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Local Baltimore Soccer Legend Remembered..

When I was about 11 or 12 years old (1979-ish) I couldn’t wait for the the sun to come up so I could grab my tattered Mitres [cleats] and headed over to the local rec center in NE Baltimore to kick the ball in hopes for some unstructured [coaching] from a scrappy soccer player. I had always seemed to be the first one there and had plenty of time to kick around the ball until the other kids in the neighborhood showed up. Some mornings, I started to notice an older man with thick grey hair, wire glasses, chain smoking at the rec center door. For weeks he would come out, look in my direction, smoke and walk back into the rec center. I felt that the man wanted to talk to me but being a young street smart kid I kept my distance. One morning the man who was wearing bell bottom slacks, an unbuttoned dress shirt, gold chain, no socks and tasseled dress shoes toward me. When he got next to me he said,
You need to learn how to use the outside of your foot.”
“ I looked at this guy, cigarette hanging from his mouth and just stood there somewhat bewildered. He put his foot on top of the ball, rolled it over to his opposite foot and hit a serious outside of the foot bender about 30 yards right between the basketball poles we used as goals. From that moment on, every morning he would come out and talk soccer and he would tell me stories and show me new skills. One morning he brought in his scrap book and I looked at every page and it turned out to be Larry Surock. If you know Baltimore soccer you know of the legend, Larry Surock. Larry and I remained friends as I grew into a young man and we played golf together regularly with another local soccer legend Joe Speca. Not sure why, considering our generational gap, I had always felt I was blessed knowing these characters (LOL) and gentlemen and I am thankful for those days and as well as our friendship! Both from the streets of Baltimore and represented the United States on the pitch.

By Dan Rose, Baltimore Soccer Player