An Accidental Journey Into the Heart of the American Game

Book - 2006 | 1st ed.
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"Before his son enlisted for a season of Youth Soccer at the neighborhood Boys and Girls Club in College Park, Maryland, Jim Haner was just your typical white middle-class suburban father. And as a journalist for The Baltimore Sun, Haner was more likely to write about scoundrels than soccer." "But his son had caught the bug, so Haner reluctantly found himself in a room full of anxious parents, listening to the Youth Soccer Commissioner proudly proclaim that "soccer is the essence of being!" He wondered, What's this all about? and before he knew it, he was giving pep talks to nine-year-olds in shin guards and cleats. As the coach of the Hornets, a ragtag team of ten boys and one determined girl, Haner found himself eating, sleeping, and dreaming soccer: the game became an overwhelming, all-consuming obsession. So he immersed himself in soccer lore, dug deep into the historical record, took road trips to meet the living greats, and funneled his research into an intimate portrait of the soccer craze from the bottom up, and from the past to the present. The coach-turned-soccer apostle describes how "Mob Ball" fever was spread when successive waves of immigrants arrived in the States from England, Europe, South America, and Africa. He traces the rises and falls in the game's popularity in the decades since, up to the current wave of "soccermania." When 100,000 people showed up in Pasadena to see the Americans take the Women's World Cup title in 1999, it was clear that the craze had become unstoppable." "Soccerhead is a timely meditation on the poetry and politics of the game - a memoir, a cultural history, and a reflection on the Zen-ness of the sport, all rolled into one."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: New York : North Point Press, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780865476943
Branch Call Number: 796.334 HANER
Characteristics: ix, 275 p. ; 22 cm.


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Aug 26, 2008

Great book that is actually 2 stories in 1. It would have been better as just 1 story because the author jumps back and forth between the two. Still worth a read for anyone interested in the history of US soccer and learning to coach.


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