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2nd Unofficial NCS Annual Meeting Soccer (Fútbol) Match Scores a Victory at National Harbor By Pravin George, MD This year’s Annual Meeting of the Neurocritical Care Society in National Harbor was, as always, very successful and exciting. Not only did it again bring some of the latest results of important recent studies in the field, but it also allowed captain Julian Bösel and the NCS-International fútbol team to rematch captain Dave Seder and the NCS-USA soccer team in the biggest anticipated event in history since Ali v Frasier. It was a bright and beautiful Thursday afternoon immediately preceding the NCS opening ceremonies; all competitors were transported to the soccer field just a few miles away from the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. This year’s venue was an actual full soccer field and the turn out of both players and spectators was appreciably larger than the previous contest. Possibly in attendance were soccer champions Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who along with Jose Suarez commented during the widely televised game. Returning from the US side were greats such as J Javier Provencio, Kevin Sheth, David Seder and in a surprise move, Susanne Muehlschlegel who last year played for the International Team. The International team, not to be outdone again this year, amassed a star-studded line up with Ivan Rocha Ferreira da Silva, Yasuhiro Kuroda, Han Jeong and Professor Hitoshi Kobata from Japan, who bought an NCS aloha shirt at the meeting just to have something in red. Professional referee Fernando Yuste took time from his multimodal neuro-monitoring to blow the first whistle and the battle started. The US team, in similar form to last year, started off strong with some of the most experienced and seasoned individuals such as Rich Riker, moving the ball tactfully from the defensive-end, holding the international team to only one goal the entire first half. Surprising the International team offensively were the new additions to the US team, Andrea Blanchette and Paul Gomez from Portland, Maine. Playing both long and short passes, it did not take the US team long to score their first three unanswered goals. Professor Kobata put on an amazing fight for the International team, risking just about anything, with little regard for age or fitness and was simply samurai-like. In the second half, similarly to last year, Pedro Kurtz from Brazil jump-started the International team offense, scoring a goal and starting the counterattack by combining Brazilian technique and keeping the team in order by being a true number 7. The International team dominated the second half offensively, taking several shots at the US goaltender, Pravin George who made several memorable saves, but allowed enough goals to tie. Then, with less than two minutes left, the International team scored a tie-breaking goal. Kevin Sheth, disheartened by this fought even more fiercely and sacrificed his body in a huge offensive move, which incidentally tore his leg and subsequently ended the game. Despite the foot pain, muscular tears, head trauma and neurons lost, the pace remained fast and the players kept running with the ball. The referee blew the final triple whistle announcing the victory (and redemption) of the International-NCS team 4-3. Overall, the atmosphere of the day was again full of energy, fun, jokes and laughs. The International and US teams promise to battle it out again next year in Hawaii, possibly even on the beach. Join us next year to be part of this new tradition of the NCS meeting! 25


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