Fans' View

Fans’ View: A day in the life of a ball kid

Photo: Earl Gardner

Author’s note: This week, the Soccer Dad turns the keyboard over to Minion #1 — i.e. my 12-year-old daughter, Megan — so she can relate a special tale about an event from the Union win in the rain against Chivas. Here she goes.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have the privilege of being a ball kid? I can tell you firsthand what it’s like!

The Wednesday right before the Chivas game, I received an email from the Junior Supporters’ Club asking if I wanted to be a ball kid at the game. When I first read the email, I was in shock. The reply was obvious: YES!

As the date came nearer, I grew excited. Then suddenly it was game day. The Union were to face Chivas USA and former teammate Gabe Farfan. While we were on I-95, it started to downpour. I was worried the game would be cancelled because of lightning, but it never did anything but rain—a lot. I was happy because by the time we got to the stadium, the rain had lightened up.

I was taken inside by one of the staff after checking in at the JSC table outside. They brought me to a check-in table inside. We were early, so early the gates weren’t technically open yet! So we wandered around on the concourse. Then after almost all the ball kids were there, we were taken into the player escort/ball kid locker room. I put on my bright yellow tee shirt over my jersey and waited. Before we went out of the locker room, we were given ponchos — not that they did much.

Just before leaving the locker room, the fourth official came in to talk to us. He reminded us that if a player asks for a ball, we have to give it to him. We can’t stall. We weren’t allowed to take sides and had to get the ball in no matter which team asked. Then he told us to have fun.

At halftime, we went back into the locker room. They had water for us to drink and cereal bars we could eat if we were hungry. The room was dead silent, and the Union representative said we were a lively group. Soon it was time to head back out into the rain.

If you were watching the game, you probably didn’t see me very much. I was behind the net opposite the River End. I was behind the Chivas goalie the first half and MacMath in the second. I loved being behind the net, because I could watch corner kicks up close and hear the players talking to each other.

It was interesting to hear the players talking, both taunting each other as well as helping. Dan Kennedy was louder than MacMath, yelling to players way outside his box. MacMath was talkative within his box, helping his defense out. Players from both teams curse a lot, especially when they miss their shot.

To be honest, I was jumpy. There was one corner in the first half, I think it was taken by Le Toux, that hooked. I thought it was coming towards my face, and I backed up. It actually went to someone’s head — Casey’s, I think — and it slammed into the boards in front of me. I swear I jumped more than a rabbit! Kennedy came over, and I wasn’t sure if he wanted the ball I had or the one laying on the ground. I gestured to him with my ball, but he waved me off and got the ball from the ground.

Being a ball kid was awesome! I had a great time, made even better by the Union’s win! It was an epic experience, and I loved being so close to the players! I hope I can be a ball kid again soon!


  1. Jeremy Lane says:

    This is so fun. Thanks for sharing, Megan!

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    Well written article and thanks for standing in the rain to help the game get played!

  3. Megan Nice article I was at the game and I sit on that end of the field in Row B, so yes I did see you. Your lucky you have a pro soccer team in town. Growing up I never had an opportunity to get any where near a pro soccer field.

  4. Quite the picture find, Ed! My daughter, sadly, was at the other end of that goal. It would’ve been epic if you actually had a picture of her in the archive!

  5. Great post!

  6. kingkowboys says:

    Awesome article Megan! I’m suprised the fourth official told the ball kids to give the ball to whatever player asks for it. If anyone remembers there was an incident earlier in the year with a Chivas player and Ball Kid. It was all over the MLS website and the verdict was that Ball Kids paid attention to who the referee said to give the ball to and no one else. It’s interesting that the 4th official said to give it up any player who asks. Maybe after the incident they changed it to have the Ball Kids give the ball to whoever asks and let the refs sort out if he should have it or not.

    • I can talk to her later today to get clarification. My hunch, though, is it was just her oversimplifying things. In her original write-up of the article, she didn’t include anything about the lockerroom. When I reminded her that was the sort of stuff the average fan doesn’t know about, she agreed and we edited in a few thoughts. When we did so, she had a hard time remembering exactly what the 4th official told them – she was far more excited to be on the field to watch the game than to hear what the officials told her, and that’s what became her strongest memories of the day.
      But I’ll definitely ask and see if I can get some clarification on it.

  7. If you want to not go anymore bucaese we’re not doing well then please let me help you find the door. The sooner you get out of the way the faster ill get my season tickets. RCTID.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: