The Benders FC

Diederik-Paul Schlingemann

As some of you may know, I am part of the world-class soccer club Benders FC. Now, this isn’t just an article about our team or how unbelievably good the team is. Rather, this is a piece on determination, hope, and growth, and this is a story that should inspire you to accomplish your goals and aspirations throughout life.

Benders was founded 3 years ago by Boomba Nishikawa, the son of the current gaffer, the humble Bob Nishikawa. Currently, we only play at PISA (Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena), but we are working out way up to play on the international stage. Moreover, we have been developing many young talents in our academy teams attracting the likes of José Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, and Jürgen Klopp. Even Zlatan Ibrahimović came to Pittsburgh in an attempt to try out for a new club and had to make the tough decision between LA Galaxy and Benders FC. He ended up choosing Galaxy because he wanted playing time.

In the first year the Benders played together we had a great start and finished second in the league. Unfortunately, the next year we finished fourth in the league. Our biggest rivals, Strikers United, who won the league the first year, are a couple of mean toddlers, to put it very lightly, from Plum High School. What kind of a school is named after a fruit? Strikers play a brand of football that can only be described as foul, disgusting, and cheap. Watching them play is like watching turkeys stumbling around a muddy field. The players are too proud of their physicality and show no respect to the beautiful game. On the contrary, the Benders play football as it is meant to be played: with pure class, tekkers, and love. Boomba, for example, attempts at least 10 rabonas and 10 Maradona’s of the utmost quality in a single game. The result of these differences is a tough match between the Benders and Strikers, however the Strikers usually come out on top because of their dirty tactics.

This year however, the results have been going in our favor. So far, the Benders have played six game and we only have one loss to none other than Strikers. Before last weekend, Strikers were at the top of the league and we were only one point behind in second place. We had a game last weekend and if we were to get a better result than Strikers, we would jump them into first place. Obviously, we won our game against the Obama Eagles that weekend so the pressure was on the Strikers. They were playing one of the tougher opponents in the league: Highlands 1.

As we waited for the result to come in, the spirit was mostly nervous. The team members had waited their whole lives for this; we had trained for hours upon hours every week; we had played with heart and skill in all of our prior games, and left everything on the pitch. In our heads we imagined the whistle signalling the start of the game. All of the decisions the club and gaffer had made lep up to this one game.

Then, the final whistle blew: the game was over. The Strikers had lost! They had suffered a 3-2 loss to Highlands 1. The Benders rejoiced and celebrated. We posted an Instagram post (@benders.fc go drop a follow) to spread the news, but that would spark a large controversy between us and our rivals, forcing us to defend our club. Many insults were thrown around in the comments but obviously, we came out on top and silenced the Strikers. This moment will go down as the pinnacle of the club, and will be celebrated by a year-long holiday every year, including multiple festivals and great feasts.

Unfortunately, the Benders are playing the Strikers this upcoming Sunday, and some of our key players will be unavailable to play, meaning we will have to call up some of the strong reserves for the game. This will be the next most important match of the century, and the turning point of the league.

Please send your support and prayers to the whole Benders squad. By the time you are reading this, the game is over, and the league has been decided, and, regardless of the result, Benders will stay strong and put in the effort for next year’s season.