Author Topic: Good Soccer Books  (Read 1367 times)

Offline EB2319

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Good Soccer Books
« on: March 25, 2018, 02:58:59 pm »
Thought I'd start a new thread to mention a few good soccer books in case anyone was interested....

1. The Man Watching: Anson Dorrance and the University of North Carolina Women's Soccer Dynasty.  Bought this on a whim and I couldn't put it down.  Great "history" of UNC women's soccer, but more importantly some very interesting nuggets on what made Dorrance successful.  One of the things I took away from this book was his habit of writing personal letters to each of his graduating players.  I did this with my U14's before they went to HS.  I'm not sure they appreciated it at the time, but maybe they'll look back on it later in life.

2. The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong.  Really makes you evaluate styles of play and whether what you think is true is actually true.

3. Soccer iQ Vol. 1: Things That Smart Players Do and Soccer iQ - Vol. 2: More of What Smart Players Do. Great books for coaches, but non-coaches will also find themselves nodding in agreement.

4. The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy. A behind the scenes look at what it's like for a small club fighting for promotion.

Offline bestfancle

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Re: Good Soccer Books
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 09:34:42 am »
I Think Therefore I Play, by Pirlo is an awesome easy read. Great beach book, finished in about two days.

Offline blooter442

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Re: Good Soccer Books
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 09:46:02 am »
Soccer Dad: A Father, a Son, and a Magic Season: Details the journey of the son of the author, a former Haverford player his senior year of high school in Hanover, NH, and the team's pursuit of a perfect season. A few snippets of the recruiting journey, as well.

Offline 1970s NESCAC Player

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Re: Good Soccer Books
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2018, 01:28:01 pm »
Soccer Dad: A Father, a Son, and a Magic Season: Details the journey of the son of the author, a former Haverford player his senior year of high school in Hanover, NH, and the team's pursuit of a perfect season. A few snippets of the recruiting journey, as well.

The author is a contributor on these threads, is he not?

Offline blooter442

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Re: Good Soccer Books
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2018, 02:55:26 pm »
The author is a contributor on these threads, is he not?

Wouldn't know! Great book either way.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: Good Soccer Books
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2018, 10:37:16 am »
I would say "The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy" is one of the best Soccer Books. I am a little biased because the esteemed author Joe McGinniss lived in Williamstown, MA for a long time.  While writing the book he caught the "soccer bug" and became a HUGE fan especially of Serie A. He followed the Williams Mens Soccer team and hooked up Coach Russo with the GK on the team profiled in the book, Pietro Spinosa. Since his playing career wound down about 18-20 years ago Pietro has been a GK Coach for a number of teams in Serie A and all over Europe. A couple of years I believe in 2004 and 2009 plus a couple weeks in 2013 Pietro was not working in Europe for various reasons but mostly because his Manager had been sacked but he would come over and work with Coach Russo and the Williams GK's. He is an amazing GK Coach and the Williams GK's got some of the best coaching of their lives. Fantastic guy and an astounding book not just because of the incredible story but McGinniss was such an articulate writer. Sadly he passed a couple years ago but if you have not read the book it is a must read.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: Good Soccer Books
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2018, 10:48:22 am »
Other books:

Roy Keane's auto-----"Keane"

"Among the Thugs"

Friedel's book "Thinking Outside the Box"

"Winning at All Costs"---Great peek inside the scandalous history of Italian Futbol and Italian society.

"Bloody Confused"---American author and sports fan who knew nothing of soccer and goes and follows Portsmouth when Harry Redknapp was managing them and gets "hooked"..Funny and well written.


Offline Flying Weasel

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Re: Good Soccer Books
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2018, 01:06:04 pm »
I will concur with the recommendation for "The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy".  I immensely enjoyed it.  I've read countless soccer-related books, but mostly in the early-2000's, so my recommendations would be dated in the sense that they wouldn't include much written in the past 10 or so years.  The following are the best ones that come to mind off the top of my head.  I'm sure there's other gems that I'm forgetting at the moment.


Dynamo: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi-Occupied Kiev by Andy Dougan

The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy by Joe McGinniss

Ajax, the Dutch, the War: The Strange Tale of Soccer During Europe's Darkest Hour by Simon Kuper

Tor!: The Story of German Football by Ulrich Hesse-Lichtenberger

Barca - A Peoples Passion by Jimmy Burns

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer by David Winner

Football Against the Enemy by Simon Kuper

Faith of Our Fathers: Football as a Religion by Alan Edge