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Best Pickup Soccer: Bend it like Beckham? You wish 

El Cerrito High School

Shiny rayon jerseys, bilingual trash-talkin', and some inspired dribbling make this Sunday morning coed pickup game at El Cerrito High the best of East Bay. A mix of Latino, African, and gringo players give the game an inclusive, laid-back atmosphere. No diving headers, slide tackles, or bicycle kicks here -- just nice, clean soccer with lots of passing. And a stable of highly skilled women shows up to dominate male showboaters. Official start time is 10:30 a.m. but the ball rarely gets rolling before 11:30. The game usually lasts until about 1 p.m. unless El Cerrito High sports teams need the field for practice, then the game ends as soon as the coaches can throw everyone off.

Readers' Pick (tie):
Albany Elementary School
Merritt College, Oakland
Mosswood Park, Oakland (Thurs. 6:30 p.m.)

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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