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Rookie - 2

Mourning and Recovery

"In the beginning, I thought there was no hope. Soccer made up who I was and I thought it was all over. It was really frustrating and depressing. I was mourning my losses and getting nowhere," he said.

A visit from his teammates on the Alabama State Select Soccer team was particularly difficult.

Spotswood was leading scorer on his team at the tine of the accident. He lost his kicking leg in the wreck, but made the US National Amputee Team a year and a day later.

Robert began playing soccer when he was six. It was his passion. He'd been a leading scorer on his local club team, on his high school varsity team, and on the Alabama State Select team, a pre-Olympic development program.

"When I saw their faces I knew I would never be on that team again," he said. "No one can take away the memories I have from those times. I decided I was going to get back out there and show my friends I could still play soccer. It gave me the motivation not to sit there and whine about it. At the same time, it was quite depressing."

“Days after I realized that learning lies in your reaction to things. I reacted in the most positive way I could. I went from asking therapists to get out of my room to asking them to work me harder. I began going to a gym every day. Months later my physique was better than I'd ever seen it before. I was stronger, and I had better endurance."

Refused to Give Up

Spotswood decided not to give up on his passion. He found a cousin of his favorite sport while surfing the Internet - the American Amputee Soccer Association.

He contacted Dan Broome, US Team Captain, and asked about the prospect of playing competitive soccer again.

Broome said the Association's mission is to show those who are missing a limb that there were others who are up, doing and thriving, "...and that there's more to life than the TV remote."

"To get a phone call like the one we got from Robert makes all our work worthwhile. Robert's a terrific guy. He's knows the game, he loves the game, and he's an inspiration for anybody that wants to get back in the game of life." Broome said.

Bob Spotswood, Robert's father, said Broome was very supportive of Robert’s interest in the team and really made it happen for him. Under Broome's guidance, Robert worked hard preparing for a game he'd never played before.

Workouts included running on crutches, building upper body strength, ball-handling drills, and of course, training himself to become a skilled as a left-footed shot.