There I was; sitting on my couch and watching soccer highlights of Barcelona and Argentina icon Lionel Messi making opposing defenders look helpless, leaving goalkeepers baffled, and his own teammates ecstatic. It had been a long while since I had laced up my own boots, and it was in this moment that I realized how much I was itching to play again.

I had recently moved from Tallahassee, FL – the city in which I went to elementary, middle, high school, and college – to the Orlando area, and I was a bit lost. A long-term relationship, the primary reason for my move, had crumbled. I was no longer playing regular soccer like I was in Tallahassee. I had gone from playing two matches and practicing three to four times a week to absolutely nothing. My fitness had dipped tremendously. My touch on the ball was at its worst. I wasn’t close to match form. And, to be frank, I was in bad shape both physically and mentally. I knew I needed to make some changes in my life, quickly, before I turned down a road that I didn’t want to be traveling on.

That’s when I got up from my couch, walked over to my desk, snatched up my laptop, and plopped back down onto my couch. I didn’t really know where to start my search, but I knew it was time. I opened an internet browser, turned towards everyone’s trusty friend Google, and went to work.

The very first result I landed on was immediately appealing. I found an adult soccer club named Revolver FC, and I was in luck, they were offering exactly what I was looking for: a way for me to dip my toes back into the proverbial soccer waters via an 8v8 Coed team, with the possibility of growth into a men’s competitive team, and even the mouthwatering opportunity to travel abroad as a member of a Select team. The club had instantly garnered my attention.

So, I did something that isn’t normal for me. I took a leap of faith. I contacted coach Jaime Byrne and club founder Mario Erazo and expressed my interest in the club. I was well aware of how unfit I was to play at that time, but an 8v8 Coed league seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back out onto the pitch again. To get my feet back under me and reignite my love for the beautiful game. That leap of faith, to this day, has been one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

I made it out to my new team’s first match…and boy, I wasn’t even ready for 40 minutes of solid play. To put it lightly, I was suffering in all aspects of my game. Fortunately, I met some people that were incredibly supportive of my climb back into soccer, and I’m proud that I’ve established connections through this quaint but incredible 8v8 Coed league team. To this day, I still play with the same people, in the same league, and on the same team, and I cherish every single moment of it. But it didn’t stop there…that was truly only the beginning.

After a few seasons of 8v8 Coed coupled with obsessive personal workouts, I finally found myself closer to match form than I had been in four or five years. I felt great, I had made new friends, and things in my life had truly taken a positive turn. That’s when a tryout invitation was sent my way; one that, should I make the squad, would be traveling to Munich, Germany for an 11-day trip that would see Revolver FC, partnered with GFLSoccer Enterprises, play friendlies against local clubs in Munich. I was simultaneously honored, worried, and excited about the possibility of experiencing cultural immersion in a country where “Fußball” was a haloed part of everyday life, and not just a sport. Not only would there be friendlies, but the team was to be mentored by renowned trainers from FC Bayern Munich, and the team would attend Bundesliga matches and experience the wonderful city of Munich. I had to jump at the chance…and, miraculously, I made the squad (more on the trip to come in the next article).

The Revolver FC boys in Munich.

The Revolver FC boys in Munich.

After returning from Germany, and as I became more and more involved with my teammates and the club, I inquired about the possibility of Revolver FC registering a team in Florida’s oldest and most reputable adult soccer league, the Central Florida Soccer League. The coaches loved the idea, and the wheels were put in motion to start building a roster that could compete with already well-established clubs in the greater Orlando area.

Now, I captain Revolver FC’s men’s team, a recognition that I treasure and appreciate every single day. The team is in the middle of its inaugural season, and I observe monumental improvements in the squad’s playing ability, morale, and talent reach on a day-to-day basis. The quality, both on and off the pitch, that this club attracts is second to none.

I went from sitting on my couch and loathing the lack of soccer in my life, to finding an incredible 8v8 team with a club whose motto is “Good Soccer for Good People,” to finding myself on a flight to Munich, Germany to play against established professionals, to captaining the Revolver FC men’s team here in Orlando. Revolver FC helped me transition from one of the darkest times of my life, into some of the brightest, leaving a trail of memories that I will never forget. I’m astounded by my luck in finding the right people at the right time, but it happened, and it could happen for you too.

Revolver FC’s Alek Pierce and Peter Kennedy enjoying an Orlando City SC match.

Revolver FC’s Alek Pierce and Peter Kennedy enjoying an Orlando City SC match.