David Brode: CRLS Soccer’s #1 Fan

Ball Man Has Been At Every Game for Nine Years

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David Brode: CRLS Soccer’s #1 Fan

Grace Austin, Contributing Writer

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Soccer has been an established sport in Cambridge for years, from Cambridge Youth Soccer to the CRLS soccer program. While teams inevitably change, one person has continued to commit to the community of soccer. For the past nine years, David Brode, a Cambridge resident of 53 years, has been a vital member of the flow of hundreds of soccer games. On the sidelines, he has facilitated retrieving and throwing soccer balls back in as they fly out of bounds.

While spectators struggle to follow the fast-paced games from the stands, Brode is constantly sprinting up and down the field, following the motion of the game. His endurance and stamina stem from his highly-decorated background in track and cross country.

As a member of the CRLS Class of 1983, he completed four years on the cross country and outdoor track teams. During his high school career, he set his own two-mile record at astonishing nine minutes and 36 seconds.

With his top times in high school, he continued his running career at the Boston College’s Division I program. There, he received fifth place at the New England Division I ten-kilometer race.

After college, Brode focused on marathons. In total, he ran the Boston Marathon three times, with a personal record of two hours and 42 minutes. Overall, however, his best marathon time was two hours and 40 minutes at the Cape Cod Marathon. He concluded his running career in 2007 as a result of arthritis.

While he runs on the sidelines, the impact Brode has during the game is not restricted to those boundaries. Players carry the support and intellect from Brode with them throughout the game and during practice.

Boys varsity goalie Anthony Grassi ’19 reflects, “It’s really nice to have such a reliable and dedicated supporter, and a great relief to have him always help us on the sidelines.”

Not only does Brode assist by controlling out-of-bound balls, but he also understands the depths of soccer and how other teams play. Girls varsity co-captain Chloe Smith-Sokol ’19 greatly appreciates his intellect surrounding the game, stating, “He’ll come up with facts about their goalie and how she comes out of the box a lot. It’s very clear from everyone on the team that he really enjoys doing his research for the league, and it has become an extremely valued part of our experience.” 

He is truly the MVP of the program.”

His work has been honored by both the CRLS girls and boys soccer programs. At the end of every game, Brode stands beside the referees and shakes every player’s hand. The girls team acknowledges him with a speech and gifts at the end of each season. They have awarded him a team jacket with “#1” inscribed on it.

Out of the nine years that Brode has been involved in the soccer program, soccer coach Chris Andrade has known him for six. Within that time span, Andrade has observed that “[Brode] has not missed any game that I could remember. He is truly a superfan for the soccer program.”

Brode recalls that he attends 100% of the girls games and approximately 66% of the boys games. He has traveled to away games as well. His passion extends beyond CRLS; he also volunteers for Matignon games.

Girls varsity co-captain Isa Andrade ’19, like the rest of the program, is continually appreciative of Brode, “Dave is the man! He is truly the MVP of the program. I don’t know how he does it.” Every member of the soccer community sees his passion and wishes to express their effusive appreciation towards David Brode.

This piece also appears in our October 2018 print edition.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Brode set a two-mile school record and that he competed in the NCAA Division 1 ten kilometer race.