The Mighty Ducks: F.C Anaheim
Chapter 4- Stand Up
A few months had passed since the Wings were formed and they were starting to work as a team, but have yet to face their first opponent, until now. Coach Thornsby watched his team practice everything from drills and passing to footwork and shooting at the goal.
The sun was beginning to set on Anaheim as the Ducks practiced from 1:00pm to 6:30 pm every day. Coach Thornsby blew his whistle to signal the end of the day's practice, "Alright you lot, bring it in," He said calmly and in approval of the Duck's stronger work ethic.
The coach led his team to the stadium's small locker room, but he didn't bother to turn the lights on, "You have all really proven me wrong by how greatly and quickly you have all improved over the past few months, you Duckies are really starting to look like a real team now,"
"Now If we are going to prove to this league that we are a professional team," Justin then turned on the lights to reveal the surprise he had planned for them, "then we best look like a professional team," The members of the Wings now had a professional uniform kit.
Their uniform consisted of a turquoise green top with white italic numerals and black trim with purple sleeves. On the front of the jersey under the collar was the club badge with white lightning bolts on the sides. The club badge was a golden shield with large white wings.
The kit also featured black pants and white socks, "Radicool…," Mallory said in wonder looking at her last name 'McMallard' on the back of her jersey. The other members such as Duke and the others also received their kits, "so when is our game, coach?" She asked,
"You lot have a friendly coming up tomorrow, so rest up," Coach Thornsby said making his way out of the locker room with his team following behind him and varying paces. Before heading to HQ, Mika looked out at the field as it was getting prepared for tomorrows match.
At HQ, the Ducks sat at the dinner table and went about their game plan for tomorrow, "OK Mika, since you've lived on Earth longer than any of us, do you have any information on our opponent?" Wildwing asked, Mika scratched her chin as the Ducks turned their attention to her,
"The L.A. Galaxy were the MLS Cup champions two years ago," Mika explained, "there are a lot of big names on that squad, David Beckham, Landon Donovan to name a few, they are a strong team, but they've had a disappointing season this year, I'd say we keep our guard up on these guys,"
"If a team has a bad year, they will most definitely try to improve for the next," Grin stated, "if one can't fix their mistakes, then one can never learn from them," Nosedive seemed confident in face of the formulating game plan as he crossed his arms and smiled,
"C'mon, we're bigger and stronger than them, we can easily send them packin'," Nosedive boasted, but got a smack in the back of the head from his older brother Wildwing, "ouch…what was THAT for?" He groaned rubbing the back of his head and looked to see Wildwing's glare.
"You know EXACTLY what that's for," Wildwing scolded, "but Mika is right, even though our opponents are human, it makes them no different from any opponent we face on the ice, we shouldn't underestimate them," Mika stretched out her arms and headed to bed.
The next day was the day of the team's first match. Although it wasn't a serious match, it was a chance for the players to get to know the league system and how things work. People and fans from all over Anaheim showed up to watch the Wings take on the Los Angeles Galaxy.
As the team warmed up and stretched for the game, their opponents on the other side of the field chuckled, "They can't be serious…," David Beckham said watching Alien Ducks from Puckworld doing drills while he and his teammates were also warming up for the friendly match.
"They're a new team, someone's gotta show them how it's done," Landon Donovan said looking on at the upstart team. The two team captains, Wildwing Flashblade of the F.C Anaheim Wings and Landon Donovan of the LA Galaxy, shook hands and the players took their positions.
Wildwing was at his position as goalie just like he is on the ice. Mika Runas and Mallory McMallard filled the roles as midfielders. Grin and Tanya were at their positions as defenders while Nosedive and Duke L'Orange were forward. As the ball was placed onto the field, it began to rain, hard.
The field quickly turned into a muddy quagmire. David Beckham quickly got the ball passed Nosedive and the match began, "Let's do this!" Mallory cheered as David Beckham was heading her way, "c'mon gimme your best shot!" She taunted until Beckham passed the ball across the field,
Edson Buddle got the ball and passed it back to Tommy Meyer, "Get your head in the game!" Coach Justin Thornsby yelled from the sidelines. Nosedive has all over the Meyer, but he easily evaded the Duck and set up an opportunity to score by tapping the ball up into the air.
David Beckham had a shot a shot at the header and hit a perfectly placed header, but not without some stiff resistance in the form of Mika Runas, "Not on my watch, hot shot!" Runas taunted and jogged on the field with Mallory on the other side of the field, jogging alongside.
The ground was wet and slippery and the white socks of the wings were colored brown in mud and grass. Nosedive got possession of the ball. Duke was wide open, but Nosedive didn't pay attention, "C'mon set it up! Set it up!" Coach Thornsby yelled, but it was too late,
Nosedive was in a position to score, but he was denied by David Beckham with a sliding tackle and got the ball easily to Edson Buddle. Nosedive on the other hand, got a face full of mud, "Back to the pond for you Duckies!" David taunted and ran up to set up another goal opportunity,
Nosedive slammed a fist into the mud in frustration and got back on his feet. The Galaxy had much more experience than the Wings and used that to their advantage. Since there were fewer players on defense, the Wings defense was full of holes which gave them a lot of opportunities to score.
Edson Buddle passed to Landon Donovan, whom easily got passed Grin and Tanya and scored the first goal of the game, but after that goal the first half quickly turned into a nightmare as the Galaxy were ahead at halftime 3 to 0, "Just forfeit, you guys can't win," Landon said as a word of advice,
But the team in the purple, black and turquoise went into the locker room and cleaned up, "We're getting crushed!" Nosedive complained, Mika patted him on the shoulder and sat down next to him and Mallory. The momentum of the game seemed to be all on the Galaxy.
"Heh, and I was hoping to hear something more encouraging," Duke said sarcastically, Nosedive was about to go and teach him a lesson, but Mika held him back and Wildwing told him to 'cool it'. They were in a battle, there was no doubt about that, but every battle can be won.
The coach came in to the room. One would have expected a coach to be throwing a fit, but Justin Thornsby just sighed, "You guys hare in a fight, but win…or lose, we will leave this stadium with our chins up, you understand me, do your best, that's all anyone can ask of you,"
"That might be true," Wildwing replied, slowly getting back on his feet, "but you taught us everything there is to know about a sport that doesn't exist on our home planet, without you, none of this would have been possible, now we feel it's time we gave you back something in return…coach,"
"I suppose your right…what are you waiting?! You lot get out there and kick some tail!" He cheered and the team awakened their competitive spirits for the second half. The Galaxy had possession of the ball, but the Wings were on the attack and came out firing from the start.
Nosedive Flashblade stole the ball from Landon Donovan and kicked up the ball to set up a try for the goal. Mallory McMallard leaped up and slammed the ball into the goal with the side of her foot. Mika Runas was the first to hug her and tackled her down to the mud in celebration.
"Good teamwork, that's how it's done, that's how it's done!" Thornsby yelled from the sidelines following his team and clapping his hands in celebration. The Wings would score again on a header from Nosedive Flashblade, but time had run out on the Wings chances for victory.
Tanya Vanderflock fell to her knees in the mud and rain of that afternoon. She had a chance to tie the game, but the save made by goalie Brian Rowe had sealed the win for the Galaxy, "It's OK," said Mika, consoling her team mate, "there will be other chances, count on it,"
"I thought I had it," Tanya said looking at the goal as Mika lifted her teammate back onto her feet, "I was so close…," Mika was right. There was still a whole season of soccer left to be played and no time to sulk. Mika lightly patted her on the shoulder as they walked back to the lockers.
It was a hard loss for the Wings, especially since this was their very first game. But the fans whom were loyal to the Mighty Ducks still cheered for them as they left the field with their heads held high. Edson Buddle went up to Mika to shake her hand, "Hey, good game,"
"You too, we'll see you again this season," Mika said shaking his hand with a muddy smile and heading to the locker room with her teammates. Although they lost the match, Coach Thornsby was smiled to himself finally seeing his team working together. This time on the grass.