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The rites of spring: 10 things all soccer players understand

Springtime is finally here, marking a return to outdoor soccer across the country after a particularly brutal winter. It's time to play the game the way the Football Association intended.

With the changing of the season comes certain rites of spring that all players will recognize.

Spring soccer season: 10 things we all understand

#1. Securing the bag.

Securing the bag

"When did I ever own a Nalgene bottle??"

It's time to get your outdoor gear from the closet, and that means rediscovering a half-drunk Aquafina in your drawstring bag that's gone untouched for three months.

#2. Boot upgrade? Maybe next year.

Old soccer cleats

I'll never quit you.

Nike might've stopped producing your favorite range of cleats years ago, but that doesn't mean you've stopped wearing them. 

#3. Time to take stretching seriously.

Much like flossing for the first time in months the night before going to the dentist, suddenly you transform into a divine guru of the yogic arts.

#4. That one entirely premature outing.

Must be spring soccer season

The field is still nothing but mud and dead grass but you're too inspired by Viking Mode Erling Haaland to turn back. Those white socks could now be worn with Nashville's "Man in Black" uniform and hopefully you weren't trialing your new Real Madrid jersey.

#5. The holy trinity of flesh, sun and grass.

Spring soccer season

At some point while sitting in a lush patch of green while putting on your shinguards with the sun happily beating down on your awakened spirit, it hits you: You haven't felt this tranquil in a while; you're home.

#6. Being hopelessly out of shape.

You're a box-to-box midfielder but as soon as that task is accomplished once you need a sub.

#7. Attempting to recreate that one move you saw in the Premier League.

POV: You live next to the field and see me out the window.

#8. The idea of investing in more balls.

Lost ball

We all want to postage stamp the top corner with a free kick from 25 yards out, but the majority of those attempts end up in the woods or underneath cars. Maybe you should buy more? Nah, whoever hits it gets it.

#9. The season's inaugural sunburn. 

soccer sunburn

It's time for your thighs to no longer function like your car's high-beams.

#10. Tomorrow's physical pain.

Spring soccer season

This is when you really learn how although the elliptical is incredibly kind and gentle on your limbs, it makes you softer than Charmin. Your quadriceps muscles have had an out-of-body experience and won't return for three days.

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