PLAYER’S PERSPECTIVE: KEVIN HOOF

Minneapolis City SC: To some people, it’s just a club, but to me it’s a lot more.

It’s the fans getting into verbal arguments with soccer moms. It’s breathing in the lovely scent of black and pink smoke. It’s crows shitting on your car…then on your day. City isn’t just a semi-professional club that plays good soccer; it’s a community of amazing people.

From fans, to coaches, to players, to the people who keep the club running, everyone involved is truly special. I am honored to be a part of this club and help achieve its goals.

Kevin Hoof in action for City at Edor Nelson Field in Minneapolis

I want to say a massive thank you to all the fans, the players, the coaching staff, and the club for the support and love they have shown me throughout these last two years. It’s been an amazing experience full of new relationships that I am grateful to have gained.

Now, moving onto the meaty stuff of this article: Playing for Stegman’s and City at the same time.

Stegman’s is something seriously special to me and I’m sure to the other guys as well. It’s still a competitive level of soccer that has its challenges, but it also allows for a more laid back environment to have fun with all the boys.

The guys who play on the team make it truly amazing. There are some serious characters that keep everything interesting and allows for a lot of laughs. There are actually a couple of familiar faces on the team such as Aaron Olson, Timmy Wills, Ben Wexler, and James Neher.

The consistent playing time I get in the games with Stegman’s benefits me as a City player. With Stegman’s, I usually play the full 90 in every game, allowing me to get tons of touches. I can bring what I’ve learned from Minneapolis City and try it in the Stegman’s games without worrying about any mistakes I make having a huge impact on the outcome of the game. City games are fast, but while I’m playing with Stegmans the game slows down a bit and I am able to see things that older, more experienced City players tell me to look for. I’m able to take risks and try new things because I won’t necessarily cause a seriously negative impact on the game if I get it wrong.

There is a little more wiggle room to explore.

Playing with Minneapolis City SC allows for a seriously competitive atmosphere but it’s week-to-week whether you’ll be on the roster or not. There are no guarantees – making the roster is based off your performance and attitude in the week’s practices. The game is very high paced and more physical compared to men’s league. There are some high-class players who have been around awhile and bring lots of experience to the team. These guys are the ones who you learn the most from by asking questions or simply by watching them do their thing on the field.

Something extremely special about Minneapolis City that I don’t get at Stegman’s is the chance to play in front of an incredible fan base.

Playing in front of some rowdy fans that are singing and chanting all game is something special that not many people experience in their soccer careers. The fans bring just as much passion to the game day as the players, which is incredible to see and be a part of.

There’s nothing like throwing in a tackle and then hearing the fans yelling, “You just got HOOF’D!”

Growing up I would have never thought that my last name would turn into a fan-favorite phrase!

Bringing everything together from what I have learned at City and Stegman’s combined, I am able to really rise above up at school.

Learning from the experienced players, playing at a high pace, and being able to try new things all allow me to thrive and improve as a player. I’m able to bring all of these things with me to school and be a leader on the team. I’m able to take the advice and key things I learn from the older guys and coaching staff to in turn improve the younger players on my team. Thanks to my summers, up at school I can be that older experienced player for my squad and make a big impact on my team by being that role model and teacher.

It’s a great feeling to be able to learn a ton over summer and share it with the younger guys who want to become better players themselves.

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