Bethesda Sports: Local and Global

As we prepare for a second snow blast in less than a week, it is hard to imagine that in a few short months we will be enjoying the 2010 World Cup which is being held from June to July in South Africa. Your soccer loving team here at Bethesda Actually will be writing about the local aspects of the big event later in the year — we will cover everything from the best places in Bethesda to watch the games to shops where you can go and buy a national team soccer shirt so that you can proudly display support for your favorite country.

One of the great things about the soccer World Cup is that it inspires so many kids, as well as the young at heart, to get off the couch and kick around a ball – I have grown up playing soccer and, to this day, one of the highlights of my week is playing soccer with a group of friends on Saturday morning here in Bethesda. During World Cup tournaments it is wonderful to see people of all ages rediscovering their love of the beautiful game.

Of course there are lots of locals who play, coach and watch the game from ages 5 to 50 all year round. Recently I discovered that here in Bethesda we have access to a local coach who was part of a team that made a little bit of history at the 1990 World Cup.

For those of you who can’t quite remember the high points of that tournament, it was the World Cup where Africa finally made its mark on the global stage.Argentina, powered by the amazing Diego Maradona, were the World Cup holders (they had won four years earlier in Mexico) and in the opening match of the 1990 tournament they were playing the soccer minnows of Cameroon.

No one expected Cameroon to do anything other than show up and get swept aside by the World Champions but instead the Indomitable Lions (yes Cameroon’s national side has an AWESOME nickname) won the game and put African soccer on the map. And what does that have to do with Bethesda? Well it turns out that the captain of that Cameroon side, Emile Mbouh, currently coaches youth soccer in the Bethesda area. Emile’s partial bio at Bethesda Soccer Club reads as follows:

Emile Mbouh U12 & U16Captain of Cameroon’s National Team in ’90 & ’94 World Cup -Played in 4 African Nations Cups and earned 113 Caps for Cameroon -Played Professionally in La Liga in Spain for Valencia, French Ligue 1 for Le Havre-Coached the successful Bethesda Legend

In addition he has got his own coaching program – the Emile Star Soccer Program. We were blown away when we realized Emile lived in the area and will certainly reach out to him and see if we can get his thoughts on local soccer, coaching and the upcoming World Cup.

So, more to follow on Emile and soccer from Bethesda to South Africa!

We hope you enjoyed the first sports feature on Bethesda Actually. In this weekly sports column we will try and cover Bethesda sports from every angle. Please drop us a line at bethesdaactually@gmail.com if there is a story you think we should cover.

Bethesda Sports is a weekly column about all things sport in or relating to the Bethesda area

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