By Alex Darcey

With the World Cup tournament in full swing and the nation infected by soccer fever, I can’t help but reminisce and think of where it all started for these prized athletes of Team USA. Like most children growing up in America, I played youth soccer and shared the camaraderie and 1-0 victories with my fellow 6-year-old revered teammates.  Looking back on these fond memories, here are the top seven greatest things about playing youth soccer.

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7. Not having to play an actual position. (Forget Fullback or Midfielder. It’s more like a swarm of killer bees attacking the ball.)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Brian Bahr)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Brian Bahr)

 6. “Accidentally” kicking the kids you don’t like from your school. (Even though everyone’s shin-guards went up to their hips.)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Stephen Dunn)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Stephen Dunn)

 5. The guaranteed coveted gold-plated participation trophy. (We all have about 13 of these in our attics.)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/John MacDougall)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/John MacDougall)

 4. The vicious team names for a bunch of wobbly toddler athletes (The Tigers, The Scorpions, The Lions, The Sharks….The Box Jellyfish).

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Janek Skarzynski)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Janek Skarzynski)

 3. Being sponsored by your local pizzeria. (Bring on the end of the season pizza partyyy!)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Erik S. Lesser)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Erik S. Lesser)

2. The off-chance of actually scoring a goal. (Basically, the equivalent of winning the Powerball as an adult.)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Simon Bruty)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Simon Bruty)

 1. Halftime orange slices. (And if you were  really lucky, Capri Sun.)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Oil Scariff)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Oil Scariff)

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