Two are big on soccer

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Joe MacCarthy, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Two are big on soccer
    London City reserves Brad Ferdinand and Martin Rasselnberg -- both well over 200 pounds -- may be the largest pair of soccer teammates in Canada.

    It is completely untrue that the soccer pitch teeters slightly when London City reserves take a corner kick.

    It only seems that way when the two largest soccer teammates in London -- and possibly in Canada -- join the throng in the goal area.

    Defender Brad Ferdinand says he weighs 235 pounds, but general manager Harry Gauss suspects it's more like 250 pounds. And that's after the big landscaper from St. Lucia lost about 20 pounds.

    Danish-born striker Martin Rasselnberg also is six-foot-two and weighs in at 225 pounds.

    When the pair conspire to dominate the goalmouth on a City corner kick, it takes a small mob from the opposition side to cover them.

    They look more like a pair of linebackers than soccer players.

    Rasselnberg has two goals on four chances in two games with the reserve team and will dress for the Canadian Professional Soccer League's top team for a game tonight.

    Gauss also doesn't mind the unusual nature of having what can be viewed as a pair of torpedoes in his lineup. The non-stop promoter loves the unusual to begin with and when he can harness a couple of rarities in selling the game, it's a bonus.

    Ferdinand and Rasselnberg are a matched set in other ways besides dimensions.

    Though they come from completely different parts of the world, the two have a lot in common. They both began playing at age five and each was the largest kid on his team as he grew up.

    They also have parallel views of how soccer in Canada differs from their native countries.

    "The soccer's not bad if people would just stop whining all the time," Rasselnberg observed. "And we're not used to all the diving that goes on."

    Each shook his head at the indignity of it. They also think there are a lot wusses in the game here.

    "Yeah, we both played a game that was more physical," Ferdinand said. "You wouldn't get a yellow card for a small push as long as there was contact with the ball. Another thing is guys start whining and want to fight on the field."

    Not, presumably, with this pair.

    They arrived with the club in identical fashion, strolling into Gauss's soccer store on separate occasions seeking to play soccer.

    One can only imagine the colourful general manager sizing them up for publicity value while hoping they could play. They can, although neither is likely to threaten the new 100-metre sprint record.

    Gauss figured Rasselnberg was too big to go post-to-post adequately for the Canadian Professional Soccer League and gave him a look at forward. He doesn't regret it.

    "He's got a nose for the game," Gauss said. "He's a great target man and can just take the ball in and protect it. Other players benefit from that. As a former goalie, he can out-think goalies and his two goals in four chances were tough ones to score."

    Ferdinand used to play cricket and still plays basketball. One had to wonder about football.

    "I tried it once but don't like people jumping all over me," he said with a laugh.

    While Ferdinand's tropical background makes the current heat wave bearable, for Rasselnberg, it's been torture.

    "I'm not used to it; I'm used to the sea around me and the breeze," said the native of a town near Copenhagen. "The humidity is killing me."

    "Yeah, I'm not used to that, either," Ferdinand joined in.

    Hot or not, the game itself is not used to guys like this pair.

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