Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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

MOST COMMENTED

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
Girls vs. Boys: U.S. Soccer's Development Academy dilemma    
Generalizing about genders is a precarious venture, especially when one side is making assumptions about the ...
France routs USA at U-19 tourney    
After opening the Copa del Atlantico tournament in the Canary Islands with a 1-0 loss to ...
U.S. Soccer Development Academy adds 56 clubs for U-12 division     
Fifty-six clubs will join the U.S. Soccer Development Academy at the U-12 level, which the DA ...
Birth-year registration: The transition is upon us    
Will my child be changing teams? Will she be playing "up" if she stays with her ...
Three 14-year-olds picked for U.S. quest to reach U-17 Women's World Cup    
Seven Californians were named by Coach B.J. Snow to the USA's 20-player roster for the 2016 ...
Reffing in foreign languages: Even a few words can make a difference    
Unfortunately, English is the only language that I speak fluently. Immigration from Spanish-speaking countries has grown ...
U.S. Soccer's slate of coaches on boys side almost complete    
Shaun Tsakiris, previously U.S. Soccer Development Academy coach at Northern California club De Anza Force, has ...
FC Dallas makes quarterfinal run at Copa Chivas    
Founded in 1994, the Copa Chivas in Guadalajara is one of the world's premier youth tournaments. ...
Wilmer Cabrera on closing gaps, kids loving MLS and Bradenton    
Wilmer Cabrera, a member of Colombia's 1990 and 1998 World Cup squads, moved to the USA ...
U.S. U-17 boys open new Residency Program with 32 players    
The 32 players attending the U.S. U-17 boys national team Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida, for ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives