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Love and Blood: At the World Cup with the Footballers, Fans, and Freaks

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  • Posted January 21, 2010

    You! Know!

    If there is one book that should be required reading for the new American fan to the world's game it's this one. Jamie Trecker gives us not only a view of the World Cup from a reporters perspective but a lesson in the tactics of the game.Several lessons are learned by the reader along the way, such as why the American fan can feel free to call the game soccer, why and how the WC to the surprise of many American's is The World Event, and what "Total Football" means and what is the "offside trap". It's a tall order to cover so much ground but he does it well and in a relatively short time.He uses his assignment to cover the World Cup as a reason to give the American fan, who he well knows is mostly a late comer to the world's game, an overview or an introduction of what is an obsession for most of the globe. Having been a fan of the English League and the USA team over the years, I will now appreciate greatly what countries like Mexico, Argentina, and Australia are doing with their national teams and leagues from Trecker's insights into those nations and their players. Once or twice, the breakaways from the main flow of the Cup coverage to cover a related topic were an annoyance, but this is a minor flaw.Trecker explains Wayne Rooney to the American audience in terms that most Americans can readily understand and makes his impact on the English game understandable to some Yanks (myself included) who just were not able to understand Rooney's impact.This work is a throwback to the days when America was not a major part of the world. In the soccer/football world the Americans are at a pre-WW2 stage. We are not a major player. The field is dominated by Europe and South America and the Yanks are still eager newcomers with a lot to learn to be on top. Trecker tries to explain to the average American what this all means in our own terms and accomplishes the goal when necessary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2008

    A reviewer

    Loved this book and higly reccomend it with one reservation. Could have doen without the chapter on the NASL. If you're interested in the now defunct North Americal Soccer League I would reccomend 'Once In A Lifetime'. Other than that one hick-up I read this book in a day and a half and found myself laughing out loud at time.

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