still requires a plane flight, Mr. Baron) as they take on the league leading Young Chemists in Santa Barbara. Maybe Said Slaoui won’t get sent off in the first ten minutes this time. Their next friendly location will be announced on Thursday morning.