Soccer dads come up from behind to finish third place

| June 28, 2012 | 0 Comments

TEAM left-right: front: Charlie Gilman, Jason Rowlett, John Lanza, David Sobel, Victor Pinon, Steve Atlee, Martin Shirley. Back:  Teodoro Morris, Gene Straub, Mike Martinez, Kevin Lapp, Chris Donovan, Russell Milton, Luke Kim, Mitch Kamin, Benny Bohm.

A group of dads hoping to enjoy the game of soccer formed the Larchmont United Football Club in 2010.

A few seasons later the 22-member team came in third and surprised the opposition—which just happened to be the top in the 12-team, 40+ Division.

“It was a great way to finish up our season,” said team member Steve Atlee.

He joined the team soon after it was founded by John Lanza, N. Windsor Blvd., and Chris Donovan, Longwood Pl.

In all, the Larchmont Club won six games out of 10 this past season.

Not bad for a team which lost its early games.

The players were inspired to take up the sport by their now nine-year-old soccer-playing daughters. Many of the dads coach AYSO soccer in Hollywood/Wilshire Region 78.

“We thought it would be fun to continue playing our own games rather than channel our soccer ambitions through our kids,” said Atlee, Norton Ave.

While many of the team members played in high school, breaking in some 20 years later has cost some sprained ankles and pulled hamstrings and scores in the neighborhood of zero.

“Losing every game in our first couple of seasons was like beating a dead horse,” observed Lanza. Hence the team logo of a dead horse doing a bicycle kick.

“CAN’T BEAT a dead horse” is Larchmont team logo.

After all, “You can’t beat a dead horse,” says Atlee.

The team strategized to improve its odds over beers after Wednesday night games and coffee on Sunday mornings.

They narrowed the Open Division to a 30+ Division and then trimmed the age limit to the 40+ Division of today.

DRILLS BECAME more rigorous when former Johns Hopkins University soccer player and teammate Richard Bronshvag took the lead.

The new season begins this month for the city Dept. of Recreation and Parks League at John Ferraro Athletic Fields in Griffith Park.

Sponsors include Champagne Roederer, Keller Williams Larchmont and Xiomara restaurant.






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Category: News, People, sports

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