A slightly mad Englishman named Denny Bates found a group of us too-skinny-for-football kids sometime around the third grade, put us on a field with the round ball and taught us to "kick the bloody hell" out of it.
I was a great player. In fact, one of the best, but only at night when I was dreaming. During the day I had a lot more heart than talent.
Later, when the team was without a coach, my dad -- although he knew little about the game -- came to our rescue. He drove miles out of his way to pick up anyone who needed a ride, bought uniforms, bought cleats for those who couldn't afford them, and drove my team-mates and I all over the state. And we did well, winning much more than we lost, including several championship titles. Throughout the ups-and-downs of a father-son relationship, when we couldn’t talk about anything else, we always had soccer.
I'm in search of the Beautiful Game, the beauty, the brilliance, the Faustian bargains, the individual and the team. Thanks for reading.
Spain's Andres Iniesta settles a tough World Cup final with a memorable shot.
Using an old football philosophy (Total Football), Spain and Holland prepare to battle for right to join the ranks of World Cup champions.
France, Italy and John Terry Crash, South America Soars, England Survives, and the U.S. Gets Ready for Revenge.
The strategies, the standouts, and the ugly after a full week in South Africa.
A 1-1 draw against England demonstrated they can overcome adversity, but still need to work on defense.
A look at the coaches, players, strengths, and weaknesses of Saturday's American-English showdown in the World Cup.
What you need to know to get into this year's World Cup in South Africa.
Jose Mourinho becomes Real Madrid's coach with a goal of becoming Europe's best team.
Lionel Messi and Pedro scored to send a regal Barcelona three points clear of outclassed Real Madrid.
Ibrahimovic is out, so it's up to Messi to be the difference-maker.
Team U.S. gets ready for an American dream in South Africa.
Chelsea's losses to Man City and Inter Milan show the scandals are taking their toll.
In back-to-back games, Arsène Wenger’s team shows it doesn’t have what it takes to take be the top team.
John Terry gets played yet again and no professional foul will help this time.
Soccer, the rhythmic game of deception, and the video replay that wants to control it.