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ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-546-2
ISBN 10: 1-55017-546-7
Price: $28.95 CAD; $28.95 USD
40 B&W photographs
6 x 9 - 224 pp
A Canadian Soccer Story
Book DescriptionQuestion: How much in love with a sport does a boy have to be when, at age 14, he asks his parents for permission to leave home and move to England on his own so he can join Reading FC to try to become a soccer professional—and warns that if they say no he will never forgive them? Answer: As much in love as the scared-stiff Bobby Lenarduzzi was when he left home and family to pursue the game that has become so much of his life.
Of course, Lenarduzzi had no way of knowing as he stepped into the Reading dressing room that he would one day become the face of soccer in BC; that he would win a North American Soccer League championship with the Vancouver Whitecaps, and rise through their coaching and management ranks to his current role as president and CEO as the team prepares to step up to Major League Soccer in 2011.
It's been a fascinating, moving, often hilarious journey, laced with characters like Willie Johnston, who once paused while taking a corner kick to accept a beer from a fan; Alan Hinton, who was less than fit but took free kicks so accurately that the Province reported "When Alan Hinton put a corner kick on your head, he'd give you your choice of eyebrows" and Brian Budd, who won the Superstars series competition so often they changed the rules to keep him out.
They all come alive in Bob Lenarduzzi, along with coaches, owners and the madcap adventures, triumphs and failures as Lenarduzzi and Jim Taylor weave the tale of the side, to quote a US TV commentator, "from the village of Vancouver."