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Sunday, 16 June 2013 11:00

KDHX Mutiny strikes the New Dimensions 8v8 league in St. Louis

KDHX Mutiny strikes the New Dimensions 8v8 league in St. Louis
Written by DJ Wilson
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Fittingly for its last game, three members of the KDHX Mutiny 8th grade soccer team did not show up. One had a legitimate excuse, a track meet. Another sent numerous text messages asking the time of the game and saying he'd be there, but cryptically did not show. A third sent a text simply saying he had decided to go swimming instead.

These mutineers of the aptly named team had played in the New Dimensions 8v8 league that started in April and went through the end of May of this year. The games were played on the field at Missouri and Allen in St. Louis, behind Randall's Liquors near Jefferson and I-44. Historically, in a previous century, the field had been the football practice field for the McKinley High School Goldbugs. New Dimensions, a non-profit dedicated to reviving soccer among underserved youth populations, runs low-key, developmental, small-sided 8v8 and 4v4 leagues at the site throughout the year.

The KDHX Mutiny consisted, more or less, of about 10 city kids in 7th and 8th grade, though a 6th grader filled in once or twice. The league, like all New Dimension leagues, had no standings, no play-offs, and no trophies. The emphasis is on playing, and letting the game be the teacher. The games are intended to have the feel of a pick-up game, with minimal sideline coaching. One team, CFNA, is completely made up of immigrants and refugees. Each week it almost seemed like a different set would show up, trying to scrounge up enough "pinnies" to wear so teammates could be identified. A few teams have spiffy uniforms. Some of the other teams have practices, some don't. The Mutiny did not practice. They did have nice shirts.

The Mutiny team name befits the players' attitude and behavior, as well as being a nod to one of the best-named teams in sports history: the Tampa Bay Mutiny, a charter member of Major League Soccer from 1996 to 2001. The KDHX Mutiny consisted of Jacob Coriell, Adrian Cosgaya, Devin Darden, Eduardo Lopez, Gerardo Lopez, Luis Mora, Omed Mohammed, Christian Moore, Declan Tajkowski and Brian Wilson. They were students at four different schools: St. Frances Cabrini Academy; Loyola Academy; Gateway Science Academy; a charter school; and Busch Middle School of Character and Athletics, a magnet school in the St. Louis city public school system.

In June and July 2013, a 4v4 distillation of the team will continue to play on Sunday afternoons and evenings either at the same field or at St. Luke's in Richmond Heights. New Dimensions Soccer attempts to make possible conditions for the game to be pursued as it is best played, with kids playing small-sided scrimmages that resemble pick-up games without the strictures of overbearing adults, league standings, long car rides to distant sites and hours of tedious practice. One of the goals is that the spontaneity that comes with these unstructured games will spur creativity, and a joy in the game that otherwise would not occur. Sometimes all kids need is a ball, two goals and a place to play.

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