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High Ladder To Climb: A Lower Tier American League Player's Story Part 2

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Former Harrisburg Islanders defender Tyler Ruthven greets the team's fans after a game (Courtesy of Tyler Ruthven).
Former Harrisburg Islanders defender Tyler Ruthven greets the team's fans after a game (Courtesy of Tyler Ruthven).

High Ladder To Climb is a new feature for the Brotherly Game. Current Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) defender Tyler Ruthven gives readers insight into the life of a player in America's lower tier leagues. His updates will be about his continued quest to make it to MLS. Follow him as he details his day-to-day trials and tribulations based on the life he is able to live through the constraints of his job - and paycheck.

A lot has happened since I wrote the first blog.

We had our season opener last Saturday against NSC Minnesota, reintroducing pro-soccer to Atlanta for the first time since the Silverbacks closed up shop in 2008. I will be honest with you I had NO idea what to expect going into the game. We played well, very well. Dominating possession and putting on a entertaining display for the packed house on hand. It was so nice to get that hyped up feeling again, something that's been missing since the end of the Harrisburg campaign last year.

The atmosphere was fantastic, up until we coughed one up on a set piece in the 93+ to lose. Forget the result, there were a ton of positives to take out of the first game for an extremely young group. I had my girlfriend and all my friends and family in attendance and it was a blast to represent the city I group up playing in on the professional level.

As I write this we are in the process of getting ready for FC Edmonton, another new team and I have no idea what to expect from them. I thought I had potentially lined up a new home for myself down in Buckhead with two teammates that currently live down there. However, the bigger place we were trying to get was sold before we could get a hold of it. Unfortunate. Back to my parents until something else works out.

After missing out on that house, I think I may have finally found a place to live for the upcoming year. After the game against Edmonton, I was signing autographs for kids and a couple guys came up to me and it turned out to be a couple guys i played high school soccer with. One of which just took a job in Atlanta and wanted to try and get a place. I may have a place lined up for us, which I am pretty excited about. It will be much closer than the hour plus morning commute to training that I currently have. It's also the second game in a row that I have run into people after the game that I grew up with. It is a cool feeling to suit up for your home city and unexpectedly run into people you knew or played with growing up as fans.

My brother took me to play golf this week to try and get my head away from soccer for a bit, and well it was free so of course I would take it! Its nice to be able to spend time with family between games, it helps you forget about work for awhile.

A couple teammates and I were also able to check out the Atlanta Braves host the Florida Marlins on Weds night. My uncle does the TV for the Marlins so he left us some tickets and we went and checked out the announcers booth etc. It was good time, but I must say I am not a big braves fan and the attendance was awful! Looks like we are stealing their fans.

The best news of the week was easily that the new playing surface will be ready at our stadium pretty soon. Our practice field was just completed yesterday and I found myself rolling around in it giggling. I never thought the prospect of plastic grass would have me so excited, until I played on the current surface in Atlanta. We play Ft. Lauderdale at home next week, before heading on the road to FC Tampa Bay. Upon our return the game field will apparently have been completed. Epic news.

There is a feeling of real excitement around this team all the sudden and I could not be happier to be apart of it. We have a distinct style, and a massive chip on our collective shoulder. That is a dangerous combo. Hopefully we can get a big result against the Canadians and collect three points. Song for this game Justice- Civilization.

My parents won't be able to attend this weeks game because they are up in Philly for some autograph signing! I think it is near the King of Prussia mall, go check my Dad out. Until next time..