Pickup Soccer Unites Students of All Kind

The soccer pitch, whether grass or a number of other surfaces, serves as a home for professional athletes, college students and many others around the world. Wherever one might be, there is always a place for pickup soccer, or pelada, to be played.

Walter Fieldhouse
Club football team warms up at Walter Fieldhouse, home of many club and intramural sporting events.

I found my “home” in the middle of an open field across from Mill Street Village during move-in day. All I had to do was look for the two soccer nets. There, was a group of 25 students playing the game that so many love. After waiting 15 minutes for the initial two games to end, I joined a team of six other students and started playing my first 7-on-7 soccer game on campus.

Each week during the last semester, I would go to the field to play pickup soccer with my fellow students. Being my first semester at OHIO, I made many of my first friends on the soccer ground. The athletes included a mixture of men and women, who were Caucasian, African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Indian. The game connected all of us together, even if we were not from the same place or spoke the same language. Of course, soccer is a universal language in that way.

Additionally, the sport provides a way for one to forget all other problems in one’s life. It can serve as a way to free one’s mind or it can just serve as a study break.

In the winter, we take our game to Walter Fieldhouse to play on turf or the Ping Center to play futsal, a version of soccer often played on an indoor court.


Author: Jeff Zidonis

Jeff Zidonis is a first-year Master's student studying journalism at Ohio University. He has written for The Classical and The Ohio State University's newspaper, The Lantern, while completing his undergrad there. He enjoys writing about the NBA and global soccer.

One thought on “Pickup Soccer Unites Students of All Kind”

  1. I think you bring up soccer’s greatest asset, in how it is such an international sport. The diversity of the game goes unmatched. It’s great that you were able to meet new friends on the pitch, some of whom you might not have been able to connect with otherwise.

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