My daughter just started playing AYSO soccer.
She had two rounds of parks and recreation tot soccer under her belt and did so well we felt she was ready for the bigtime.
But she's skipping a step — the coed team of mostly 4-year-olds — and going straight to a girls' team.
A friend's dad is the coach and he had an opening on his squad. My daughter's 4, but the other girls are 5 or turning 5. Nevertheless, my wife and I figure she's ready, and can only get better playing with bigger kids.
At the first practice the girls gathered to name the team. I thought this was cool because in my day, our team names were assigned. I played for toughs like the Rogues, Aztecs and Earthquakes.
So when it came time for the girls to make their pick, I was hoping for something that honored the heritage of "the beautiful game."
Maybe United? Arsenal? Real? Juventus?
It wasn't to be. The girls had their own ideas and narrowed their choices to two: The Cinderellas and The Dolphins.
A few of them had played on a team last year called The Yucky Transformers. That was a co-ed side. The boys clearly influenced the decision.
This time the girls wanted something that reflected what they love.
It came time to vote and only a couple of girls supported The Dolphins. My daughter's hand went up with the majority, selecting The Cinderellas.
Later, I asked her why she voted the way she did. She said everyone else wanted that name so she did, too. And she said she loves Cinderella.
This team name, of course, lends itself to ribbing.
Will they look like they're running around on glass cleats?
Will they act like a bunch of princesses on the pitch?
Will they need a fairy godmother to turn them into players?
To that I say: bibbidi-bobbidi-boo! I don't think so.
This is an athletic group of girls who chose the name they wanted. If anything, they'll be underestimated.
The girls looked pretty tough in the last two scrimmages. My kid scored a goal in each.
The first game is Saturday. Even though they don't keep score at this age, I am expecting a Cinderella season.
JOHN CANALIS is the editor for the Daily Pilot, Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot and Huntington Beach Independent. He can be reached at (714) 966-4607 and firstname.lastname@example.org.