By Nick Hone
Throw together a bunch of international exchange students who have never met before and they will naturally try and look for some common ground on which to bond. When I met the rest of the exchange students at the start of last semester, it took about 10 seconds for us to find ours: soccer.
From the World Cup to kicking the ball around at a park, there’s nothing more common around the world.
So it was, I found myself captain of Foreigners FC, a Ryerson intramural team made up of players from England, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and Australia.
It made for a good mix of soccer styles, from the no-nonsense kick and run approach of the British and Australians, to the flair of the Spanish and French. Our Irishman brought a very vocal presence (as well as no small amount of skill), whilst our goals naturally came from the German.
A typical game would be end to end between ourselves and our opponents.
Often, we would simply wear them down with spirit, persistence or a moment of magic from one of our better players. It seemed at times like our Canadian opposition weren’t quite sure what to make of us. In the end we finished second, in both the regular season and the playoffs, to a team who are now playing in the division above.
With a new semester now underway, the team is now flying under the French flag, and has been renamed Rab-Bites; Google-translate at your peril. The goal for this semester is to finish first in the regular season and win the championship. To do this we have recruited fresh talent from the new intake of exchange students.
As for next year, who knows? But I’m hopeful intramurals at Ryerson will always have at least one team comprised of soccer mad foreigners like my team. Seeing as we all know, the international brand of soccer is superior to North America’s.
Oh, and one more thing. It’s not soccer, it’s called football.