Anyone who’s had a toddler knows they can be the sneakiest, fastest little creatures. That, combined with their general ignorance of social norms and rules, can cause some pretty embarrassing moments for their parents.
Just ask Morgan Tucker of Moscow, Ohio, whose 2-year-old son, Zaydek, earned a bunch of fans for his cheeky maneuver at a soccer game last week.
Tucker and her son were attending the FC Cincinnati vs. Orlando City FC game on Saturday night as guests of her employer, sitting on the sidelines in club seats.
The first hour of play went well, but at about 70 minutes in, the toddler saw his opening and made a break for it.
As the game continued, Zaydek charged out onto the field. Security didn’t notice. Most other fans didn’t notice. The players didn’t notice.
But Tucker certainly did, as did the group of people sitting in their section.
By the time Tucker was over the fence, Zaydek was well and truly on the field, following the direction the players were running in.
In what most agree was actually a slip on the turf, Tucker then appeared to slide-tackle her son, pick up her fallen sunglasses, hoist him up and run back to her seat while onlookers cheered.
It was a brutally embarrassing moment for mom, but Zaydek seemed to enjoy the excitement and appeared blissfully unaware that he’d done anything wrong.
“I literally looked away for one second and saw he was under the fence and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh,'” Tucker told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“I had to jump over the gate and then sprinted after him.”
“When I slid and tackled him, I did not feel any pain but the next day I was sore for sure,” she added. “I was so scared he was going to get hit in the head with a soccer ball.”
The reason he gave for his actions was as simple and straightforward an answer as anyone could expect.
Zaydek and his mom had a great time at the game pic.twitter.com/53TgisKvis
— Sam Greene (@SGdoesit) August 8, 2021
“When I got him back over the fence I said, ‘What were you doing?’ and he said, ‘Mom, soccer ball,'” the flustered mom said. “He was really into the game and when the [players] would go to the other side of the field, he was not happy, so he wanted them to be there with him.
“He was just running after them,” she added. “He was just laughing and had no idea what he did.”
We hope this mother and her young pitch invader are having a great day. ?
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 9, 2021
Most people seem pretty amused with the stunt the little man pulled, though some naysayers called for a lifetime ban on the wee pitch invader.
“Our panoramic cameras caught the #FCCincy kid, pitch-invader,” MLS director of digital content/user experience Mark McClure tweeted along with a share of the video. “Solid run. Tracked the play well. Filled in at the right back pushed into the attack.”
“We hope this mother and her young pitch invader are having a great day,” the Major League Soccer account shared.
Viewers have had fun with the story, with many other parents of toddlers commiserating with Tucker.
— Mark McClure (@mrkmcclr) August 9, 2021
“Mom deserves a red card for that reckless tackle from behind,” one person said.
“Toddlers! The fastest humans on earth,” another commented on the MLS share of the clip. “If you haven’t had one of these 2seconds of public fame, or should I say ‘shame,’ are you a parent?!”
The game went on and it seems that the shenanigans may have only whetted the young soccer fan’s appetite for the game. Who knows, maybe Zaydek will find his way back to that field someday as an actual player.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.