Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Clive Toye does Roald Dahl for soccer
by Mike Woitalla, June 8th, 2012 12:47PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  youth boys, youth girls


By Mike Woitalla

Of individuals who have had an extraordinary impact on youth soccer in the USA, Clive Toye ranks very, very high on the list.

Toye brought Pele to the New York Cosmos in 1975. That propelled the North American Soccer League, which the Englishman helped launch in 1967, into U.S. mainstream consciousness and enabled the NASL to ignite the nation’s youth soccer boom.

During all his time of running NASL clubs, the former London journalist, besides signing the likes of Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Giorgio Chinaglia, sent his players and coaches into grass-roots America to spread the seeds for youth soccer: “Not letting a school go without a visit -- not letting a community miss the chance of a coaching lesson …”

His vision was an America with millions of kids playing soccer and although the NASL, for which he toiled nearly two decades, folded in 1985, the vision became reality.

Fitting then that Toye, who in 2006 wrote the wonderfully informative and entertaining NASL history, “A Kick in the Grass,” has now penned a children’s book: “Toby and The Greatest Game.”

If Roald Dahl had written a soccer book, one imagines it would read like this. The Chocolate Factory is the wonderful world of soccer. The witching hour comes when the young Cameron is doing homework on his computer. Suddenly appears – not a Big Friendly Giant -- but Toby, a magical talking soccer ball.

Toby has to “make sure all the other balls, my helpers, are in place … I am the soccer ball. The rest of them … well, they’re all part of me and I’m part of them.”

So Toby takes Cameron on fantastic journeys through the soccer world, past and present, on all continents. There’s Pele, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Joe Gaetjens, Eusebio, Michelle Akers ... Cameron gets to be a ballboy for Barcelona, witness Brazil’s first game (in 1914), enjoy a World Cup (while tortured by vuvuzelas) …

Young readers will finish the book well-educated on the history of soccer – but fear not that they’ll consider this assigned reading. There’s too much fun – and suspense – as Cameron helps Toby battle for soccer against the Mountain of Greed.

(“Toby and The Greatest Game” by Clive Toye, 2012. IUniverse, 126 pages. $11.95 softcover; E-book $3.95.)


(Mike Woitalla, the executive editor of Soccer America, coaches youth soccer for Bay Oaks/East Bay United SC in Oakland, Calif. He is the co-author, with Tim Mulqueen, of The Complete Soccer Goalkeeper
, and More Than Goals with Claudio Reyna. Woitalla's youth soccer articles are archived at YouthSoccerFun.com.)



1 comment
  1. Marc Silverstein
    commented on: September 28, 2012 at 9:20 a.m.
    the book was wonderful and I'd really like to invite Clive to a local author event...can you please forward him my email address? msilverstein47@yahoo.com


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Tony Meola: Young players are more sophisticated than ever    
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the USA hosting the 1994 World Cup -- a ...
Unhappy with your coach? How to respond    
Invariably as I talk to players, there are usually complaints surrounding coaches. I'm sure that the ...
Coordinated tryout process would help relieve spring stress    
Soccer teams are finally able to get outside to begin their practices in preparation for the ...
Latino Inclusion: How far have we come? (Part 1)    
Only two decades ago, the United States had never had a Hispanic head coach at any ...
Thomas Rongen returns to grassroots    
Thomas Rongen has been head coach of four MLS teams, coached the USA at four U-20 ...
The Discipline of Being in Position for ARs    
In many game situations, I could make a case that the ref's best position varies but ...
Brilliant books for kids: Messi, Ronaldo, USA ... South Africa    
Lionel Messi preferred to play with marbles and collect picture cards, seemingly uninterested in the soccer ...
Top item on to-do list as spring season kicks off    
With the spring season kicking off, this is the perfect time to make sure you've got ...
Ref Watch: Are All Games Equally Important?    
During the 1990s, I worked as a Senior Art Director at Manhattan ad agency Lowe McAdams. ...
11 Tips for Coaching the Little Ones     
"I got recruited to coach my kid's soccer team. Any advice?"
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives