It brings with it a sense of belonging, a feeling of family, that oneness that comes from a shared passion, shared goals, a shared dream;
from time spent together training, hours and hours together every week over months and months and year after year;
from learning and growing and improving together, from making mistake after mistake and finally nailing it;
from team cheers and slaps on the back and words of encouragement and shared successes and failures;
from scorching sunburnt weekend tournaments spent sweating on the pitch, jerseys sticking to slick skin, faces flushed and necks turning crispy red, the sounds of cheers and referee whistles from a dozen other games filling the air and ice cream trucks tinkling and tempting from the parking lots, younger siblings scurrying around without shirts and parents slowly baking in folding lawn chairs next to overflowing coolers dripping moisture;
from soaking wet games slugged out slip-sliding through the mud, huddled shivering and dripping on the bench, jerseys and hair plastered to skin, barely able to see the other end of the field through the driving rain or hear the cheers from the sopping poncho-clad parents on the sidelines;
from the thousands of shared moments and experiences and successes and failures that bring the players together as a team and their brothers and sisters and parents together as one big extended soccer family.
There's something so special about being a part of a team.