THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SOCCER-Written By Jessica Otero


Photos By The Hotspotorlando.

IMG_0804There was a completely different direction I was aiming at this evening for the Orlando City vs Toronto. I was so excited to get invited to be a guest Media Reporter and I had my cute pitch prepared. A story on the faces, family and community behind Orlando’s soccer team that has taken over the nation. I was even more excited when I found out I would be able to interview a few of the players after the game. But that didn’t happen…for many reasons, two goals being one!

What happen tonight??! Well what happened the past few home games since we #FilledTheBowl as an MLS team?! We have not won a single home game and the roller coster of emotions the #Ruckus and rest of the lions have gone through, has gotten out of control.

DSC_0183The game begins like every other, with a passionate, aggressive and confident mindset.  Saying to ourselves, “THIS is the game we will win.” Not a single goal was scored in the first half, but there were many attempts made…also, just as many mistakes (Cough, cough…Molino!). Kaka was fierce as always and will remain the town’s hero. But why, oh why are we put through the stress, the anxiety of anticipation followed with forceful chants and hands praying in the air all to be disappointed for 90 minutes.

There is a range of psychological emotions we go through in a soccer game. I know this, because I have lived and breathed this since I was born…coincidentally and faithfully on the God of Soccer’s birthday – Pele, October 23rd. My father wasn’t blessed with a boy so he wasn’t able to re-create a Brazlian soccer team, but he raised four girls who are passionate about “futebol”.

Futebol fans are so invested emotionally into a team because we feel WE ARE the team. Whether you grew up watching an all-star like Kaka or you dragged a “football” fan to watch futebol, we live in the moment and are captivated by those around us who really have the common goal…to WIN! So we laugh, we cry, we scream profanity because we think that will help the game. Some of us may pray to a few miraculous saints.

Watching this game outside of the press room on the balcony above 30,908 fans as we lose another home game, made me realize we go through this psychological game DSC_0211because we are invested in this sport, and for this community – we are invested in this team. We may not have won a home game yet, but we have done the unimaginable and unthinkable. A nation influenced by “football” has embraced “futebol”. The #Ruckus and the rest of the lions will continue to support Orlando City…and for me, I may take on yoga to relax before a game.

Thank you Orlando City Soccer Club for allowing me to be a guest Media Reporter! I had a blast!!!!

For the latest on tonight’s game, follow me on social media at @modaotero.