Soccer is probably the one positive effect on Paul's life. His brother, Erik, treats him terribly. For example, when Paul was little, Erik held Paul's eyes open and spray painted them. Need another example? Paul has his friend Tino over to the house and Erik hits him so hard that Paul thinks Tino is dead.
To make matters worse, Paul's parents seem to think that Erik can do no wrong. They think he is a great kid, and they are in awe that he is playing football and is the star placekicker for the team. Paul's parents don't seem to care that Paul is a decent goalkeeper.
The soccer team accepts Paul for who he is. The team is his refuge from his sadistic brother and ignorant parents. The team provides Paul with friendships and people that offer him security. Soccer is the one element in Paul's life that is affecting it in a positive way.