March Means MLS
Well, technically, Major League Soccer (MLS) began on the last day of February for the 2020 season, but close enough. As the season kicked off last week (and the Colorado Rapids were the first game) it started the 25th season for the top flight soccer league in the U.S. The MLS season has had varied lengths in its 25-year history, and most recently the league condensed its season to run league competition games between the months of March and November.
34 games are par for the course — 17 home and 17 away; throw in a few exhibition games, an Open Cup tournament, weekly training sessions and travel and it makes for a busy 9 months. But this is just games! The preseason usually begins in the end of January and there is a draft in the second week of January.
For a chaplain and for the athletes and coaches, there is a short two months (mid-November to mid-January) to fit in some of the typical “life” moments — whether it is a vacation, or a wedding. Sometimes, players and their wives try to even work out their family planning so that they can have a newborn during the “offseason.” It helps athlete can be more present with their wife and family! It doesn’t always work out, but they certainly try.
March and the start of MLS also, though, can be a difficult time for those who have recently left the game. There can be a certain amount of grieving that accompanies the start up of the season — no matter if it is the first year or the tenth year away from the game. The transition can be really difficult and many struggle to move on to the next chapter.
So, this March — whether you are into March Madness (college basketball) or another sport (like baseball’s spring training) — remember to pray for those that are playing and participating in sports (professional and other levels). Whether the athletes, coaches, staff, or the chaplains — pray for them. Pray for the chaplain’s work and ministry.
Here are some things that you can be praying for:
- Travel demands and pressures
- Issues of performance
- Struggles with injuries and identity
Thank you for your prayers and for your support.